"Poetry is what gets lost in translation." - r.f. 🍂
The interpretation of literature is, under any circumstances, a risky enterprise. The usage of language shifts over time and occasion, and the evolution of social issues amplifies the risk of projection and revisionism across time. In the case of Robert Frost, this concern becomes even more complex, as the years during which he wrote spanned seventy of the globe’s most technologically tumultuous and socially revolutionary years. To this complexity is added the contradictions housed in Frost himself. 🍂
Robert Frost graduated with valedictory honors from Lawrence County Public School and studied at Dartmouth College and Harvard for a combined three and a half years’ time. Between these three institutions, he received a rigorous classical education in both ancient and modern scholarship. He harbored avid interests in the realms of philosophy, psychology, and the nature of belief. Yet he adopted the persona of a homespun naturalist and wrote poems about birches, brooks, and cottages. 🍂
Stylistically, Frost represents a category entirely his own. The 1800s had witnessed the successive rises of Romanticism, Transcendentalism, Realism, Regionalism, and the beginnings of Modernism. The first few decades of the 1900s witnessed the further development of Modernism including a subset of Modernism known as “Imagism”, which was founded by two of the poets who played an instrumental role in Frost’s original rise to popularity, Ezra Pound and Amy Lowell. Frost was, quite literally, surrounded by movements, yet he never affiliated himself with any one of them. Faint traces of Romanticism and Transcendentalism appear in his poetry – stronger influences still are exercised by Realism, Regionalism, and Imagism. Yet no one of these movements can fully or even partly be said to define Frost’s poetry, for it is what binds these pieces together, rather than the pieces themselves, that comprise the soul of Frost’s verse. And that soul is Frost’s dedication to his theory of the Sound of Sense. 🍂
Early on in his career, Frost formulated a linguistic theory...
[caption continued in comments 🍂]