Make your own free website on
"The best way out is always through."
The 411
The early 1900's
Psychoanalytic Theory
Marxist Theory
Feminist Theory
The Best
The Worst Poem
Difficult Poem
Common Themes
Poem vs Song
Works Cited

Thought this would be interesting. This is a complete time line of Robert Frosts life.


1874 - Born on March 26 in San Francisco, first child of Isabelle Moodie and William Prescott Frost Jr. Named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

1875 - Father becomes city editor of the San Francisco Daily Evening Post.

1876 - Travels east with his mother, who is expecting another child, and is upset with father's drinking and gambling. His sister, Jeanie Florence, is born in Lawrence, Mass June 25. Returns back to SF in fall. Father is diagnosed as consumptive.

1879 - Attends kindergarten, but goes home after one day suffering from nervous stomach pain and does not return.

1880 - Father is elected as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Cincinnati. Frost attends first grade, but soon drops out again.

1881 - Frost enters second grade. Baptized in mother's Sweden-borgian church.

1882 - Drops out of school and is educated at home.

1883 - Frost hears voices when left alone and is told by mother that he shares her gift for "second hearing" and "second sight." Father continues to drink as his health deteriorates.

1885 - Father dies of tuberculosis on May 5, leaving family with only $8 after expenses are paid. Family moves to Lawrence, Mass. to live with grandparents. Robert and Jeanie dislike grandparents' sternness and rigorous discipline. Enters third grade after testing, while younger sister enters fourth grade.

1886 - Moves to Salem Depot, New Hampshire, where mother begins teaching the fifth to eighth grades. Frost and Jeanie enter the fifth grade.

1888 - Passes entrance examinations for Lawrence High School in June. Enrolls in "classical" (college prep) program. Mother resigns from the Salem Depot district school.

1889 - Finishes school year at head of his class.

1890 - First published poem, "La Noche Triste," based on episode in Prescott's Conquest of Mexico, appears in the Lawrence High School Bulletin in April; a second poem, "The Song of the Wave," appears in the Bulletin in May.

1891 - Passes preliminary entrance examinations for Harvard College. Elected chief editor of the Bulletin for the 1891-92 school year. Meets and falls in love with fellow student Elinor Miriam White (b. 1872) during fall.

1892 - Becomes engaged to Elinor. Dependent upon grandparents for financial support, enters Dartmouth College instead of Harvard because it is cheaper, and because grandparents blame Harvard for his father's bad habits. Bored by college life and restless, leaves Dartmouth at the end of December.

1893 - Briefly teaches unruly eighth-grade class in Methuen for several weeks. Frost tries to convince Elinor to marry him before returning to St. lawrence University in canton, New York, but fails.

1894 - Returns to teaching grades one through six in Salem. In March, he learns The Independent will publish his poem "My Butterfly: An Elegy" and will pay him $15. Tries to convince Elinor to marry him at once. Gets printer to make him two copies of collection of his poems, called Twilight. Goes to visit Elinor to present her with a copy, but is thrown into despair by her cool reception; destroys his own copy and returns home. Depressed, he decides to go the Dismal Swamp on the Virginia-North Carolina border. Leaves Lawrence on November 6 and travels by train and boat to Norfolk, Virginia, then follows wagon road and walks for miles into the swamp at night. Meets a pat of boatmen at canal lock who agree to take him though swamp to Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Stays with boat as it crosses Albemarle Sound to Mags Head on the Atlantic coast. Begins return journey by hopping freight cars from Elizabeth City to Baltimore. Exhausted and frightened, writes mother for return fare and arrives in Lawrence on November 30.

1895 - Works as reporter in Lawrence for Daily American and Sentinel. Frost teaches at Salem district school Marries Elinor White in Lawrence on December 19 in ceremony conducted by Swedenborgian pastor.

1896 - Son Elliott is born on September 25.

1897 - Passes Harvard College entrance examinations, borrows money from grandfather and enters Harvard as a freshman.

1899 - Withdraws from Harvard on march 31. Daughter Lesley born on April 28. Insists his mother see a doctor, and learns that she has advanced cancer.

1900 - Son Elliott dies of cholera on July 8 and is buried in Lawrence. Elinor suffers sever depression. Frost's heath declines. Mother enters sanatorium in Penacook, NH. Mother dies of cancer on November 2 and is buried in Lawrence.

1901 - Reads Thoreau's Walden for the first time. Grandfather William Prescott Frost dies on July 10; his will gives Frost a $500 annuity and use of the Derry farm for ten years, after which the annuity is to be increased to $800 and Frost is to be given ownership of the farm.

1902 - Son Carol is born May 27.

1903 - Publishes short story "Trap nests" in The Eastern Poultryman in February (will be published 11 times in the Poultryman and in Farm-Poultry between 1903 and 1905). Daughter Irma is born on June 27.

1905 - Daughter Marjorie is born on March 28. 1906 - Starts part-time position teaching English literature at Pinkerton Academy in Derry. Publishes poem "The Tuft of Flowers" in the Derry Enterprise. Eventually assumes full-time teaching post at Pinkerton Academy.

1907 - Daughter Elinor Bettina is born on June 18, and dies on June 21.

1909 - Frost impresses the New Hampshire superintendent of public instruction, and lectures about his teaching methods before several conventions of New Hampshire teachers. Poem "Into Mine Own" appears in New England Magazine in May. Sells all of the poultry and moves family to apartment in nearby Derry village.

1910 - Revises English curriculum for the Pinkerton Academy and develops program emphasizing an informal, conversational teaching style. He writes in the school catalog: "The general aim of the course in English is twofold: to bring our students under the influence of the great books, and to teach them the satisfactions of superior speech." Father-in-law dies May 26.

1911 - Accepts offer to teach at State Normal School and moves family to Plymouth. Teaches courses in education and psychology. Sells the Derry farm.

1912 - Decides to live in England for a few years and devote himself to writing full time. Sails with family on August 23. Stays in London briefly before renting a cottage in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, 20 miles north of London. Submits A Boy's Will in October to London firm of David Nutt and Company, which accepts it for publication.

1913 - A Boy's Will is published April 1. Meets numerous literary figures, including Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle, Form Hermann Hueffer (Ford Madox Ford), Ernest Rhys, and William Butler Yeats (who tells Pound that A Boy's Will is "the best poetry written in America for a long time"). Friendship with Pound becomes strained ("He says I must write something much more like vers libre or he will let me perish by neglect. He really threatens"). Forms close friendship with Edward Thomas.

1914 - Moves near Dymock, Gloucestershire. North of Boston is published on May 15 and is favorably reviewed in The Nation, The Outlook, The Times Literary Supplement, Pall Mall Gazette, The English Review, The Bookman, and The Daily News. Encourages Thomas to write poetry. Amused by local concern that he may be a spy when war breaks out in August. Learns that Henry Holt and Company will publish his books in the US. Decides to return to America. Concerned that review by Pound may cause Americans to consider him to be one of Pound's "party of American literary refugees."

1915 - Arrives in New York February 23. North of Boston was published in America on February 20. Meets with a number of editors in New York. A Boy's Will is published in April. Buys farm in Franconia, New Hampshire. Meets Edwin Arlington Robinson and Louis Untermeyer. Wife Elinor suffers miscarriage.

1916 - Gives talks and readings in throughout New England. Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Mountain Interval published November 27. Accepts offer from Alexander Meiklejohn, president of Amherst College, to teach for one semester at a salary of $2,000.

1917 - Moves to Amherst in January. A Way Out, a one act play, is published. Deeply grieved by the death of Edward Thomas (E.T.), killed during the battle of Arras. Teaching position at Amherst is extended. Lesley enters Wellesley College.

1918 - Meets Vachel Lindsay, Sara Teasdale, and James Oppenheim. Pleased when Lesley leaves college after her freshman year to do war work in an aircraft factory. During national epidemic, Frost suffers severe case of influenza that lasts for months.

1920 - Resigns position at Amherst in February over disagreements with Meiklejohn, whom Frost considers too morally permissive, and to devote more time to writing. Sister Jeanie was arrested in Portland, Maine, or March 25 for disturbing the peace, and was pronounced instance by an attending physician. Frost commits Jeanie to the state mental hospital at Augusta, Maine. Begins serving as consulting editor for Henry Holt and company at a salary of $100 per month.

1921 - gives talks and readings, receiving at least 4100 plus expenses for each. Spends one week in march as "poet in residence" at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. Begins long association with Bread Loaf School of English in Ripton, Vermont. Move to Ann Arbor, Michigan after accepting a $5,000 fellowship at University of Michigan. Does not teach, but advises students and gives talks.

1922 - Helps arrange poets' lecture series which includes Carl Sandburg, Louis Untermeyer, and Amy Lowell. Fellowship at Michigan is renewed for another year.

1923 - Select Poems is published by Henry Holt in March. Awarded LHD by the University of Vermont. Accepts appointment as professor of English at Amherst College after Mieklejohn is dismissed. Discusses quantum theory with physicist Neils Bohr during a visit to Amherst in October. New Hampshire published by Henry Holt November 15.

1924 - Awarded Pulitzer Prize for New Hampshire in May. Receives Honorary Litt.D. degrees from Middlebury College and Yale University. Grandson William Prescott Frost, son of Carol, is born on October 15. Gives notice to Amherst of his acceptance of lifetime appointment at University of Michigan as Fellow in Letters, with no teaching obligations to begin next autumn.

1925 - Friends throw Frost a "Fiftieth Birthday Dinner" because Frost believes he was born in 1875, not 1874. Writes obituary tribute to Amy Lowell for The Christian Science Monitor in May. Works in Ann Arbor, while Elinor and family stay home. Daughter Marjorie is hospitalized in December suffering from pneumonia, a peri-cardiac infection, chronic appendicitis and nervous exhaustion.

1926 - Family joins him in Ann Arbor in Spring. After visit from Amherst president Daniel Olds, Frost accepts offer to rejoin college as a part-time professor of English for $5,000 a year and no obligation to teach formal classes. Participates in inaugural session of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

1927 - Moves to Amherst in January where he teaches for ten weeks. Marjorie enters Johns Hopkins Hospital for ten weeks of treatment.

1928 - Signs new contract with Holt providing for royalty increase from 15 to 20 percent at 5,000 copies of a book are sold, as well as a $2,000 advance and monthly payments of $250 for the next five years. Sails for France with Elinor and Marjorie in August. Travels through England and Scotland with Elinor, who is suffering from depression. Meets T.S. Eliot for the first time. Returns to America in November. Learns that daughter Lesley, who married in September, is unhappy and contemplating divorce. West-running Brook is published by Holt, which also publishes and expanded edition of Selected Poems.

1929 - Permits Marjorie to begin nursing school. Sister Jeanie dies in state mental hospital in August, Maine in early September. Frost and Elinor move into farm they purchased in South Shaftsbury.

1930 - Collected Poem published in November. Elected in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Visits Marjorie who has been hospitalized in Baltimore with tuberculosis.

1931 - Decides with doctors that Marjorie should enter sanatorium in boulder, Colorado. Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Collected Poems in June. Lesley's second daughter is born, and her divorce becomes final soon after. Receives Russell Loines Poetry Prize from the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

1932 - Moves into new house in Amherst. Meets Marjorie's fianc‰ in Boulder. Attends Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Is displeased with T.S. Eliot's slighting remarks concerning Robert Burns and other Scottish poets.

1933 - Continues heavy lecture schedule to earn extra money for his children's expenses. Due to exhaustion, unable to attend Marjorie's wedding in Billings, Montana.

1934 - Marjorie develops puerperal fever after daughter is born in March, dies May 2 and is buried in Billings.Daughter is taken care of by Carol and his wife Lillian. Elinor suffers severe attach of angina pectoris in November. Under doctor orders, Frost and Elinor go to Key West in December.

1935 - Meets Wallace Stevens in Key West. Gives lecture at University of Miami. Returns north with Elinor in March. Writes preface to Edwin Arlington Robinson's last book, King Jasper. With Elinor, rents house in Coconut Grove, Florida.

1936 - Privately publishes a small volume of Marjorie's poems, Franconia. Begins appointment as Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. A Further Range, published by Holt in May, is made a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club.

1937 - Wins Pulitzer Prize for A Further Range. elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society. Elinor undergoes surgery for breast cancer in early October.

1938 - Elinor dies of heart failure in Gainesville, Florida March 20. Frost collapses and is unable to attend cremation. Resigns position at Amherst College and returns to South Shaftsbury. Asks Kathleen Morrison to marry him; she refuses. His continuing emotional instability draws attention. Morrison agrees to work for him as a paid secretary and take care of arranging lecture appearances (and will do so for the rest of Frost's life). After threatening to leave Henry Holt, the firm offers him a contract which guarantees a 20 percent royalty on all books sold and raises his monthly payment to $300.

1939 - Awarded the Gold Medal by the national Institute of Arts and Letters in New York. Frost takes first plane trip, flying to Cuba with Paul and May Engle for short stay. Enlarged edition of Collected Poems is published by Holt in February. Accepts two-year appointment as Ralph Waldo Emerson Fellow in Poetry at Harvard in May. Designates Lawrence Thompson as his "official" biographer on condition that the biography only appear after his death. Suffers painful attack of acidosis in December.

1940 - Undergoes surgery for hemorrhoids. Health improves and purchases five acres of land in South Miami. Tries to talk his son, whose long-standing depression and suspiciousness have become more acute since Elinor's death, out of his suicidal thoughts. Returns to Boston thinking crisis is over and is horrified when Carol commits suicide with a deer-hunting rifle on October 9. Returns to South Shaftsbury immediately to make funeral arrangements and to be with Carol's son Prescott, who had discovered the body. Frost writes to Untermeyer: "I took the wrong way with him. I tried many ways and every single on of them was wrong."

1941 - Moves in March to Cambridge (will continue to live there for the remainder of his life, spending summers at Noble Farm, and winters in South Miami).

1942 - A Winter Tree, dedicated to Kathleen Morrison is published by Holt in April; sales reach 10,000 copies within two months.

1943 - Awarded Pulitzer Prize for A Witness Tree, becoming the first person to receive the Prize four times. Accepts appointment at Dartmouth College as George Ticknor Fellow in Humanities, with $2,500 stipend and $500 for expenses. Hospitalized in December with serious case of pneumonia.

1945 - A Masque of Reason is published by Holt in March.

1946 - Daughter Irma's mental condition deteriorates.

1947 - Receives his 17th honorary degree in March, from Berkeley. Steeple Bush published by Holt in May. Suffers pains in his and arms after reading critical review in Time. Frost has Irma, whose condition has deteriorated, to the state mental hospital in Concord, New Hampshire. A Masque of Mercy is published by Holt in September.

1948 - Despite enjoying work at Dartmouth, feels close to Amherst and accepts offer to return there as Simpson Lecturer in Literature with a salary of $3,500, a position he will hold until his death).

1949 - Angered by award of Bollingen Prize to Ezra Pound, now confined to a mental hospital and under indictment for treason for his radio broadcasts from Italy during WW II. Complete Poems of Robert Frost 1949 is published in May.

1950 - US Senate adopts resolution honoring Frost on his 75th birthday (actually his 76th). Begins friendship with Connery Lathem, who will become a posthumous editor of Frost's work.

1951 - Due to worsening eyesight, now often recites poems from memory. Has cancerous lesion removed from upper right side of his face.

1953 - Awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets, with a stipend of $5,000 in march. Undergoes surgery in late December for a recurrence of facial skin cancer.

1954 - Invited to the White House by his friend Sherman Adams, who is now serving as chief of staff to President Eisenhower. Having learned he was born in 1874, celebrates his 80th birthday. Holt publishes Aforesaid, a new selection of his poems, in a limited edition of 650 copies. Serves as a delegate to the World Congress of Writers held in Sao, Paulo, August 4-19.

1955-66 - Vermont state legislature names mountain in Ripton after Frost. Has patchwork quilts made from 26 academic hoods he has received along with honorary degrees.

1957 - Frost, T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway sign letter, drafted by Archibald MacLeish, asking Attorney General Herbert Brownell to drop the treason indictment against Ezra Pound. Becomes on the third American to receive honorary Litt.D. Degrees by Oxford and Cambridge. While touring England, meets W.H. Auden, E.M. Forster, and Graham Greene. Becomes actively involved in effort to free Ezra Pound.

1958 - Invited by President Eisenhower to the White House in February. Drafts statement in support of Pound's release for use at court hearing in April that ends with the dismissal of the indictment (Pound is discharged from federal mental hospital in May). Frost is appointed that same month to be Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Receives Emerson-Thoreau Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; delivers address "On Emerson."

1959 - Predicts in March that John F. Kennedy will win the 1960 presidential election. Appointed to three-year term as Honorary Consultant in the Humanities at the Library of Congress.

1960 - Testifies before Senate subcommittee in favor of a bill to establish a National Academy of Culture. Congress passes bill awarding Frost a gold medal in recognition of his poetry. Pleased when Kennedy invites him to take part in inaugural ceremonies.

1961 - Writes new poem for inauguration, but is unable to read it in glare of bright sunlight and recites only "The Gift Outright." Travels to Israel and Greece to lecture. Vermont state legislature names Frost "Poet Laureate of Vermont."

1962 - Fall seriously ill with pneumonia and is hospitalized in South Miami in February. In the Clearing published by Holt in March. In late August, travels to the Soviet Union as a part of a cultural exchange program at the invitation of President Kennedy. exhausted and ill, Frost is too weak to leave his guest house and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev comes to visit him; they talk for 90 minutes. Returns to America, still suffering from exhaustion and tells press on arrival that Khrushchev "said we were too liberal to fight," causing a controversy that strains friendship with Kennedy. Learns that an anonymous donor has given $3.5 million for construction of The Robert Frost Library at Amherst. Admits in October, during Cuban Missile crisis that Khrushchev had not said the words he had attributed to him. Undergoes prostrate operation in December. Doctors find cancer in his prostate and bladder. Suffers pulmonary embolism on December 23.

1963 - Awarded the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. Suffers another embolism on January 7. Dies shortly after midnight on January 29. Private memorial service for friends and family is held in Appleton Chapel in Harvard yard, and public service is held at Johnson Chapel, Amherst College. Ashes are interred in the Frost family plot in Old Bennington, Vermont.

Enter supporting content here

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. "