Under the stars of the sky, fifteen-year old Robert Frost explored the heavens through a
telescope. He was seeking affirmation of the proverbial question that has plagued mankind for
centuries—the proof and existence of God. While surveying the cosmos, Frost‘s interest was
stirred, so he visited a library and obtained books that had illustrated star charts. Within these
pages, his knowledge of the stars was edified and a poet was born. Frost‘s first poems were
―astronomical‖ and invoked a kinship of ―cosmology and theology‖ (Haas 255). As time
unfolded, he realized that the cosmos was devoid of providing evidence of God. Similarly, in a
short time span, Frost‘s faith in God became shattered because family members died of illness
and disease (Haas 258). As he developed and honed his craft, all the scholarly encounters with
philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians helped lay down the foundations of his thoughts on
the synonymous relationship of nature and life struggles.
In 1930, Frost presented a nature of poetry to Amherst College Alumni Council to
communicate how science and poetry utilize ―figurative juxtapositions‖ to clarify the subtle and
intricate philosophy of ―natural phenomena‖ (Haas 275). Furthermore, critic Amy Lowell
strengthens his viewpoint and regards Frost as ―one of the most intuitive poets [. . . h]e sees
much [. . .] both into the hearts of person, and into the qualities of scenes‖ (March and Bloom,
par. 1). With clever poetic purpose, Frost‘s poems meld the ebb and flow of nature to convey
human‘s struggles and arouse the ―sound of sense‖ within the reading.
Historically speaking, the sound of sense was interpreted by Lord Kames in 1762. He
affirms that ―relationship of sounds will map relationships of sense‖ (qtd. in ―Onomatopoeia‖
862). While this may be true, on July 4, 1913, Frost proudly stated to a friend that he alone
would define the sound of sense that was ―pure sound—pure form‖ (qtd. in Davenport 27). In
the framework of poetic expression, he embraced three sentiments that a poem must speak to: the
eye, the ear, and the heart (Frost qtd. in Newdick 298). At the apex of his assertions, Frost
affirms that a poem ―runs a course of lucky events, and it ends in a clarification of life‖ (Frost
qtd. in Davenport 27). On the other hand, critics thought his style of poetry ―was too much like
talk‖ (Newdick 290). Frost regarded their admonition as praise; it was what he wanted to
accomplish with his poetic style. In a moment of clarity, Frost finally realized why the rural life
in New Hampshire had beckoned him every summer (Newdick 290). On the farm, he could
satiate all his senses with real life experiences. As Frost experienced life on the farm, his sound
of sense developed in his poems.
According to the New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, the sound of sense
is the ―performance intermedium‖ in which verbal and sound art are not just mixed ....