The Road Not Taken and Neither Out Far Nor in Deep by Robert Frost
Robert Lee Frost is an American poet who is known for his verse concerning nature and New England life. He was born in San Francisco in 1874. When his father died in 1885, his mother moved the family to Lawrence, Massachusetts. Frost attended college sporadically after graduating high school and made a living by working as a bobbin boy in a wool mill, a shoemaker, a country schoolteacher, editor of a rural newspaper, and a farmer. He also wrote poetry but had little success in having his poems published until, in 1912, when his family moved to England. There, he was befriended by such established poets as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Lascelles Abercrombie. With their help, Robert Frost's first two volumes of poetry were published. These works won him immediate recognition and, in 1915, Frost returned to the United States to find his fame had preceded him. He continued to write poetry with increasing success while living on farms in Vermont and New Hampshire, and teaching literature at Amherst College, the University of Michigan, Harvard University and Dartmouth College. Frost was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times during his lifetime and became the first poet to read a poem at a Presidential Inauguration (of John F. Kennedy in 1961).
The majority of Frost's poetry is based mainly upon the life and scenery of rural New England, and the language of his verse reflects the strong dialect of that region. Frost's colloquialism, however, is structured within traditional metrical and rhythmical schemes; he disliked free verse (Encarta, 1). Although he concentrates on ordinary subject matter, Frost's emotional range is wide and deep, and his poems often shift from a tone of humor or jest to the passionate expression of a tragic experience. Much of his poetry is concerned with the interaction between humans and nature. Frost regarded nature as a beautiful but dangerous force, worthy of admiration, but full of danger. The underlying philosophy of Frost's poetry is rooted in traditional New England individualism, and his work shows his strong empathy for the values of early American society (Encarta,1).
I have chosen to analyze Frost's two poems "The Road Not Taken" and "Neither Out Far Nor In Deep." I chose these particular selections because of their vast differences in form and meaning. Each of these works represents a completely different outlook of Frost about life issues, and were written approximately twenty years apart. So many of Frost's poems describe relatively ordinary scenes or events that raise issues about the meaning of life and then conclude by suggesting a positive answer, such as "The Road Not Taken" does. However, "Neither Out Far Nor In Deep" represents the opposite end of the spectrum, dealing with the harsh questions of life, but offering no consolation or conclusion. The latter format in Frost's poetry is the rarer...