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Frost graduated from Lawrence High School, in 1892, as class poet (he also shared the honor of co-valedictorian with his wife-to-be Elinor White), and two years later, the accepted his poem entitled “My Butterfly,” launching his status as a professional poet with a check for .00.

Frost's first book was published around the age of 40, but he would go on to win a record four Pulitzer Prizes and become the most famous poet of his time, before his death at the age of 88.

Included here is “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” which opens with the story of two itinerant lumbermen who offer to cut the speaker’s wood for pay; the poem then develops into a sermon on the relationship between work and play, vocation and avocation, preaching the necessity to unite them.

Of the entire volume, William Rose Benét wrote, “It is better worth reading than nine-tenths of the books that will come your way this year.

The volume, for which Frost won his first Pulitzer Prize, “pretends to be nothing but a long poem with notes and grace notes,” as Louis Untermeyer described it.which Pound said “has the tang of the New Hampshire woods, and it has just this utter sincerity.It is not post-Miltonic or post-Swinburnian or post Kiplonian.Kennedy in 1961, Frost was given the unprecedented honor of being asked to read a poem.Frost wrote a poem called “Dedication” for the occasion, but could not read it given the day’s harsh sunlight.“In honoring Robert Frost,” the President said, “we therefore can pay honor to the deepest source of our national strength.That strength takes many forms and the most obvious forms are not always the most significant. Our national strength matters; but the spirit which informs and controls our strength matters just as much.He had been, as Randall Jarrell points out, “a very odd and very radical radical when young” yet became “sometimes callously and unimaginatively conservative” in his old age.He had become a public figure, and in the years before his death, much of his poetry was written from this stance.Frost himself said of this poem that it is the kind he’d like to print on one page followed with “forty pages of footnotes.” Frost’s fifth book of poems, is divided into six sections, one of which is taken up entirely by the title poem.This poem refers to a brook which perversely flows west instead of east to the Atlantic like all other brooks.


  1. An earlier post in which I talked my way through Frost’s essay ‘The Figure a Poem Makes’ has proved to be one of my most visited pieces. As both teacher and poet, I wanted to explore Frost’s often teasing pronouncements and here I want to do the same with his longer essay, ‘Education by Poetry’.

  2. The general argument/ point made by Robert Frost in his work “Education By Poetry “is that life is all about saying things one way and meaning it in another way, and that if you are not educated enough to understand metamorphic language than you will not understand much.

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