Monday, June 10, 2013

Frost’s Style of Poetry

It has been debated which poetry sub-genre Robert Frost identifies with.  The Oxford English Dictionary gives us examples that illustrate how Frost is a blend of at least three sub-genres of poetry.  Having been compared to Romantic poets such as Wordsworth, who said in 1800, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origins from emotion recollected in tranquility.”   And Keats who in 1817 stated: “The poetry of earth is never dead…a voice will run… about the new-mown mead; That is the Grasshoppers.”  Frost is said to have been influenced by Emily Dickenson, who crafted her poetry with a tool box of poetic devices according to BYU’s Emily Dickinson Lexicon.

Frost was influenced by whom?

Frost is also thought to have leaned towards transcendentalism, which means to pass over or go beyond (a physical obstacle or limit); to climb or get over the top (of a wall, mountain).  The religio-philoshical teaching of the New England school of thought represented by Emerson and others that exalted character, thought, or language; also that which is extravagant, vague, or visionary in philosophy or language; idealism. 

In 1842 Emerson said: “What is popularly called Transcendentalism among us, is idealism.”

Modernism has been noted as stylistic of Frost’s poetry.  This is the tendency or movement toward modifying traditional beliefs and doctrines in accordance with modern ideas and scholarship.  A usage, mode of expression, peculiarity of style, etc., characteristic of modern times.  Later more generally, an innovative or distinctively modern feature.

It could be that Frost was influenced by all three sub-genres of poets to bring us his memorable poetry.  Knowing this information will help me understand more about Frost's style of writing and the tools he used to help when I write my thesis paper.


  1. This was an interesting blog post about the genres of poetry and the influence they had on one of the greats. I'll be excited to read your paper!

  2. Robert Frost was much, much more recent than I had realized. That definitely changes my response to him!