Consider how Robert Frost's life experiences are reflected in his poetic works.

Essay by daniiHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

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Robert Frost is remembered as one of the most popular and honoured poets of the twentieth century. His popularity is partly due to his experiences and the universal themes that he uses to create his poems about relationships, nature, and the world. Frost's experiences in life help him to create the vivid scenes he sets within his poetry. Poems such as "The Road Not Taken", "Home Burial", "Birches" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" help illustrate this link.

"The Road Not Taken" is a metaphor for the narrator's travels through life. Frost claimed that this poem was about a close friend, Edward Thomas, who died in World War I. It is one of his best-know, yet problematic poems. The title suggests that the subject is the choice of road or at the speaker regrets not having had the chance to explore both the paths which "diverged in a yellow wood".

However, the poem focuses on the road, which was chosen, and the last line raises the question: exactly what is the "difference" which choosing the road "less-travelled by" has made? This adds to the over all tension of the poem and gives a dramatic ending. Also, the tension is heightened by the unusually taut verse-form (nine-syllable lines, rhyming ABAAB) contrast with its apparently casual tone.

Although the poem appears to deal with the decisions in life and the value of people's choices, it may also be read as a world-weary acknowledgement that all choices have consequences. Also, there is a sense of bitterness to the poem that illustrates Frost's depression and life experience of losing his friend, Edward Thomas, in The Great War.

"I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence."

Unlike "The Road Not Taken", "Home Burial" is one of...