The Poetry of Robert Frost

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 11464

These days few people pay attention to their environment when they take a walk. Ear buds and phones obscure what we should see and hear. Read what Frost saw and write your own poetry with fresh sense!


Literary Studies

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What do you think of when you see the image below?

forest path

This type of scene would be one with which the poet Robert Frost would be familiar. As you read the following poems, see if any of them remind you of this picture.

Robert Frost between 1910 and 1920

Image by unknown author, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

Robert Frost (1874-1963) is considered by many literary critics to be one of America's most famous modern poets.

Writing primarily in the first half of the twentieth century, Frost was known for uniting universal themes with natural imagery in his poetry. Although he was most famous for depicting the imagery of New England, where he spent much of his adult life, Frost was actually born in San Francisco and moved to England for several years in his late thirties and early forties.

Read the biography of Robert Frost from the Academy of American Poets and watch the short Robert Frost - Mini Biography film below by and consider the following questions:

  • How did Frost's childhood influence the poetry he would write in adulthood?
  • What effect did the move to Europe have on Frost's literary career?
  • How do literary critics describe Frost's poetry?
  • What honors did Frost hold towards the end of his life?


Discuss your answers with your teacher or parent.

Now that you have learned a little about Robert Frost's life, it's time to learn more about Frost's writing.

Watch the video on Robert Frost by Shmoop (below) and view the following slideshow on Robert Frost's Themes by Amer Minhas. Take notes on the themes so you can use them for later activities when you read some of Frost's most famous poems.

After watching the video and viewing the slideshow, discuss the following questions with your parent or teacher:

  • Are there any themes that surprise you that Frost would use as a writer?
  • Are there any themes you were surprised to see that Frost didn't use in his poetry?
  • Do you think Frost's choice of themes is a good fit for his choice of nature imagery?


Robert Frost's works contain many themes, but the themes by themselves are meaningless to a reader unless they are conveyed through the language of the poems. Frost was best known for being a local colorist — a person who captures his or her surroundings in vivid description — and using colloquial language — the everyday expressions of common people — to create his poems. Read the article on Robert Frost and the Sound of Sense in his Poems by Andrew Spacey ( The article explores Frost's literary techniques and relates them to three of Frost's famous poems: "Mending Wall," "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening," and "Directive."

As you read the article, take notes on the literary techniques that Frost uses. Also, read all three poems, because they are printed in full in the article. When you have finished reading and taking notes, discuss the following topics with your parent or teacher:

  • Which of the three poems was your favorite and why?
  • Find one example of colloquial language in each of the three poems.
  • Explain one technique that Frost used OTHER than colloquial language in his poetry.

Now that you've had a chance to learn about Frost's themes and literary techniques, it's time to examine some of Frost's most famous poems in the Got It? section for their themes and styles.

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