Posted by: Jodi | October 10, 2010

Quickly Quotable #28 – Robert Frost

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”

“I am a writer of books in retrospect. I talk in order to understand; I teach in order to learn.”

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

“Style is that which indicates how the writer takes himself and what he is saying. It is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.”

“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”

Robert Frost

  • Born: 26 March 1874
  • Birthplace: San Francisco, California
  • Died: 29 January 1963
  • Best Known As: The poet who wrote “The Road Not Taken”

Flinty, moody, plainspoken and deep, Robert Frost was one of America’s most popular 20th-century poets. Frost was farming in Derry, New Hampshire when, at the age of 38, he sold the farm, uprooted his family and moved to England, where he devoted himself to his poetry. His first two books of verse, A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914), were immediate successes. In 1915 he returned to the United States and continued to write while living in New Hampshire and then Vermont. His pastoral images of apple trees and stone fences — along with his solitary, man-of-few-words poetic voice — helped define the modern image of rural New England. Frost’s poems include “Mending Wall” (“Good fences make good neighbors”), “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (“Whose woods these are I think I know”), and perhaps his most famous work, “The Road Not Taken” (“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– / I took the one less traveled by”). Frost was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times: in 1924, 1931, 1937 and 1943. He also served as “Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress” from 1958-59; that position was renamed as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry (or simply Poet Laureate) in 1986.

Frost recited his poem “The Gift Outright” at the 1961 inauguration of John F. Kennedy… Frost attended both Dartmouth College and Harvard, but did not graduate from either school… Frost preferred traditional rhyme and meter in poetry; his famous dismissal of free verse was, “I’d just as soon play tennis with the net down.”

Quotes courtesy of

Biography courtesy of



  1. My favorite quote from Frost has always been:

    “Freedom lies in being bold.”

    I may have to switch that to:

    “Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”

    Thanks, Jo!

    • And I spend half my time listening to people with nothing to say talking, and talking, and talking…
      Not my bloggy buddies of course, the real people in my life.

  2. Loved this–and that he chose to take the path less traveled. Otherwise, we may never have had his rich influence.

    • He sure did, may we all learn to seek the path less traveled.

  3. One of my heroes and probably one of the most eloquently expressive people who ever lived.

    • After doing his bio I now want to go back and reread a few of my favorites.

  4. Must admit, I’d heard his name but wasn’t familiar with him much, so thank you for this.

  5. That “anonymous” is me! Really wish that “logout” button wasn’t right next to the comment box…bleh

    • Whoever designed that feature should be ashamed of himself. I’ve done it a bunch too!


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