1874–1963). The works of U.S. poet Robert Frost tell of simple things—swinging on a birch tree, stopping by woods on a snowy evening, the death of a hired man. Behind them is a deep feeling for life's fundamentals—love, loyalty, awareness of nature and of God. Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco. His father, a newspaper editor, died when Robert was 11. The boy and his mother went to live with his grandfather in Lawrence, Mass. In high school Frostwas co-valedictorian with Elinor White, whom he married in 1895.
Although Frost sold his first poem in 1894, he was not able to earn a living as a poet until more than 20 years later. He attended Dartmouth College for a ...view middle of the document...
He was invited to recite his poem The Gift Outright at the inauguration of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Frost died in Boston on Jan. 29, 1963.
(1865–1939). One of Ireland's finest writers, William Butler Yeats served a long apprenticeship in the arts before his genius was fully developed. He did some of his greatest work after he was 50 years old.
Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, on June 13, 1865, the eldest son of an artist. Although the family soon moved to London, the children spent much time with their grandparents in County Sligo in northwestern Ireland. The scenery and folklore of this region greatly influenced Yeats's work. For a while he studied art, but during the 1890s he became active in London's literary life and helped found the Rhymers' Club.
Yeats's early work was not especially Irish. Soon, however, he began to look to the ancient rituals and pagan beliefs of the land for his artistic inspiration. He tried to merge this interest with his aristocratic tastes to create an original Irish poetry and to establish his own identity.
In 1896 Yeats met Lady Gregory, an aristocrat and playwright who shared his interest in Ireland's past, especially in its folklore. In 1899 they formed a literary society that was the predecessor of the Abbey Theatre. Among his plays were ‘The Countess Cathleen' (1892) and ‘Cathleen ni Houlihan' (1902), with Maud Gonne originating the title role. In 1899 he had proposed to her, but she refused to marry him. He later proposed to her daughter, who also refused. A free Ireland was the object of the actress' passion, and Yeats's love for her kindled his interest in the country's political struggles. From 1922 until 1928 he was a senator in the Dáil...