Frost and Lowell – The two Roberts

This week we explored the works of Robert Frost and Robert Lowell, two iconic American poets. I was equally drawn to both writers and their outlook on life.

Robert Frost has often been referred to as  America’s leading rural poet. In his poems, Frost uncovers that man’s most revealing mirror, is nature and this is the clearest window into the human character. In that respect, Frost embodies the spirit of a transcendentalist.  This perspective leads him to explore the dark forces of nature and humanity in his work.  Most famous for his poem `The Road Not Taken’, while often misinterpreted by readers on the importance of not `following the crowd’, Frost has said the poem instead refers to the tendency to regret past decisions, even inconsequential ones.

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Considered the leading poet of his generation, Robert Lowell, in his early work examined history, using the past to make observations on the present. Later on, he began to write in a more personal and confessional style. This approach allowed his writing style to shift from textured form of structure to a more open and autobiographical form.  Lowell’s fourth book of poems Life Studies is deemed as one of his most important works, with its`emphasis on intense, uninhibited discussion of personal, family, and psychological struggles’.  In 2015, The Academy of American Poets proclaimed Life Studies as one of the groundbreaking books of the 20th Century and the profound impact it had on the confessional poetry movement.

“If youth is a defect, it is one that we outgrow too soon.”
― Robert Lowell

 

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A picture I took on a friend’s farm in New Zealand

 

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