Friday Filosophy v.02.03.2023
Our Managing Director, Ron Slee, shares quotes and words of wisdom from Robert Frost in Friday Filosophy v.02.03.2023.
Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in the United States. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech,[ Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early 20th century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. Frequently honored during his lifetime, Frost is the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution”. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetic works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named poet laureate of Vermont.
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco to journalist William Prescott Frost Jr. and Isabelle Moodie. His father was a descendent of Nicholas Frost of Tiverton, Devon, England, who had sailed to New Hampshire in 1634 on the Wolfrana, and his mother was a Scottish immigrant. Frost’s father was a teacher and later an editor of the San Francisco Evening Bulletin (which later merged with the San Francisco Examiner), and an unsuccessful candidate for city tax collector. After his death on May 5, 1885, the family moved across the country to Lawrence, Massachusetts, under the patronage of Robert’s grandfather William Frost Sr., who was an overseer at a New England mill. Frost graduated from Lawrence High School in 1892. Frost’s mother joined the Swedenborgian church and had him baptized in it, but he left it as an adult.
For forty-two years – from 1921 to 1962 – Frost spent almost every summer and fall teaching at the Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College, at its mountain campus at Ripton, Vermont. He is credited with being a major influence upon the development of the school and its writing programs. The college now owns and maintains his former Ripton farmstead, a National Historic Landmark, near the Bread Loaf campus. In 1921, Frost accepted a fellowship teaching post at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he resided until 1927, when he returned to teach at Amherst. While teaching at the University of Michigan, he was awarded a lifetime appointment at the university as a Fellow in Letters. The Robert Frost Ann Arbor home was purchased by The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, and relocated to the museum’s Greenfield Village site for public tours. Throughout the 1920s, Frost also lived in his colonial-era house in Shaftsbury, Vermont. In 2002, the house was opened to the public as the Robert Frost Stone House Museum in 2002 and was given to Bennington College in 2017.
Frost died in Boston on January 29, 1963, of complications from prostate surgery. He was buried in the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont. His epitaph, from the last line of his poem, “The Lesson for Today” (1942), is: “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”
Frost’s personal life was plagued by grief and loss. In 1885, when he was 11, his father died of tuberculosis, leaving the family with just eight dollars. Frost’s mother died of cancer in 1900. In 1920, he had to commit his younger sister Jeanie to a mental hospital, where she died nine years later. Mental illness apparently ran in Frost’s family, as both he and his mother suffered from depression, and his daughter Irma was committed to a mental hospital in 1947. Frost’s wife, Elinor, also experienced bouts of depression. Elinor and Robert Frost had six children: son Elliott (1896–1900, died of cholera); daughter Lesley Frost Ballantine (1899–1983); son Carol (1902–1940); daughter Irma (1903–1967); daughter Marjorie (1905–1934, died as a result of puerperal fever after childbirth); and daughter Elinor Bettina (died just one day after her birth in 1907). Only Lesley and Irma outlived their father. Frost’s wife, who had heart problems throughout her life, developed breast cancer in 1937, and died of heart failure in 1938.
- A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.
- Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
- In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
- The best way out is always through.
- 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.
- The middle of the road is where the white line is-and that is the worst place to drive.
- The reason worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.
- The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.
- You can be a rank insider as well as a rank outsider.
- I never dared to be radical when young for fear it would make me conservative when old.
- A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
- Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.
The Time is Now