POETIC STYLE OF ROBERT FROST
When Frost’s second volume of poems, called “North of Boston” appeared, one commenton it was that Frost had turned the living speech of men and women into poetry. Frost’spoetry has plain language and lack of rhetoric. This indeed is the most characteristic qualityof Frost’s poetic craftsmanship. Frost’s first volume “A Boy’s Will” is poetry that sings, butthe second volume “North of Boston” is poetry that talks. Such poems as ‘The MountainHome-Burial’, ‘A Hundred Collars’, ‘Blueberries’ and ‘The Code’ show Frost’s mastery of thedifficult art of handling conversation in verse forms.Even when rhyme is used in such poems, as in ‘Blueberries’, we do not feel anyawkwardness or artificiality, Indeed, what is most striking about many of Frost’s poemshave colloquial, homely and literary idioms. Frost has fulfilled Wordsworth’s aim of usingcommon speech heightened by passion. Frost may be regarded as one of the stylists of thecolloquial. His goal was Emerson’s: “Cut these wordsand they would bleed.Frost wanted to capture in his poetry the rhythms of every day talk, which he called“The sound of sense”, and which were then to be blended with the regular beat of meter.Rhythm without meter leads to free verse, which Frost despised all his life and which hecompared to “Playing Tennis with the net down”. Frost evolved his own individual poeticvoice. The poem ‘A servant to Servants’ is the extraordinary flexibility of blank verse. Frostproduced a new blank verse rhythm, wedded firmly to the sound of sense and capturingwith accuracy and flexibility of the speaking voice.Frost blends aphorism and description. Te poem ‘reluctance’ explains it. Aphorismsare quite frequent in Frost’s poetry and they giveto it a popular appeal.In many of his best known poems, Frost employs the oldest ways to be new, namelylyric form. The essential feature of a lyric is its musicality, and lyric achieves its musicaleffects by traditional techniques of meter, rhyme, and stanza pattern. Much of Frost’sreputation is based on such lyrics as ‘Stopping by Woods’, Acquainted with the Night’,‘Reluctance’, and ‘The Road Not Taken’. Frost not only extended the subject matter of lyricpoetry but also broughtextraordinary sophistication and originality toit. Frost’s verse isalways pleasant to the ear, not difficult to the mind, and rarely dull:One impulse persists as our breath;The other persists as our faith.(Sitting by a Bush)At least don’t use your mind too hard,But trust my instinct-----I’m a bard.(At Woodward’s Gardens)According to Frost, a poem is never “a put-up job”. He thus differs from those whohold that a poem is an artifact, or a thing deliberately constructed. Frost believed that apoem should make itself as it grows. The poems ‘The Grindstone, ‘TheWest-RunningBrook’, ‘The Star Splitter’ arethe obvious examplesof this technique.