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Monday, March 23, 2015

Great Writers of New England: Robert Frost

Robert Frost as gourd at the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams
Park in Providence, RI, 2014 
Robert Frost's poems are simple. Simple is not easy. The clearest, most apparently simple essay or poem is in reality the product of more blood, sweat, and tears than the garbled philippic of the most erudite academic. His style, so hard to obtain, welcomed many new readers into the world of poetry.

The farmhouse 
The Frost farm is in Derry, New Hampshire, not far off the highway my husband and I took last fall during the trip to celebrate our fifth anniversary. We would never have known it was there but for the sign on the highway. Its unassuming nature is what makes it so great.

The barn/visitor center 
Frost lived and worked on the farm from 1900 to 1911, while he taught at the local school and honed the poetic sense that has given us so many enduring poems. Imagine: a day job, a farm, and the hard work of poetry!

Inside the farmhouse. Let the words pour out! 

The beautifully maintained farmhouse is attached to a barn, where you can learn about Frost's family, his work, his fans, and many curious farm implements.

Whose woods these are I think I know... 

Outside, a deep meadow leads into woods that look much the same as they must have in the first decade of the twentieth century, the way Frost would have seen them. You can take a photocopied trail guide or wander at your leisure.


The Frost farm, as well as welcoming poetic pilgrims from all over, hosts regular readings and events, and even holds a poetry contest. The simple presentation allows unencumbered access to why New England is a great place to be a writer.

A lot of Frost's work is now available online. Learn more about the farm today, too!

All photos in this post taken and © 2014 by Jessica Knauss