Robert Frost, the greatest American poet, was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874. He had stayed in anonymity for four decades until he visited the United Kingdom and started publishing his poetry. He soon won Pulitzer Prize for his amazing work and also won the title of Poet Laureate. Some of the best poems of Robert Frost have been listed as follows.
The Road Not Taken is one of the most celebrated poems of Robert Frost. It is ranked first in our order of ranking for its simplicity, directness, and thought-provoking theme. It originally appeared in 1915 in Atlantic Monthly and won popularity later. The seductiveness of the poem lies in the metaphorical representation of a decision-making process where a person faces two choices and he has to take one and deliberate upon this long afterward in life on account of the difference that it has made. The beauty of the poem lies in this decision-making and realization that the choice has made the difference. Some of the best verses of this poem are as follows.
- Two roads diverged in a yellow wood / And sorry I could not travel both.
- Yet knowing how way leads on to way / I doubted if I should ever come back.
- Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, / I took the one less traveled by.
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Sometimes critics and readers find ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ more charming and interesting than ‘The Road Not Taken’. It first appeared in 1923 and became an instant hit. The forcefulness of the poem lies in its directness, precision, and concision. The woods that the poet has stopped to look at on the darkest evening of the year is of a person he knows personally but only his horse knows how to shake up his owner who is involved in looking at the beauty of the snowfall. This beauty continues until the poet is awakened to the reality that he has a long distance to cover. This metaphorical representation of the mundane responsibilities has made this poem a powerful poetic output. Some of its best verses are as follows.
- My little horse must think it queer.
- The darkest evening of the year.
- The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
- And miles to go before I sleep.
Leaves Compared with Flowers
This beautiful poem appeared in 1937 in his collection, A Further Range. This poem is ranked third due to the use of metaphors and similes and the way of handling these metaphors to depict the people through trees. Frost believes that we often fail to appreciate trees, the reason that they refuse to have good bark, good leaves, and consequently good fruit. As soon as we find it out, we start paying attention to the passage of time and age teaches us where to look at trees for benefits. The beauty of the lines in their internal and external rhyming pattern, use of metaphors, and quaint thematic strand. Some of its best verses are as follows.
- A tree’s leaves may be ever so good, / So may its bark, so may its wood.
- Leaves for smooth and bark for rough.
- I bade men tell me which in brief, / Which is fairer, flower of leaf.
This poem was published in 1928 and is one of the best poems by Robert Frost. The beauty of the poem lies in the assertion of the poet that only he has been acquainted with that night in which he has performed several tasks and looked at the city as an observer. He paints a dismal picture of the city with its sad lane, and its watchman, and heard strange cries. However, the city clock has told him that it is not time that is right or wrong. It is the urban dilemma that he has not mentioned. The use of connotations and simple poetic diction has made it unique. Some of its popular verses are as follows.
- I have been acquainted with the night.
- I have looked down the saddest city lane.
- Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
The poem “Fire and Ice” is popular on account of its brevity and concision. It was published in 1920. Frost has stated that people have conflicting views about how the world will end. Some say that it would be the ice and others say that it would be the fire, but the poet is of the view that his desire informs him that fire would be the cause of the end of the world. The other thing would be hate through which the world will end in fire.
- Some say the world will end in fire.
- I hold with those who favor fire.
- Is also great / And would suffice.
Published in 1920, this poem has set the stage for his upcoming popular poems for its rhyming scheme, theme, and four-stanzas poetic convention. It is included in our ranking among the best poems of Robert Frost for its theme. The poet opens the poem with snow and gives emotions to his utterances with a simple “oh”, adding that the snowfall makes him go into his past and unearth his thoughts. The poetic stress on loneliness and snowfall and their association leads the readers to conclude that when a person is alone he is in a deserted place. Some of the best poetic verses are as follows.
- Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast.
- All animals are smothered in their lairs.
- Will be more lonely ere it will be less –
This poem was published in 1928 in his collection West-Running Brook. The beauty, conciseness, and thematic strand made this poem included in the list. It states that the poet has his father constructed a water channel in the mountains where they all children used to bath and enjoy life. However, now the situation has changed, and the mountain would have forgotten their names while the outgrowth has overpowered its glory and height. Some of the best verses of this poem are as follows.
- Here further up the mountain slope
- The mountain seemed to like the stir.
- The mountain pushed us off her knees.
The Freedom of the Moon
This poem “The Freedom of the Moon” appeared in 1928. Now it has become an iconic poem due to its theme. The poem first appeared in his collection, West-Running Brook. The poet is ranked eighth due to its conciseness and thematic strand. The childlike play of the poet with the moon, its discovery, and its enjoyment show that the poet is full of praise for nature and natural objects. The poem shows the use of metaphors and similes, demonstrating the poet’s dominance over his thoughts and his power to create things “I put it shining anywhere I please.” Some of the best verses of this poem are as follows.
- I have tried it fine with little breadth of luster.
- I put it shining anywhere please.
- The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.
This poem first appeared in 1914 in the collection of Robert Frost, North of Boston. It is known for its close connection with the poet as well as the nature he loved. However, his loneliness is too prominent to be ignored by the readers in that the poet walks around in the village on a wintery evening, yet finds nobody to acknowledge his presence. The four stanzas with each having four lines and a good rhyme scheme with the poet’s first-person narrative account of his visit, his love for music and the youth, and his final words about his loneliness have made this poem superb and worth reading. The poem shows its beauty through the anaphoric use of the first person. Some of the best-known verses of the poem are as follows.
- But I had the cottages in a row.
- I had a glimpse through curtain laces.
- I saw no window but that was black.
First published in 1913 in his collection, A Boy’s Will, ‘Flower Gathering’ is an interesting poem. It has been ranked 10th in our ranking of the best poems of Robert Frost. The beauty of the poem lies in the anonymous rambler who walks and talks with Frost in the evening and has become his addiction so much so that he takes his dumbness as a sign of ignorance as well as knowledge. The rhetorical question shows this poetic talent lying in the metaphor of a rambler. However, deep down, it may be understood that the poet wants to mention his wife, Elinor, who could not go with him on exotic rural excursions.
- I had for my winter evening walk— / No one at all with whom to talk.
- I had the sound of a violin.
- I had such company outward bound.
- Over the snow my creaking feet.