Home Burial By Robert Frost

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Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Poetry

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Home Burial By Robert Frost

What is the speaker’s situation? What is happening in the poem?In "Home Burial" by Robert Frost, the speaker is a third person narrator explaining the interactions and a few thoughts of both the husband and wife. The subject of the poem is an argument between a husband and wife that have lost a baby which is buried in the backyard in a family cemetery plot. The wife is stuck in grief and unable to share her grief with her husband because she feels he is not capable of knowing the grief she is feeling even though he has asked her to be given a “chance” to share her grief (line 64). She mentions, “I don’t know rightly whether any man can” when discussing if a man can speak of his own dead child (38).Which words convey the richest connotations? What do these connotations contribute to the understanding of the story? The husband is described with words in how the wife sees him, as a “blind creature” (16) and “sneering” (67). These are powerful words of description, sneering brings up images of animals snarling or people with evil intentions sneering, looking ugly in a mean way. Looking at the word blind, it has the connotation of being unable to see anything that is important to her and possibly also meaning unable to feel the same way the wife feels. The word creature shows how she does not even think of him as human, he is something else. She looks at him as unrecognizable as she says, “Who is this man?’ (82). This means she does not recognize him as the person she knew, he is a creature now. Then later the husband uses the word “something human” (61) in referring what he wants to share with her, using the meaning to show he is one like her.

Home BurialBy Robert Frost(Written after Frost lost two of his children.)

DiYanni, Robert. “Robert Frost in Context.” Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. Robert DiYanni. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill 2009. 953 – 957. Print.Frost, Robert. "Home Burial". Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. Robert DiYanni. 6th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2007. 963 – 966. Print.

Dealing with a child’s death has many dynamics that Robert Frost attempts to express in his poem, ''Home Burial.'' I was drawn to this poem and the emotional complexities it dealt with because I have lost a child and could clearly identify with the truths this poem expressed. My son passed away at 19 in his sleep due to a dangerous undiagnosed heart arrhythmia called Brugada Syndrome. We did not know for 5 years after he died, why he had died. Then my daughter started having dizzy issues and now my daughter and I both have defibrillators in our chests as the only means of dealing with this genetic issue. Since Nathan passed away my wife and I have struggled for 8 years with communication. We can’t talk about him much because it is too painful and we take turns suffering alone, in our pockets of grief, while in the same room.

Understanding Grief

Robert Frost(1874-1963)

Works Cited

Robert Frost was a poet that used down to earth language in his poetry. His poems had easy readability by using familiar words and shying away from obscure or complicated language (DiYanni 955). His poems were much like his image as a folksy, approachable, and easy going farmer-poet. He was born in San Francisco but moved to Massachusetts by eleven (DiYanni 953). He graduated high school as co-valedictorian, sharing the title with his future wife Elinor White. After graduation, Frost attended Dartmouth College for one semester and then moved later to Harvard University for just 2 years (DiYanni 953). He never earned a degree. Frost worked a series of odd jobs till landing a job at Pinkerton Academy from 1906 to 1910 (DiYanni 953). While working at Pinkerton, Frost worked on many of his poems. In 1911 he sold his farm and moved with his family to England where he published 2 volumes of poems, his first in 1913 in a work called A Boy’s Will and North of Boston in 1914, and then moved back to America in 1915 (DiYanni 954). He was poet in residence in many colleges, such as, Amherst College, Dartmouth, Wesleyan, Michigan, Harvard, and Yale. He won prizes and awards, such as, Bollinger Poetry Prize and four Pulitzer Prizes but was still bitter he never got a Nobel Prize (DiYanni 954). He was the first poet to read poetry at a presidential inauguration in 1961 for John F. Kennedy (DiYanni 954).

Analysis of "Home Burial"

Nathan Joshua Easter Sunday 4/3/1988 - 4/12/2007


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