Poems by Robert Frost

A Boy's Will and North of Boston

Introduction by William H. Pritchard
Afterword by Peter Davison
Ebook
0"W x 0"H x 0"D  
On sale Apr 01, 2001 | 160 Pages | 978-1-101-15760-2
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB
A collection of two of Robert Frost’s most celebrated poems in their original form: A Boy’s Will and North of Boston.
 
The publication of A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914) marked the debut of Robert Frost as a major talent and established him as the true poetic voice of New England. Four of his volumes would win the Pulitzer Prize before his death in 1963, and his body of work has since become an integral part of the American national heritage.
 
This is the only edition to present these two classics in their original form. A Boy’s Will introduced readers to Frost’s unmistakable poetic voice, and in North of Boston, we find two of his most famous poems, “Mending Wall” and “The Death of the Hired Man.” With an introduction by distinguished critic and Amherst professor William H. Pritchard and an afterword by poet and critic Peter Davison, this centennial edition stands as a complete and vital introduction to the work of the quintessential modern American poet.

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. When he was ten, his father died and he and his mother moved to New England. He attended school at Dartmouth and Harvard, worked in a mill, taught, and took up farming, before he moved to England, where his first books of poetry, A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914), were published. North of Boston brought him recognition as the preeminent voice of New England and as one of America’s major poets. In 1915 he returned to the United States and settled on a farm in New Hampshire. Four volumes of his poetry, New Hampshire (1923), Collected Poems (1930), A Further Range (1936), and A Witness Tree (1942) were all awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He died in 1963.

View titles by Robert Frost
Introduction by William H. Pritchard

A BOY'S WILL
Part I
Into My Own
Ghost House
My November Guest
Love and a Question
A Late Walk
Stars
Storm Fear
Wind and Window Flower
To the Thawing Wind
A Prayer in Spring
Flower-Gathering
Rose Pogonias
Asking for Roses
Waiting—afield at Dusk
In a Vale
A Dream Pang
In Neglect
The Vantage Point
Mowing
Going for Water
Part II
Revelation
The Trial by Existence
In Equal Sacrifice
The Tuft of Flowers
Spoils of the Dead
Pan with Us
The Demiurge's Laugh
Part III
Now Close the Windows
A Line-Storm Song
October
My Butterfly
Reluctance

North of Boston
Mending Wall
The Death of the Hired Man
The Mountain
A Hundred Collars
Home Burial
The Black Cottage
Blueberries
A Servant to Servants
After Apple-Picking
The Code
The Generations of Men
The Housekeeper
The Fear
The Self-Seeker
The Wood-Pile

Afterword: "Farness and Depth" by Peter Davison
Note
Bibliography of Critical Works

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Educator Guide for Poems by Robert Frost

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

About

A collection of two of Robert Frost’s most celebrated poems in their original form: A Boy’s Will and North of Boston.
 
The publication of A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914) marked the debut of Robert Frost as a major talent and established him as the true poetic voice of New England. Four of his volumes would win the Pulitzer Prize before his death in 1963, and his body of work has since become an integral part of the American national heritage.
 
This is the only edition to present these two classics in their original form. A Boy’s Will introduced readers to Frost’s unmistakable poetic voice, and in North of Boston, we find two of his most famous poems, “Mending Wall” and “The Death of the Hired Man.” With an introduction by distinguished critic and Amherst professor William H. Pritchard and an afterword by poet and critic Peter Davison, this centennial edition stands as a complete and vital introduction to the work of the quintessential modern American poet.

Author

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. When he was ten, his father died and he and his mother moved to New England. He attended school at Dartmouth and Harvard, worked in a mill, taught, and took up farming, before he moved to England, where his first books of poetry, A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914), were published. North of Boston brought him recognition as the preeminent voice of New England and as one of America’s major poets. In 1915 he returned to the United States and settled on a farm in New Hampshire. Four volumes of his poetry, New Hampshire (1923), Collected Poems (1930), A Further Range (1936), and A Witness Tree (1942) were all awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He died in 1963.

View titles by Robert Frost

Table of Contents

Introduction by William H. Pritchard

A BOY'S WILL
Part I
Into My Own
Ghost House
My November Guest
Love and a Question
A Late Walk
Stars
Storm Fear
Wind and Window Flower
To the Thawing Wind
A Prayer in Spring
Flower-Gathering
Rose Pogonias
Asking for Roses
Waiting—afield at Dusk
In a Vale
A Dream Pang
In Neglect
The Vantage Point
Mowing
Going for Water
Part II
Revelation
The Trial by Existence
In Equal Sacrifice
The Tuft of Flowers
Spoils of the Dead
Pan with Us
The Demiurge's Laugh
Part III
Now Close the Windows
A Line-Storm Song
October
My Butterfly
Reluctance

North of Boston
Mending Wall
The Death of the Hired Man
The Mountain
A Hundred Collars
Home Burial
The Black Cottage
Blueberries
A Servant to Servants
After Apple-Picking
The Code
The Generations of Men
The Housekeeper
The Fear
The Self-Seeker
The Wood-Pile

Afterword: "Farness and Depth" by Peter Davison
Note
Bibliography of Critical Works

Excerpt

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Guides

Educator Guide for Poems by Robert Frost

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Books for Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Every May we celebrate the rich history and culture of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Browse a curated selection of fiction and nonfiction books by AANHPI creators that we think your students will love. Find our collections of titles here: Middle School High School

Read more

PRH Education High School Collections

All reading communities should contain protected time for the sake of reading. Independent reading practices emphasize the process of making meaning through reading, not an end product. The school culture (teachers, administration, etc.) should affirm this daily practice time as inherently important instructional time for all readers. (NCTE, 2019)   The Penguin Random House High

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more