Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

Fall 11-15-1966

Abstract

Robert Frost's life was dominated by two strong beliefs: first, that he had been granted the gift of "intuitive wisdom," which he recognized in "flashes" on several occasions during his life; second, that this gift imposed on him the duty of making his "gift outright" to his nation and the world. He dedicated his life to the search for truth through his personal experiences and the expression of what he believed to be truth in the form of poetry. He distinguished clearly between what could be known in the human world and man's speculations concerning a superhuman world. This study attempts, through hearing Frost speak, through reading his poetry, and from analyzing what others—life-time friends, world-wide political acquaintances and critics have written--to discover what Frost could accept as Truth. He was interested primarily in people as individuals rather than in social movements or in groups. He believed there were fundamental underlying motives that controlled men regardless of their historical time. Frost's last message, spoken at President Kennedy's inauguration, was a challenge to every man to give himself "outright" that we might possess the land in which we have already lived for centuries: "The land was ours before we were the land's."

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