Poetry Project Research Paper: Robert Frost

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Angel Hsu Ms. Lin AP English Literature and Composition 12A 18 November 2014 Poetry Project Research Paper Robert Frost, often hailed as one of the greatest poets in American history, is a dominant vanguard of the modern poetry movement – “modernism”, which aims to re-evaluate the assumptions and aesthetic values of preceding poets. Frost’s integral role in modernism not only reshapes traditional poetry but also inspires an unprecedented style of poetry, one that merges both traditional poetic conventions with vivid descriptions and uninhibited lyricism. Frost has composed many celebrated poems in which he tactfully utilizes poetic meter, rhyme, and various other similar effects to create vivid imagery and bring comprehensive vignettes of…show more content…
It originated from philosophical, scientific, political, and ideological shifts that occurred as a result of the Industrial Revolution, continuing all through World War (“Modernism” 4). In essence, modernism is an extension of the rejection of enlightenment, positivism, and faith. Characteristics of modernistic poetry include allusions, linguistic fragments, as well as highly vivid diction (“Modernism” 2). The strong emphasis on emotion, memories, and personal imagination coupled with its central concerns of objectivity and detachment in “After Apple Picking” and other modernist poems brings new perspectives to traditional poetry and offers a means of “out of the box” thinking in terms of established poetic conventions. Modernist poems characteristically question the “self” as opposed to the “group”, and highlight the fragmentations of feelings and remoteness of the outside world to the speaker of the poem (“Modernist” 7). Although early modernist poetry were incredibly terse and compact, lengthier poems were introduced in the twentieth century and came to represent both modernist poetry and the modernist movement. Frost’s “After Apple Picking”, a poem that encapsulates all of these characteristic qualities of modernist poetry, is an exemplary representative of a poem written during the modern poetry…show more content…
In addition, Poirier contends that the poem is “a dream vision”, which proposes that “only labor can penetrate to the essential facts of natural life” (Poirier 36). Poirier’s emphasis on the importance of labor and hard work, the exertion of the body and mind, in “After Apple Picking” highlights the sweetness of the “dream” that “labor knows” because these ideal hopes often involve images of rebirth and redemption to those who are willing to harvest reality. Poirier believes that these “dreams” include “the discovery of the precarious balances” between seasons, the exhaustions of the body, as well as blemish and decay (Poirier 21). Throughout his analysis, Poirier interprets the “two-pointed ladder” as a means of merely directing humans to a destination by providing the initial steps. He argues that the ladder is a metaphor for faith or a belief, a relationship with God, and that the two “heads” of the ladder are parallel but ultimately leaves off, symbolizing the breakdown of a bond between God or of a belief in faith (Poirier 17). Poirier, throughout the remaining portions of his passage, continues to assert that one reason why the speaker is “overtired” of the harvest “I
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