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Robert Frost Poetry

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Hi, I am in English A1 HL and I have this horrible problem with analyzing Robert Frost poems. I have to do Robert Frost for my Oral commentary and I am scared to death. Is anyone really good at poetry, have useful advice in general about poetry or anything else that could help me analyze these poem?

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Hi, I am in English A1 HL and I have this horrible problem with analyzing Robert Frost poems. I have to do Robert Frost for my Oral commentary and I am scared to death. Is anyone really good at poetry, have useful advice in general about poetry or anything else that could help me analyze these poem?

Hi,

I know how you feel. I'm not doing Robert Frost for IB but I did it in previous years.

I suggest that you just read through the poem and look at what it is LITERALLY saying, ignore the metaphorical side of it. Then once you've grasp the topic, look at the context of the poem. This should help you understand what Frost is alluding to his in poem and evaluate the metaphoric meaning.

If you're still lost, google it. There are so many websites that go through the poem line by line and explore their meaning.

Hope this helps :)

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Which poems? The thing about Frost is that on a superficial level his poems are easier to analyze and understand on a literary level because he is more... Down to earth I find with his style. Frost is a master of evoking emotion and 'sounds' within his poems, hence his technique coined the 'sound of sense'; so look for that sort of thing. If you can list some of the poems you're doing it might make it easier for me to help you out :) For my commentary I did Frost, Shelley, Byron, Yeats and Wordsworth :P

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We studied quite a few Frost poems for IB English as well. Although of course without knowing the specific poems you've studied it's hard to offer advice, a lot of Frost's poems deal with nature or natural imagery (trees, etc.), religion (Frost was a reluctant Christian), his family tragedies (the guy really had some bad luck in that area), depictions of rural life, and American colloquialisms.

In terms of general analysis of poetry for IOC, I would start by talking quickly about the background of the poet and his/her oeuvre (so perhaps the fact that Frost was known for natural imagery, for example), then move into line-by-line analysis, interpreting the poem. After that, I would talk about techniques/style, and poetic devices (alliterations, caesurae, etc.), and then conclude by just summing up the poet's intent with the piece.

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I've just finished my IOC I really wanted to have Frost but as always with my luck I got Macbeth instead.

For me, Frosts' poems were simple because there are a lot of common themes in his poems.

I was planning to start out the same way as Proletariat mentioned. By giving some general background information to the specific poem. For example, if "out,out" is one of the options you could mention that it is based on the death of his neighbor/friend's son. Then I'd talk about the general structure, because although Frost doesn't use clear stanzas there are still distinct sections in his poetry. Like for "Birches" He starts with vivid imagery of the bent birches, then he goes on to say what he thinks when he see's the birches (the little boy swinging them), and then he reflects upon his own hopes and thoughts about life through the imagery of the birches. After that you could go on to talk about specific literary devices. Like the repetition of both "good fences make good neighbors" and "Something there is that doesn't like a wall" in "Mending Wall". At the very end you can do more of an interpretation of his work, though with Frost it's harder since most of his poems are really straight forward.

Haha, I'm kind of just throwing things at you, but that's what I would have done... If I had been lucky enough to get his poem. The other thing that my teacher told me is to quote excessively from the passage. She said that we need evidence and if you ground everything you say from the text it's less likely to go off into too much of an interpretive rambling. :) Hope that was a bit helpful!

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A good way to approach any poetry is to find the literal meanings. Know what's actually going on because if you try to find any figurative stuff in a poem without knowing the literal stuff you'll be wrong.

Also try to get some history of the poet. Robert Frost I know for sure has history that relates to his poems (so does every poet really) but you could poolpull (I'm leaving it there because it's a pretty good fail...) themes from his history as well (not a full thesis, but it'll give you somewhere to start while you prepare). After you have the literal meaning down. Try to find any diction or syntax and punctuation. Punctuation can give you so many things in a poem and it's quite fun to analyze in my opinion. After you get these try to see if there is a symbol. A lot of the time there will be an extended metaphor or a conceit in a poem and if you can find it you will have a small epiphany and the world will be yours.

This is generally the first things I do with a poem. understand the literal meaning, find diction trends, find syntax variations, find punctuation that doesn't seem to be like the rest (exclamation marks, question marks, periods, and "random" commas). Try to find a symbol and it's figurative story afterwards.

Edited by Drake Glau

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