By Emily Murphy and Anna Shah Robert Frost 1874-1963 Lived in both the United States and in England (1912) Forced to leave England in 1915 Background of Poem Published in The Virginia Quarterly In 1942 World War II Drastically different from many of his other poems Recording of Poem Significance of Poem Kennedy Inauguration 1961 Planned to read “Dedication” Instead, recited “The Gift Outright” (“Poetry”) Aroused patriotism & reflected upon America’s history Main Idea Founding and history of America Suppression of colonists by British “Frost's characterized the poem as being "about Revolutionary War" (Von Frank 22) Themes Manifest Destiny: “Frost is celebrating manifest destiny, but history is kept in decidedly soft focuses. . . .” (Perelman). Patriotism: He compared the poem to “The Star- Spangled Banner” (Von Frank 22). Structure 16 lines blank verse Exceptions: lines 6. 10, 11 Instances of end-stopped and enjambment Caesura line 3 Enjambment: lines 2-5, 8-9, 12-13 One Pair of line=one thought Stand out lines 13 Parentheses Ominous Isolation in tone and grammar compared to other lines (Von Frank 22). 15 Vague Refers back to unpossession Shows that the country is still developing (Mordecai) Diction Formal Anastrophe: 6, 12, 13 Possessive pronouns repeated: 'our’ and ‘we’ Religious terms Indirect reference to colonialism Sound Lines 6-7: repetition of possess ‘We’ sound repeated ‘Un’ sound (line 15) ‘S’ sound (line 16) Tone Initially melancholy and morose (1-5) Patriotic and proud (8-15) Optimism and hope (16) Paradox Line 1 and 6: owning the land Line 13: irony of gift and war Works Cited Von Frank, Albert J. The Explicator. 1st ed. Vol. 38. N.p.: n.p., 1979. Modern American Poetry. University of Illinois. Web. 18 Sept. 2012. <http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/frost/gift.htm>. Perelman, Bob. The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1996. Web. "Poetry and Power: Robert Frost's Inaugural Reading." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 1997. Web. 18 Sept. 2012. <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20540>. Marcus, Mordecai. The Poems of Robert Frost: An Explication. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1991. Print. Works Cited (cont’d) "The Year 1942 From The People History." People History. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2012. <http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1942.html>.