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A Boy's Will & North of Boston

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  697 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
A Bays Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914) marked the debut of Robert Frost as a major talent. Four of his volumes won the Pulitzer Prize before his death in 1963, and his body of work has since become an integral part of the American national heritage.
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Published (first published January 1990)
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Reem Ghabbany
Oct 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read quotes for Robert Frost and loved them so I bought this book but oh my god!! This was painful!! It was so bad!! I couldn’t get through it and I skipped a lot of pages!!
Alan
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've taught half a dozen of these poems for forty years, many from memory, first, The Pasture. My Crocket Ridge, Maine, grandparents really had a pasture spring, the cow Polly, and yearly calf--whom Polly defended from the dog Jerome by lifting my brother, in front of the dog, over the stone wall. The spring had great water, down a couple feet, and of course a frog living there. The Tuft of Flowers (the mower spared) I have growing in my back yard, in fact a dozen of them: orange Butterfly Weed, ...more
John Doe
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredible!

What Frost gets so well is the absurdity of a young genius confronted with the reality of life in a small town. And, learning to live with it.
J. Alfred
Nothing really wild and crazy in this volume. As normally happens, the poems that one has run into before are the best ones (thus, they have been passed on). "Mending Wall" and "After Apple Picking" were the only two I knew previously, and I'm pretty sure they were the best two in there. However, there is some other neat stuff to be found: he has a lot of long, dialogue poems that tell Hemmingway-esqe stories, in addition to some exciting little love poems I didn't know were in his vein. "Asking ...more
James
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Some interesting stuff here and yet it did not appeal to me personally. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see the growth or change of Frost from his first volume, "A Boy's Will", to his second only a year later. He moves from rather short "traditional" poetry to long poems without end rhyme. The poems of the second book are essentially short stories in poem format. My problem was that I simply did not find most of those "stories" enjoyable or meaningful. I realize that these works are over one ...more
Ferris
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I wish old Rob were more profound in my mind, but I guess I'm one of those who subscribes to what he himself claimed, that the meaning of his poetry is the surface-level subject matter. I admire that transparency, and some of his prose, but lightly flouncy wording with only occasional sparks of deep emotion makes for more of a tense snooze than a relaxed read.
Steven Logan
I'm not a big fan of what he is spewing, but his form of narrative is impressive.
Ana
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blueberries

"You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson's pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!"
"I don't know what part of the pasture you mean."
"You know where they cut off the woods--let me see--
It was two years ago--or no!--can it be
No longer than tha
...more
Cheryl Gatling
This book contains Robert Frost's first two published books of poetry, the first, A Boy's Will, published in 1913, and the second, North of Boston, published in 1914. Reading the two of them together is like watching one of those time-lapse videos of the growth of a seed. Before our eyes, Victorian poetry morphs into modern poetry.

A Boy's Will contains numerous old-fashioned elements: sing-song rhythm and persistent rhyme, archaic diction ("o'er" for "over," "vale" for "valley," "list" for "list
...more
ZaRi
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poem, classic
Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you'll let a guide direct you
Who only has at heart your getting lost,
May seem as if it should have been a quarry -
Great monolithic knees the former town
Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered.
A
...more
Daniella
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mom
Shelves: poetry, 2008, donated
I tried really hard to like A Boy's Will/North of Boston. Robert Frost is such a celebrated poet that I almost felt that anything less than absolute adoration would be blasphemy. And he did author a few of my favorite poems, so I went into it with high expectations.

Frost truly was an amazing poet. He was a powerful poet. You read the words on the page, and suddenly you're standing in lush green fields, surrounded by flowers. And you can feel the breeze, you can smell the air, you can see the gir
...more
Kevin Albrecht
Apr 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
These were Robert Frost's first two books of poetry. As his first works, they seem a fitting place to begin studying Frost. Frost reminds me of William Blake, in that his poems are deceptively simple, using straight end-rhyme frequently. Again like Blake, his rhyme hides beneath it deep meaning. My favorite poem from A Boy's Will is "Stars".

The second book, North of Boston, is very different from the first. It contains narrative poems usually around three to five pages long. The most famous of t
...more
Willie Krischke

The first half, "A Boy's Will," was better than the second, "North of Boston." ABW are romantic poems, about nature, love, and death, in the grand tradition of Wordsworth et al. They ostensibly follow the couse of a boy's life/coming of age.

The second half, or second book, I didn't like much. Most of the poems are hardly poems at all; they're more like short stories written with line breaks. Some of the stories/poems were interesting, some I just couldn't care about. There were a few more "poem
...more
Matty
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, classics
This one was definitely hit and miss for me. I have to say, of the two books in this bind-up, I definitely preferred A Boy's Will. Within both, though, I found some poems that I really enjoyed and some poems that I really didn't care for. I found there to be a certain simplicity, or rather directness, to Frost's verse. Sometimes this was refreshing, allowing him to express beauty without being weighed down by superfluous embellishment. But I also found myself wanting Frost to be more expressive, ...more
David
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not much of a poet nor do I know much about poetry, but I did enjoy my first skim of this. I read most of the poems 2 or more times and then marked the ones I liked so that i'd read them again. I found the economy of words to be so amazing in much of this work that as a writer, i found myself looking at the nuts and bolts as much as any duality that existed in the poem. If you like nature, you'll Love Frost. And, if you're ever at a cocktail part and can successfully quote frost, you must b ...more
Grant
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
frost is not just a poet i like to read, but for me he is an important poet. along with wallace stevens and william carlos williams, his poetry gives me the sense that i am part of a collective that is america even if it is not actually true. and i do not mean that in a patriotic sense, but in the sense that deep down we do share sense of aesthetics through spans of generations. also i think the reason he is so popular and so widely read is because his poems are so well crafted and bear a distic ...more
Ahmed
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, Frost is one of my favorite poets. The road not taken , Britches, and other poems just fascinate the mind and the soul. He gets you inside the woods and leave there to figure out a lot about life. I scanned through the whole thing and read what I liked the most and then reread them again. Every time and then I go back and have sometime reading some of his poems.

I miss Frost and Poe. When people say poetry gives one pleasure I think of Poe and Frost.
Lyl Lyl
There were some very good concepts in the book, and a lot of it was good, but my problem were the short stories that filled up almost all of North of Boston, which, had very abrupt endings, with conclusions left unfound. It was actually frustrating to me to start thinking about something the people in the short story were discussing, to have everything suddenly cut off, over and over again. Almost every one is like that. Other than that, though, as I said, most of it was good.
Patrick
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This was the little Dover book I bought once after selling back my textbooks and really started my love of Robert Frost. Just reread it. I really did have to slow down and get back in the groove of close reading, but I enjoyed this again. Too much wistfulness, but in a good way. A dose of contentedness with life as well, and some nice moments of love and wonder.
Dayna Smith
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A charming collection of Frost's poems originally published in 1913 & 1914 respectively. A great introduction to Frost and contains some of his finest poems i.e. "Mending Wall", "After Apple-Picking", and "The Death of a Hired Man".
James
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Two collections of poems by Robert Frost. North of Boston has a number of longer, narrative poems I really appreciate. A boy's Will is more focused on nature. Both are good but North of Boston is better.
Angus Stirling
Jan 01, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
'Three foggy mornings and one rainy day will rot the best birch fence a man can build.' If you enjoy a wealth of traditional rustic imagery as metaphors for life and death, you'll love this book. I do not.
Samantha
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like fronst. Poems are short and don't rely on an indepth knowledge of the classics. I hate when poets seem to be trying to prove how smart and well read they are. Frost paints a picture of life and emotion. It's not melodramtic... because life doesn't have to be to have remarkable moments.
Crista
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed A Boy's Will but I think North of Boston was challenging to finish--I'm not sure if it just didn't interest me as much, or if it was too sophisticated for me. The imagery in A Boy's Will is top notch, though!
ben adam
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Why was anyone ever into Frost? I know these were his first two books, but seriously? The first one is so bland. I couldn't follow it. The second had its moments but was more like a series of extremely short plays. Anyway, not great.
Carmelo Valone
I don't feel like my judgements of someone as amazing/legendary would ever have any sort of deeper testimony of his artistry. What we have here...young Frost at his best....or the start of his best. His topics shatter youth. Try it...you'll like it.
Jess
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Classic poetry fans
Recommended to Jess by: American Lit class
I definitely like his rhyming poetry better...one of the only rhyming poets I like. I also much preferred A Boy's Will. Favorites: "Wind and Window Flower," "Flower-Gathering," "Asking for Roses," "Going for Water, "Spoils of the Dead," "Reluctance."

Adore the nature poems.
Allison
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
If you need to brush up on your iambs - then read this book. A Boy's Will is all metered for your ear's pleasure. North of Boston is all blank verse (more iambic pentameter - more or less consistently).
Amanda Angela
Rating excludes The Generations of Men.
Joey
Sep 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the first half of this book is uninteresting, but the second half is clever and humorous.
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Flinty, moody, plainspoken and deep, Robert Frost was one of America's most popular 20th-century poets. Frost was farming in Derry, New Hampshire when, at the age of 38, he sold the farm, uprooted his family and moved to England, where he devoted himself to his poetry. His first two books of verse, A Boy's Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914), were immediate successes. In 1915 he returned to the ...more
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