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North of Boston
Robert Frost
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North of Boston

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  616 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews

Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary Society is a non-profit educational organization. Visit us online at 1stWorldLibrary.ORG -SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes

Nook, 137 pages
Published by Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated (first published 1914)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bill  Kerwin
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The title North of Boston refers to Derry, New Hampshire, where Robert Frost and his family worked a farm for twelve lean and very cold years, years when Frost composed at least the first draft of many of these poems, but it also alludes to the great shift of cultural attitudes you encounter—or once encountered--as you move from the intellectual life of Boston to the pastoral atmosphere of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Frost is too organic a writer to develop things schematically. Sometimes, as in
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who appreciate rhymed poetry
Shelves: poetry
Even readers who aren't into poetry themselves usually recognize Frost's name as one of the giants of 20th-century American (and indeed world) poetry. This collection is one of his earliest (originally published in 1914), and is relatively short, with just 15 poems; but it's sufficient to demonstrate to readers who appreciate poetry that his stature is deserved.

Fiction tends to be my favorite literary form; I'm attracted to the idea of story, which is the essence of fiction. Not surprisingly, my
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what it was exactly about North of Boston that made it better than Frost's first book, A Boy's Will. Perhaps it's more human than the previous collection. That may be the wrong way to put it, but North of Boston captures something about the human spirit that was missing from A Boy's Will. Most of the poems in this latter collection are lengthy, narrative pieces with dialogue, which may begin to explain the difference. Perhaps by creating characters (which are admittedly flat, and no ...more
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Pasture," a two stanza poem, is another of those perfect works that uses only the words that are required to create only the lines that are required to constitute only the required stanzas to create perfect images that exactly fit together, but no sense of stinginess with words follows; no sense of erasing and editing down, down, down, falls; no sense of a minimalist having minimalized shrinks a postcard into a pixel. Exactly natural beauty somehow comes just right, like the wonder of a joy ...more
Christine Boyer
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like to think and enjoy good word play!
Not excited about reading a collection of poems? How can I excite you, then?

How about this - do you like the short story format? Well, these early poems of Frost's are some of his longer, mostly non-rhyming (though still following meter, but don't get caught up in those kinds of specifics unless you need to or want to) poems that read more like a short story. A super powerful knock-your-socks-off short story! Couples, friends, neighbors having conversations - remember those? Conversations that
Actually reading ebook version from Project Gutenberg but couldn't find that one listed...
Kirsten Kinnell
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I haven't read Frost since high school. I'm blown away with everything I hadn't noticed before. Loved every second of it.
Edmund Davis-Quinn
So far it seems like Robert Frost is one of many poets I want to like more than I do. So it goes. Readable but didn't grab me.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think this 3 star review properly does this book justice. I'm sure it's deserving of more. But, I've never read poetry before and am attempting to broaden my literary borders and I've always loved the shorter works I've read from Frost. This boon is good and the poetry in it is beautiful - I just don't find poetry as compelling to read as some do.
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost without exception (thinking, thinking - no, entirely without exception), those books, poems and plays taught to me at some point in K-12 produced, like vaccines, almost life-long resistance to the works involved. Luckily, my long life since then has been long enough to permit me, in some cases, to outgrow that vicious old repulsion to at least some of those items. (Sorry, Hamlet!) And the poems of North of Boston are most definitely included.

There are those who take exception to Frost's
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2012
I like Frost but haven't read him in years. As always, love his rhymes and rhythms. But this time struck by how his poems reminded me of other writers.

This passage from "Black Cottage":

For, dear me, why abandon a belief
Merely because it ceases to be true.
Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt
It will turn true again, for so it goes.

made me think of Kurt Vonnegut.

When reading lines such as the ones below from "Blueberries" I'll be darned if I don't hear Dr Seuss:

He has brought them all up on
May 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-inventory
With North of Boston, Frost begins in earnest his foray into the poetics of local narrative. As an experiment in the meter of common speech, I find it interesting, but none of the poems are really moving, as in his other books. "Home Burial" is probably the most powerful and least reliant on gothic tragedy to round out its story. Of course, "Mending Wall" is the poem we know and love--but not so much for the sound of it, I mean the kind of richly crafted music you come to expect of Frost in late ...more
Carl Williams
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I’ve come to be fond of Frost though, to be honest, my inclination toward him has ebbed and flowed over the years. I first read “Mending Wall” in tenth grade, as part of a poetry unit in English. Mrs. Sanborn pushed some of us into symbolism and held the reigns on others of us to not go too far. A few years ago, at a colleague’s memorial service, one of her students read “After Apple Picking,” thanking her for saving him.

“There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift do
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
fr. "Mending Wall":
"I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
he said it for himself."

fr. "The Death of the Hired Man":
"Part of a moon was falling down the west,
Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills.
Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw it
And spread her apron to it. She put out her hand
Among the harp-like morning-glory strings,
Taut with the dew from garden bed to eaves,
As if she played unheard some tenderness
That wrought on him beside her in the night."

Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's quite a change from Frost's first collection, A Boy's Will, with its sonnets and lyrical pieces and abundance of rhyme to this collection of mostly longish blank verse work. These poems are what I think of when I think of Frost rather than his shorter, rhymed poems: the sparse narration, long paragraphs of dialogue, and the way a scene, an instance, an occurrence is sketched out without the assistance of bare exposition, rather like a sort of puzzle to be worked out, very realistic in th ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, Frost and Hemingway are inextricably linked in my mind. It's almost as if I think Frost is a pseudonym that Hemingway uses when he writes poetry. Unfortunately, this is a bad linkage my mind is making; sure, both guys love the outdoors, but Frost isn't half the insecure asshole Hemingway is. And he doesn't seem quite so enamored with killing things.

On the other hand, both of them are at their best writing simple, everyday vignettes that seem to gesture towards something greater.
Bob G
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top100
The poems in this book are almost all dialogs, like this one I liked from The Generations of Men ...

"Where shall we meet again?"
"Nowhere but here
Once more before we meet elsewhere."
"In rain?"
"It ought to be in rain. Sometime in rain.
In rain to-morrow, shall we, if it rains?
But if we must, in sunshine." So she went.

The latter, literally, not as in today's "I went" (meaning "I said")

A good book of poems. I enjoyed them.
Craig Werner
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, american-lit
Frost's second volume of poetry, North of Boston is the one where he finds his voice. The forced rhythms and rhymes of A Boy's Will are a thing of the past and the dark meditations that define his best work are present both in short lyrics like Mending Wall and in longer narrative poems like The Fear. Not all of the long pieces work equally well, but if you're conducting a non-obsessive tour of Frost's universe, this is the place to start.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In North of Boston, Frost's second book, we see more of the Frost we all know, stepping away from the traditional and romantic sing song, and leaning more on the common man, and the dialogue between people.

Includes classics and Frost favorites like Mending Wal, Home Burial, and The Death of the Hired Man.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Aunt Helen gave me a volume of Frost's poetry when I was a kid, and I loved it and read and re-read his work as a teenager and college student, but then read Paradise Lost and found Frost's verse lightweight in comparison, and haven't looked at his work in probably 20 years. I'm now loving reading it again.
I know, I's Robert Frost, beloved American poet. I just can't do it though. There are a few poems in here I enjoyed, specifically "The Self-Seeker" but most of it felt like a slog. I think I have read too many poets I loved for this to really appeal.
2.0 stars (ok)

Robert Frost's second book and one in which includes narrative stories. Although this book received better reviews than his first book, I enjoyed his first book more but the styles are completely different.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
More prose than poetry. I'm reading through Frost's collected works, and while I appreciate what he was trying to do with this body of work(experimenting with prose as to reach his seminal Mountain Interval), it was very difficult to get through as opposed to A Boy's Will.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life, poetry
His realization of life in the quiet, green and simple,melancholy people is marvelous. But his realizations did not touch me they way it should. I have understood that much. The writing is deeply refreshing nevertheless.
Matt Miles
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of Frost tosses some of his familiar works in with lesser known ones that are interesting and thought-provoking, but not as resonant as his more familiar works. Still, even the weakest of these are worth a read.
Matthew Trevithick
Enjoyable collection of poetry (I am not at all versed in how to judge poetry, so my review is likely meaningless here), stumbled on this as I was looking for writing on Boston. Interesting to read Frost's work as he was finding his tone. My favorites were Mending Wall, Blueberries, and Good Hours.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, poetry
I am not a big fan of Frost's longer poems, which feel to me like poetic short stories, and they are the majority of this collection. It does include "Mending Wall", which I like a lot, and I also liked "The Good Hour" which was new to me.
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an interesting book of poems—each one tells an interesting and compelling story that, while they've been heard before, have never been heard in the exact way Frost depicts them. A book completely of narrative poems.
Joyce Oliver stahle
Robert Frost must have experienced first hand a lot of what he wrote about. It brought tears while reading several of the poems.
He has a great way of painting a picture. When I was reading "Apple Pickin' " I could actually visualize it.
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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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“Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.”
“He moves in darkness as it seems to me
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.”
More quotes…