It’s one thing to start every day with a poem. But another altogether to start your day with a poet. One of our favorite days of the year is fast approaching, when we encourage people around the world to take their favorite poet to work for the day.
Take Your Poet to Work Day is coming July 15
To help you play and celebrate with us, we’re releasing poets each week in a compact, convenient format you can tuck in your pocket, tool belt, or lunchbox. We started our celebration two years ago with Sara Teasdale, Pablo Neruda, T. S. Eliot, Rumi, Edgar Allan Poe, and the reclusive Emily Dickinson (for folks who work at home). We even released a full collection, The Haiku Masters: Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa. And last year, we added Langston Hughes, Adrienne Rich, John Keats, William Butler Yeats, Christina Rossetti and the beloved 20th-century American poet, Sylvia Plath.
Because you can never have too many poets in your lunch box (or your desk drawer), we have a new collection of poets to release this year, including the Bard of Avon William Shakespeare and beloved poet Maya Angelou. Today, we welcome Robert Frost to the Take Your Poet to Work Day poet collection.
Take Your Poet to Work: Robert Frost
Get your own downloadable version of Take Your Poet to Work Day Printable Robert Frost that you can print, color and cut out for the big day.
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. Following the death of his father when Frost was 11, his family moved to Massachusetts. He began writing poetry in high school and went on to study at Dartmouth and Harvard though he did not finish college at either. His first published poem, “My Butterfly, ” appeared in New York’s The Independent in 1894.
Frost worked as a teacher, cobbler, newspaper editor and farmer, ultimately selling his unsuccessful farm and moving to England in 1912 where he published his first collection. He returned to the U.S. in 1915 and by the 1920s had published several collections and had become one of the most popular poets in the country. Deeply rooted in place, his poems often embodied rural New England. He would ultimately win four Pulitzer prizes for his poetry. His best known poems include “The Road Not Taken, ” “Mending Wall” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”.
He went on to serve as a college professor at various institutions and later was called upon to recite a poem at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. Robert Frost died in 1963.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Learn more about Take Your Poet to Work Day and our featured poets
Discover more Poets and Poems
Explore more Robert Frost
Post and illustrations by Will Willingham
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Maureen Doallas says
I love that you show Frost in the money drawer. Wonder if Billy Collins is hiding in there along with his 800+ poetry reading crowd.
Megan Willome says
FYI, “The Gift Outright” was not the poem Frost intended to read at the Kennedy inauguration. He’d written a new one and typed it out, but he couldn’t read the faint ink in the sun, so he recited this one from memory instead.
Other Frost fun facts, he owned 300 Wyandotte chickens.
Laura Brown says
Whose tree this is I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To take out my Mossy Oak Pro.
My little blade must make it quick
To cut a branch a half inch thick,
Then peel the bark and whittle down
To make my own popsicle stick.
(Feel free to finish the last two stanzas.)