A Boy’s Will (1913) is a collection of poems by American poet Robert Frost. Published in London and dedicated to the poet’s wife, Elinor, A Boy’s Will, which received enthusiastic early reviews from both Ezra Pound and W.B. Yeats, launched Frost’s career as America’s leading poet of the early-twentieth century. Invoking such figures as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, and Thomas Hardy, Frost ties himself to tradition while establishing his own poetic legacy, grounded in an intuitive sense of rural New England life and the subtleties of the soul.
“Into My Own,” the collection’s opening poem, reveals the poet’s strange wish to “steal away” into “those dark trees, / So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze.” Without fear, he welcomes uncertainty, ventures into it willingly, knowing it is the only way to live. In “Ghost House,” the poet enters a realm of shades and spirits, an underworld of memory where “a lonely house” has left “no trace but the cellar walls.” As he moves through this twilight landscape, encountering the “mute folk…Who share the unlit place” with him, the poet meditates on life and death, their proximity and distance, and his own sense of self within both. “Mowing” envisions the poet’s work through the prism of rural labor. “There was never a sound beside the wood but one / And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground. / What was it it whispered?” The speaker does not know, but continues his task, hypnotized by its rhythm and music.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Robert Frost’s A Boy’s Will is a classic of American literature reimagined for modern readers.