Guided Primary Source Analysis: Dedication by Robert Frost

"Dedication," Robert Frost's presidential inaugural poem

Above is the first page of Robert Frost’s poem “Dedication” with his handwritten edits. First read the final version of this poem. How does this poem make you feel? Why do you think Frost might have written this poem? Who do you think was the audience for the poem? Include specific examples from the poem in your responses.

Referring back to the final version, write a brief summary of the content of this poem and its main theme. Then review the complete poem with Frost’s handwritten edits. Compare and contrast the two versions. How did the poem change overall? Do you think the final version is an improvement? Why or why not?

Now read about the unique history of Robert Frost’s poem “Dedication”. Describe some of the most interesting information you learned from the article. Explain how what you learned affects your understanding of and connection to this poem.

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!

Related resource

Primary Source Learning: Inaugural Poems & Poets