Derry, New Hampshire
1900 - 1911
 
The Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire is located in the southeast part of the state on Route 28. This road connects to Lawrence - about 15 miles to the south. The farm is now owned by the state
of New Hampshire and is open to the public as a museum part of the year. Frost and his family lived here from 1900 to 1911. Derry is considered a germinal place in Frost's life. It is a wellspring of his poetry, the memories of which are found throughout his work. Of all the places Frost lived, Derry is the most special.

 
 The Farmhouse
 
 
Hyla Brook
 
The Mending Wall
.
. The Mowing Field
 

 "The Children's Garden" behind the house.

 

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The house sits close to the road, as was the custom of 19th century farmhouses. Note the bay window and its possible connection to an early poem "In Neglect:"
 
"They leave us so to the way we took,
As two in whom they were proved mistaken, That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook,
With mischievous, vagrant, seraphic look, And try if we cannot feel forsaken."
 
Here Frost found inspiration from nature, work, family and many of the Yankee personalities who would color his characters.
 
This is Hyla Brook which "ran out of song and speed" in the summer. Frost named the little stream after the Hyla frog, locally known as a peeper, for the spring song which sounds like "a ghost of sleigh bells in a ghost of snow." The peeper is widespread all over New England. Elinor loved to bring a picnic basket here and sit while the children played and Rob cleaned brush out of the woods. The poem "Hyla Brook," if read closely is a metaphor for Elinor. It ends: "We love the things we love for what they are."
This is the actual "Mending Wall." It ran along the south property line. There really is a hill and really was a neighbor, Napolean Guay.
 
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper bolders in the sun"
 
"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 offence."
 
"Good fences make good neighbors."
This area is located behind the house and held an orchard and the "little mowing field." The visitor is enjoying a walking tour of the farm on a marked trail. The farm was about 30 acres on both sides of the road in Frost's time. Today the eastern portion of the farm is still intact and makes for a pleasant hike.
 
"Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;"

from "Reluctance"

.
Notice the stone wall beside the house which turns and extends beyond the lilac bush.
 
"Whose clustered fruit must else be lost --
For the grapes sake along the wall."
from "October"
 
And notice the window above the cellar door:
"When the wind works against us in the dark,
And pelts with snow
The lower-chamber window on the east,"
from "Storm Fear"
 
 
 
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