Advancing in Poetry Advancing in Poetry    

Lesson 6: Ghost House

by Robert Frost

Performer: Librivox - Mark F. Smith

I dwell in a lonely house I know

That vanished many a summer ago,

And left no trace but the cellar walls,

And a cellar in which the daylight falls

And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O'er ruined fences the grape-vines shield

The woods come back to the mowing field;

The orchard tree has grown one copse

Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;

The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart

In that vanished abode there far apart

On that disused and forgotten road

That has no dust-bath now for the toad.

Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout

And hush and cluck and flutter about:

I hear him begin far enough away

Full many a time to say his say

Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.

I know not who these mute folk are

Who share the unlit place with me—

Those stones out under the low-limbed tree

Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad—

Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,—

With none among them that ever sings,

And yet, in view of how many things,

As sweet companions as might be had.

    Advancing in Poetry Advancing in Poetry    

Lesson 6: Ghost House

by Robert Frost

Performer: Librivox - Mark F. Smith


Study the poem for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read or listen to the poem.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Read about the poet.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.


In Robert Frost's 'Ghost House,' a ghostly narrator describes his home, a cellar shell of a house long forgotten by living people. Nature is slowly reclaiming the abandoned property - the top of the house is gone and vegetation overgrows the fences, footpath, and road. The narrator's only companions are bats, birds, and the long ago buried folks whose tombstone-engraved names are obscured by moss.


  1. Robert Frost was born in 1874 in San Francisco, California. Study his portrait.
  2. Frost moved to Massachusetts at age 11 when his father died of tuberculosis.
  3. Zoom in and find Frost's state of birth, California (CA), on the map of the United States. Trace his path when he moved to Massachusetts (MA).
  4. Frost's time spent in New England inspired his poetry.
  5. Frost worked many jobs including as a factory worker, a farmer, a school teacher, and a college professor, but thought his true calling was that of a poet.
  6. Frost married and had six children, although many of the children died young and only two outlived their father.
  7. Frost died of a heart attack in Boston, Massachusetts at the age of 88.


Activity 1: Recite Poem Information

Recite the title of the poem and the name of the poet.

Activity 2: Study the Poem Picture

Study the poem picture and describe how it relates to the poem. How does the image differ from the poem?

Activity 3: Recite the Poem

Practice reciting the poem aloud.

Activity 4: Complete Book Activities   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete pages 33-38 of 'Elementary Poetry 4: Advancing in Poetry.'


  1. 'Robert Frost.' Wikipedia. n.p.