From Lionel Trilling’s speech, on the occasion of Robert Frost’s 85th birthday:
I think of Robert Frost as a terrifying poet … When ever have people been so isolated, so lightning-blasted, so tried down and cabined by life, so reduced, each in his own way, to some last irreducible core of being … I called your birthday Sophoclean and that word has, I think, controlled everything I have said about you. Like you, Sophocles lived in a great age, writing well; and, like you Sophocles was the poet his people loved most. Surely they loved him in some part because he praised their common country. But I think they loved him chiefly because he made plain to them the terrible things of human life: they felt, perhaps, that only a poet who could make plain the terrible things could possibly give them comfort.
If you have any doubts about the terror that haunts Frost’s work, listen to this recitation of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”