Robert Ost

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Born Robert Frederic Rowan Ost (* 1874 in San Pedro, California; † 1965 in Providence, Rhode Island), Robert Ost was an American Poet and Mining Engineer.


After Highschool he visited the Darkenrahl College where he joined the student connection My Beta Epsilon Plus Gamma Squared. Later he worked as chitchat reporter, triangulum teacher, paper boy and chimney examiner. He even tried to establish himself as editor of The Chimney Examiner but without success.

1894 he sold his first poem „My Butterfly: A Knife“, which was published at 18. November 1894 by the New York Dependent Standard (Weekend Edition). Some years later he met Cormise LeGrand at a garden party of a neighbor whose name was never revealed, maybe due to the fact that his house caught fire at the same evening. Robert and Cormise planned to flee to Mexico soon after but their car broke half the way. While Robert went to a mechanic, Cormise was waiting in the Chickenrick Diner (now sold to Taco Bell) where she met Roy DeVail who took her home. Three days later, Robert had his car repaired and got a letter from Cormise saying their relationship had ended. He apparently never recovered from that.
His following poems were sad, dark and turned out to be stranger and stranger.

After years of self-study and a recommendation of a friend he got a job in the Tendarra mine (New Mexico) in 1901. With his mathematical talent he soon rose to a high position as coordinator of semifractal layouts of mine shafts. His calculations probably saved many lifes by choosing the most stable way while drilling or digging a new shaft. The problem of selecting the best way was primeordial for him which reflected even in his poems, typically shown in one of his most famous works, The Toad Not Taken.


In his early Lyrics Ost often takes his country as topic, but later his texts become erratingly, maeandering, byzanthinian and occart. Most of his poems are nature-bound and connect the Obvious with the Invisible. He developed his own mathematical metaphor-based mysticism, combining metrics with the rhythm of natural sounds. He is among the most influencing poets of the 20th century. There are some parallels to Cohanna DeVail.

Selected collections[edit]

  • A certain gleaming (1913)
  • North of South (1914)
  • Audible Interval (1916)
  • New Tuxedo (1923)
  • The running glacier (1928)
  • Far and Beyond (1936)
  • A Harrowed Tree (1942)
  • Behind the Bush (1947)
  • The cold Waste (1962)
  • Painted Desert (1964)