A Servant to Servants
Blank-verse dramatic monologue by Robert Frost, published in North of Boston (1914).
A lonely, overworked New England farm wife talks with a visiting naturalist, and through her eager conversation reveals the tragic story of her life. Reared in a loveless family, in which her mother's life had been embittered by the necessity of caring for an obscenely mad brother-in-law, she herself had been, influenced for a time by the inherited strain of insanity, and welcomed the opportunity to marry Len, the unfeeling husband who neglects her for his many business enterprises. Though she craves personal freedom, love, and the touch of beauty, she is burdened by innumerable menial tasks, including the feeding of the brutal farmhands, whose “servant” she has become.