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Analysis and comments on 'Out, Out--' by Robert Frost

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Comment 46 of 616, added on March 18th, 2006 at 4:59 PM.

my understanding of this poem is not full and proper and i need someone
with the skills of imparting simple but evaluative expalnation coz my exam
on it is near to come.

anu young from United Kingdom
Comment 45 of 616, added on March 16th, 2006 at 9:19 AM.

When reading Frost, it's crucial that you don't interpret his poetry
superficially. This poem in one sense is certainly about what literally
happens: a boy meets with an unfortunate accident that eventually takes his
life--an idea Frost probably extracted from a newspaper article that
described such a situation. But on a larger level, look not at what the
poem says, but instead at what it doesn't say. For example, I noticed other
responses talk about how the family is "cold" and "doesn't show emotion."
This is a mistake. The speaker chooses NOT to tell us about that aspect of
their reaction--that doesn't mean it didn't/wouldn't happen. What I think
we're seeing is the utter helplessness and lack of control over meeting
with death. One minute the boy smelled the sweet scented air permeated by
the splinters of wood, next he was put in the dark of ether. LIFE can
change that quickly, and not as a result of any conscious choices WE make.
The speaker's frustration with this helplessness is evident in his
matter-of-fact attitude: "So...No more to build on there." I also wonder
about the sick sense of humor in the poem. The boy held up his hand "half
in protest"--HALF? That's just cruel. And "No more to 'build' on there"?
Even more ironic since the boy died as a result of doing work. "The boy
'SAW' all"? Even more irony, as the saw is what's responsible for his
death. I agree with what one person above wrote about the "all" in that
statement. The boy realizes in an instant his naivete and quickly
recognizes how fragile life is, how our world is one ungoverned by order
and subject to frequent uncontrollable collisions. These collisions often
claim innocence--in both senses. Innocence as a virtue (almost) and
innocence as in innocent people (young people in this case). The mountain
ranges, 5 for 5 work days in a week perhaps, really emphasize just how
small and impermanent this boy is. Sad though. I hope I don't meet with
such an end. I would far prefer to die at 101 in a warm bed after a
peaceful sleep.

Mr. P from United States
Comment 44 of 616, added on March 14th, 2006 at 8:06 AM.

i think this poem is about the countryside and its daily routine.the boy is
doing his work to help the parents.wealso do household work to help our
parents.the boy is tired and hungry and when the sister calls him for the
supper he lost the attention and gives his hand to hte saw accidently.the
poem is about the daily happennings in the countryside.maybe in new england
country side where the poet lived.

johnny from Sri Lanka
Comment 43 of 616, added on March 13th, 2006 at 3:06 PM.

THANK YOU, GAZ!! (the guy from UK on page 3)
dude, you know, most poets are drunks and everything- do you really think
that there is some elaborate subliminal message that they hide in their
poetry? they probably just go into a bar, write stuff down, then hand it to
their publisher. Now, don't get me wrong, i like poetry just as much as the
next guy, but, to psyco-analize the stuff is ridiculous!

sarah from United States
Comment 42 of 616, added on March 2nd, 2006 at 8:23 PM.

its sad that the boy had to die because he was trying to help the work and
acted mature at work.
Even though it was just for 30 minutes, he still got something done. There
were lots of imageries, 5 sensories, and lilterary device. I didn't get
when the family just saw and didn't say anything. It's a little bit
confusing.
But this poem was not a good poem on one of the Frost's poem. He writes way
better than these poems that let us wonder about these life situation.
=)

Jane from United States
Comment 41 of 616, added on February 22nd, 2006 at 10:30 AM.

can anyone help i would be v. grateful. although i do think the poem
shows great use of alliteration and personification plz help

amool from United Kingdom
Comment 40 of 616, added on February 17th, 2006 at 9:25 AM.

i read it only because i had a presentation about a poem and i found this
an read it.

Dermon
Comment 39 of 616, added on February 9th, 2006 at 1:35 PM.

my fav line is 'sun set far into vermont' as it means a number of things
such as the day is coming to an end and there is an end to the boys life.
this is a great use of imagery as it gives you the nostalgic feeling.

rachel from Ireland
Comment 38 of 616, added on February 9th, 2006 at 1:24 PM.

im 15 and studying robert frost for GSCE. so if anyone could help i would
be v. grateful. although i do think the poem shows great use of
alliteration and personification.

rachel from Ireland
Comment 37 of 616, added on January 19th, 2006 at 8:04 PM.

In looking at Frost's poem, we have to realize first that this poem uses
Macbeth's famous soliloquy to reinforce the theme that life is "brief and
uncertain." Now that we have the theme, we can try to apply certain
literay term's importance to the poem including the onomatopoeia of the
snarling and buzzing saw, the repetition of these words illustrates the
malice of death, along with the act of the saw leaping at the boy's hand,
not allowing the boy to cease his work to take a break for supper. The saw
is a sort of metaphorical representation of the way the meaningless tasks
of life (including sawing wood and doing waste of time essays like these)
prevents us from living our lives, it is illstrated that the boy believes
that his manly work has denied him life ("Then the boy saw all--/ Since he
was old enough to know, big boy/ Doing a man's work, though a child at
heart--/ He saw all spoiled.") We can possibly assume that the careless
"child" that the boy was allowed his hand to meet with the say because of
the way Frost show's the boy's meeting with the saw ("with a rueful
laugh"). But most importantly the last line of the poem must be observed
"And they, since they/ Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs,"
because this shows the emotionless, miserable life these people lived in
order to put this boy to work, deny him even the half hour for relief from
work.

MS from Australia

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Information about 'Out, Out--'

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 24. 'Out, Out--'
Volume: Mountain Interval
Year: 1916
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 2165 times
Poem of the Day: Sep 3 2000


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