The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside them in her apron
To tell them ‘Supper’. At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap–
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh.
As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. 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. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’
So. But the hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then — the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little — less — nothing! — and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem ‘Out, Out–‘


  1. Hijabi says:

    in my view, this poem shows Marxism.

  2. fi fi 123 says:

    The poem is considered an industrial revolution( yes, Frost lived in that period). The saw is industrial revolution ,and the hand is the old traditional pastoral society

  3. Dilee says:

    The poem “Out Out” becomes realistic in sense.The lyrical of the poem is simply easy for the reader to get on.”the buzz saw snarled…” describes the noise and the hardship in using the machine.Also the poem is sensual and more relaxed ,proved by the mention of “breeze”and”sweet scented stuff”.The most sympathetic quote used by Frost is “though a child at heart…”

  4. hana says:

    the theme of this poem is uncertainly and unpredictably of life which may be accidentally ended at any moment.the story of a boy who is doing hard work that is not suitable with his age,suddenly whose life destroyed. the poem has allusion to the “out out bref candle”of shakspeare and a reference to the “macbeth” story.another is the word “supper”,it allusion to the “last supper painting of Leonardo da vinci”

  5. Sadam Ayala says:

    I like this poem very much. It takes the mind away from concetration and it is very good.

  6. fisha says:

    I feel that Robert Frost appreciates manual labour over the ‘buzz saw’ in this poem…he stresses on the unimaginative quality of the machine,its lack of thought. After all its a mechanical object programmed by man to “[make] dust and [drop] stove-length sticks of wood”.he also personifies the ‘buzz saw’ to a wild predatory animal “The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard”. He finally shows the value of the ‘hand’ by the unexpected death of the boy..”He saw all spoiled” he was dead the moment he lost his hand as he could work no more.he,without his hand,was useless to society.he could no longer play the role of the breadwinner too.there is a reference to child labour too. “…big boy
    Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart” he was yet immature to do this task which he performs merely to earn a living…not for its joy or pleasure.his ‘sister’, too,is ” in her apron “.perhaps she too was a child assigned to do a task beyond her age.I hope I’m not wrong!

  7. SAADIA KHAN says:

    I Like this poem very much

  8. gabriel d'oracio says:

    the key word of the poem is “Supper”. the last supper requires a victim.
    after this sacrifice nobody took care, like Icarus, (you know another famous poem),it will be a myth for a while good to entertain the mob.

  9. Tony says:

    “Sweet scented stuff”
    This creates a soft quiet sound which sort of lulls you, also later in that line the poets word choice is effective because he says.. “breeze” which also creates a soft gentle atmosphere. But the repetition of “snarled and rattled” gives us a foreboding of something bad to come.

  10. margaret says:

    The emphasis on the words “Snarled and rattled”, at the beginning of the poem, suggests to me a tragedy of some sort.
    Snarled…….like a dog, rattled….like someting not in working order, gives us a foreboding of something bad to come. The use of the word “Sunset”, when all dies down can be linked to the end of the Boys life.

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