Here come the line-gang pioneering by,
They throw a forest down less cut than broken.
They plant dead trees for living, and the dead
They string together with a living thread.
They string an instrument against the sky
Wherein words whether beaten out or spoken
Will run as hushed as when they were a thought
But in no hush they string it: they go past
With shouts afar to pull the cable taught,
To hold it hard until they make it fast,
To ease away–they have it. With a laugh,
An oath of towns that set the wild at naught
They bring the telephone and telegraph.

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2 Comments

  1. jen says:

    this poem reflects the anxiety felt by Frost in terms of urban expansion. The necessary evils of progress and technology are contrasted with the death of the natural world at the hands of men. It’s a double edge sword in that we create and destruct the environment around us for the sake of our own attempts at creating a world that is connected but detached from the very thing that sustains us. The line gang expresses a universal fear of progress and the consequences of technological advances. Alienation, anxiety and fear comprise this short poem and gives us a look into our own era in which leaps and bounds are made daily for the advancement of humanity. But we are left with more questions than answers in terms of what kind of future we’re building.

  2. Shimon Weinroth says:

    Frost in his poem “The Line Gang” from his book “Western Interval” laments the destruction of the forests “less
    cut than broken” by the “gangs” putting up telephone and telegraph poles. “plant dead trees(poles)for the living and the dead” He decries these boisterous vulgar workmen who destroy the beauty of the wild he foresees towns which will suplant the wilds. His use of the negative spurrious lexical term gang asserts his opinion. Frost pleads his case against unplanned changing times In the folowing poem his fears are expressed.

    Changing Horizons

    Now too much depends
    On crowding
    Littered backyards
    And electronics

    Straight back
    And easy chairs
    Soft mattresses
    And winding stairs

    Deeds of Violence

    Too little depends on
    Pausing
    Listenng to silence
    Migrating fauna and
    Gazing at the horizons

    Shimon Weinroth

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