More than halfway up the pass
Was a spring with a broken drinking glass,
And whether the farmer drank or not
His mare was sure to observe the spot
By cramping the wheel on a water-bar,
turning her forehead with a star,
And straining her ribs for a monster sigh;
To which the farmer would make reply,
‘A sigh for every so many breath,
And for every so many sigh a death.
That’s what I always tell my wife
Is the multiplication table of life.’
The saying may be ever so true;
But it’s just the kind of a thing that you
Nor I, nor nobody else may say,
Unless our purpose is doing harm,
And then I know of no better way
To close a road, abandon a farm,
Reduce the births of the human race,
And bring back nature in people’s place.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem The Times Table


  1. Joe Jarvis (again) says:

    Okay, i just reread this, i didn’t get the right perspective. The moral is basically saying he wants to cut back human population to restore the earth to the way it was before humans started using up and destroying natural resources and causing extinctions. Mother nature shouldn’t be tampered with is what i think Frost is trying to get across.

  2. Joe Jarvis says:

    Alright, this poem is basically talking about a man and his horse on their journey home to his wife. The man is rather depressed about how life continues on without an explaination to its purpose. It sounds like (correct me if i’m wrong) in the last few lines that he’s questioning suicide to aid his pain and not continue on his family’s generation to cut down the population of life. It’s saying life in general is depressing and we all have are answers and descisions i guess?

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