The battle rent a cobweb diamond-strung
And cut a flower beside a ground bird’s nest
Before it stained a single human breast.
The stricken flower bent double and so hung.
And still the bird revisited her young.
A butterfly its fall had dispossessed
A moment sought in air his flower of rest,
Then lightly stooped to it and fluttering clung.
On the bare upland pasture there had spread
O’ernight ‘twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread
And straining cables wet with silver dew.
A sudden passing bullet shook it dry.
The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly,
But finding nothing, sullenly withdrew.

4 Comments

  1. Russ says:

    The poem cannot be understood without analysis of the title “Range Finding”.
    This references a technique used to adjust the sight of a firearm, where one shoots low and then high to more accurately adjust the sight.

  2. Koy Baird says:

    The nest is on the ground because he clearly states the bird is a groundbird duh!!!

  3. Benny says:

    Frost has used a calm & peaceful setting in the nature to express the violence of war. He wrote this poem in 1916, during the middle of World War One and he challenges the reader’s attitude about war. His use of full-stops to make pauses in his poem create a slow rhythm and produces a sense of deep sorrow and death. In the first line of the poem, “The battle rent a cobweb diamond-strung” metaphorically means that the soldiers are entering the trap of war. The alliteration of “s” and “t” sounds effectively creates a death & sorrowful theme and successfully illustrates the losses caused by warfare.In the last line, Frost has used another stong emotional effect when he says “finding nothing, sullenly withdrew”. This phrase literally means that there is no fly in the spider’s trap but when it is looked in a more complex manner, it means that there are no winners in wars, there is no victory but only loses of lives.

  4. melisa says:

    I think,this is one of best poetries reflecting battle and its effects on people and nature.It is impossible to be desensitized after reading this poetry.

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