Out Out Robert Frost Essays

Out, Out by Robert Frost Essay

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Out, Out

"Out, Out," by Robert Frost is a gruesomely graphic and emotional poem about the tragic end of a young boy's life. It is a powerful expression about the fragility of life and the fact that death can come at any time. Death is always devastating, but it is even more so when the victim is just a young boy. The fact that the boy's death came right before he could " Call it a day" (750) leads one to think the tragedy might have been avoided and there by forces the reader to think, "What if." This poem brings the question of mortality to the reader's attention and shows that death has no age limit.

It was powerful poems such as "Out, Out" that gave Robert Frost the reputation as one of America's leading 20th century poets. The…show more content…

This was the start of Frost's reputation as one of the great American writers of the 20th century.

"Out, Out" is a great example of a typical Robert Frost poem. This narrative poem tells a story of human tragedy through the death of a young boy. The poem shows how fragile life can be and how it can be taken from people in an instant. The boy's tragic death is illuminated for the reader by a commentator watching the incident from the outside looking in. There is a lot of detail given to the reader early on describing the saw and the way it "snarled and rattled." These details and the emphases on the boy's age and his wanting to leave work early made the situation destined for tragedy. It was as if Frost was preparing us for the tragedy to come, "And nothing happened: day was all but done"(9). This suggests that something is definitely going to happen. Another clue that something awful is about to happen is the way the saw is personified it: " leaped out of the boy's hand" (16). As it is described, the saw jumped out of the boy's hand when he is called for supper, "As if to prove that saw knew what supper meant" (15). Through the use of onomatopoeia, the saw is also made to sound vicious like an attack dog when it is heard to snarl and rattle. The personification and description of the noises of the saw makes defiantly it seem like a major character in the poem.

The theme of this poem is the boy's

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read poems by this poet

Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, where his father, William Prescott Frost Jr., and his mother, Isabelle Moodie, had moved from Pennsylvania shortly after marrying. After the death of his father from tuberculosis when Frost was eleven years old, he moved with his mother and sister, Jeanie, who was two years younger, to Lawrence, Massachusetts. He became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, enrolled at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1892, and later at Harvard University in Boston, though he never earned a formal college degree.

Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel. His first published poem, "My Butterfly," appeared on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent.

In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, whom he'd shared valedictorian honors with in high school and who was a major inspiration for his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved to England in 1912, after they tried and failed at farming in New Hampshire. It was abroad that Frost met and was influenced by such contemporary British poets as Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, and Robert Graves. While in England, Frost also established a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped to promote and publish his work.

By the time Frost returned to the United States in 1915, he had published two full-length collections, A Boy's Will (Henry Holt and Company, 1913) and North of Boston (Henry Holt and Company, 1914), and his reputation was established. By the 1920s, he was the most celebrated poet in America, and with each new book—including New Hampshire (Henry Holt and Company, 1923), A Further Range (Henry Holt and Company, 1936), Steeple Bush (Henry Holt and Company, 1947), and In the Clearing (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1962)—his fame and honors (including four Pulitzer Prizes) increased. Frost served as consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress from 1958 to 1959.

Though his work is principally associated with the life and landscape of New England—and though he was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who remained steadfastly aloof from the poetic movements and fashions of his time—Frost is anything but merely a regional poet. The author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes, he is a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.

In a 1970 review of The Poetry of Robert Frost, the poet Daniel Hoffman describes Frost's early work as "the Puritan ethic turned astonishingly lyrical and enabled to say out loud the sources of its own delight in the world," and comments on Frost's career as the "American Bard": "He became a national celebrity, our nearly official poet laureate, and a great performer in the tradition of that earlier master of the literary vernacular, Mark Twain."

About Frost, President John F. Kennedy, at whose inauguration the poet delivered a poem, said, "He has bequeathed his nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding."

Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and died in Boston on January 29, 1963.



Selected Bibliography

Poetry

In the Clearing (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1962)
Hard Not to Be King (House of Books, 1951)
Steeple Bush (Henry Holt and Company, 1947)
Masque of Reason (Henry Holt and Company, 1945)
Come In, and Other Poems (Henry Holt and Company, 1943)
A Witness Tree (Henry Holt and Company, 1942)
A Further Range (Henry Holt and Company, 1936)
From Snow to Snow (Henry Holt and Company, 1936)
The Lone Striker (Knopf, 1933)
The Lovely Shall Be Choosers (Random House, 1929)
West-Running Brook (Henry Holt and Company, 1928)
New Hampshire (Henry Holt and Company, 1923)
Mountain Interval (Henry Holt and Company, 1916)
North of Boston (Henry Holt and Company, 1914)
A Boy's Will (Henry Holt and Company, 1913)

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