AP English Poetry- "Out, Out!-"

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: AP English Poetry- "Out, Out!-"
By Wordpad (Wordpad) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 08:24 pm: Edit

The following poem is from Cliff's AP English review guide. The question stated that I was to analyze the poem-find all similes, metaphors, personification, blah blah blah. Also a major part of this poem is literary allusion to Macbeth. I would greatly appreciate it if any of you could help me decode this poem.

"Out, Out - "
by: Robert Frost

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 behing 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 him in her apron
To tell them "Supper." At the word, the saw,
As if it meant to prove saws know 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!
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 was spoiled. "Don't let him cut my hand off -
The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!"
So. 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 a fright.
No one believed. They listened to 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.

By Robert456 (Robert456) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 09:50 pm: Edit

I am not sure, but when I am confused I go on the message boards for sparknotes.com and there is usually some people trying to figure stuff out like on thoreau or other confusing authors.

By Phantom (Phantom) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

We did this poem in my English class last year. I think basically, Frost is just criticizing how much their lives revolve around work:

"And from there those that LIFTED eyes could count / Five mountain ranges one behind the other" --most people were too busy to even soak in the beauty around them.

"And they, since they / Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."
--the death is somewhat trivialized

"Call it a day, I wish they might have said /
To please the boy by giving him the half hour"
--even a child was forced to do a man's work; he has no time to play

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