Jan 8 Robert Frost: “Out, Out–“

This also is a narrative poem, but it is an example of a modern one. It is by one of my very favorite poets (you should be seeing a lot of him on the Saturday postings), Robert Frost.

As a lover of Nature, he’s able to emote what I feel when I take my walks out in the woods. This is not one of them. But it still has a touch of the wild to it (in a different way). It’s more like that thing we fear and cannot control, and though the wild thing is actually referring to a man-made device (even though somehow it does seem to be alive), I feel that it’s the type of wildness that makes people hate Nature: the thing they cannot control – it will do what it will do, without or without Humanity’s knowledge or consent. Is that a bad thing? It’s usually the thesis of many horror movies (and the thing we cannot control is, in fact, deadly to us — or at least commands a certain fear an respect), but the things themselves don’t consider it to be a bad thing, in fact, they prefer it that way.

“Out, Out -”

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 acrossit.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind 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 boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside them in her apron
To tell them “Supper.” At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew 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!
The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,
As he swung toward them holding up 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 spoiled. “Don’t let him cut my hand off-
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!”
So. But 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 – watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at 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.

About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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