Out, Out by Robert Frost

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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 four-time Pulitzer Prize winner was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874 and died in Boston on January 29, 1963. "He was a pioneer in the interplay of rhythm and meter and in the poetic use of the vocabulary and inflections of everyday speech" (Robert Frost). His father died in 1885 when Robert was only eleven; this caused the family to uproot from California to move to Massachusetts. This is where he would go to high school and eventually become a high school teacher. In 1895 he married Elinor White, the girl he shared Valedictorian honors with at Lawrence High School in Massachusetts. At age 38 he sold the farm he was living on to move his family to England where he could devote himself to his writing. His goal was to establish himself as a writer; his work was an immediate success. Frost initially produced A Boy's Will and followed that up with North of Boston. Favorable reviews of these books of poetry resulted in the American publications of the books by Henry Holt and Company. In 1915, Ro...

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Robert Frost's poem was a tragic story about a young boy who dies as a result of cutting his hand with a saw. Frost has used this title to show how brief the boy's life was, and almost as if, once he has gone, his life signified nothing. His regret is that the boy did not spend his last minutes doing things that a boy "counts so much." The poet is not so much concerned about the emotions or feelings of the moment, but more concerned with the incident itself. It is the tragic waste of a young life through this accident that catches his attention. This narrative poem told a story the size of a novel even though the life of the boy could be summarized in one sentence. Life is like a candle, it can be blown out at any instant. The boy's candle was blown out with the wind and was not allowed to burn out on its own.
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