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 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
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 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!
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,
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. 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—the watcher at his pulse took 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.
Out, out, by Robert Frost was a very unique poem for me to read. It seemed to be telling a story, which I have found to be rare in poetry. In this specific poem, the story seems to be a little boy who is trying to act older than his age and use a saw. I was lead to believe this by reading the very first line: "the buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard". Soon after, the boys sister calls for him so he can eat dinner. At this point, it seemed that the boy mishandled the saw.
I really liked the line "As if to prove saws know what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap". This helped me imagine the situation at hand. The saw was mishandled by the boy, and frosts use of the word "leap" perfectly portrays the fumbling of the saw.
Soon after, it would appear that the boy was taken to a hospital of some sort. Or it is even possible that the doctor was coming to the boy since he said "when he comes, don't let him. . . " The boy pleads to not have his hand cut off. The line "but the hand was gone already" was very confusing to me at first. But, after reading it out loud a few times, I came up with an interpretation. I thought that line meant that the boy had already lost too much blood that it wouldn't matter if his hand got amputated or not. It seems that Frost was trying to make it seem like it was a lost cause.
The end of the poem seems to be showing the boy's death. The lines "no one believed. They listened to his heart. Little-less-nothing!- and that ended it." Showed the boy's last seconds. This ending was different from most poems I have seen. The very last line "since they were not the ones dead, turned to their affairs" seemed to dismiss the boys death in a way. I read it as "were not the ones that died let's move on with our lives" it just seemed to have a very dark ending.
When I read this poem it seemed like the story wasn't too personal to Frost. I feel like this is a story of someone who might have lived near him when he was a kid, but someone he wasn't emotionally attached to. There simply wasn't enough emotional language in the poem to lead someone to believe that he know the person who had their hand cut off, and eventually died.
All in all, this poem was very unique. It showed me that poetry can be used to tell a story. Frost's story had an interesting point of view, and had many details.