"Out, Out—"

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 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 a 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—the 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.

 

Poems by This Author

A Line-storm Song by Robert Frost
The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift
Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night
After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost
My long two-pointed ladderís sticking through a tree
An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost
All out-of-doors looked darkly in at him
Birches by Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Blueberries by Robert Frost
You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
Bond and Free by Robert Frost
Love has earth to which she clings
Christmas Trees by Robert Frost
The city had withdrawn into itself
Design by Robert Frost
I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
Dust of Snow by Robert Frost
The way a crow
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire
For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost
Others taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs
Ghost House by Robert Frost
I dwell in a lonely house I know
Going for Water by Robert Frost
The well was dry beside the door
Home Burial by Robert Frost
He saw her from the bottom of the stairs
Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost
As I went down the hill along the wall
Mending Wall by Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
Mowing by Robert Frost
There was never a sound beside the wood but one
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold
October by Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild
Reluctance by Robert Frost
Out through the fields and the woods
The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost
Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
The Oven-Bird by Robert Frost
There is a singer everyone has heard
The Pasture by Robert Frost
I'm going out to clean the pasture spring
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost
I wonder about the trees
To Earthward by Robert Frost
Love at the lips was touch


Further Reading

Poems About Childhood
Don't Let Me Be Lonely [There was a time]
by Claudia Rankine
A Boy Juggling a Soccer Ball
by Christopher Merrill
A child said, What is the grass?
by Walt Whitman
Another Country
by Ryan Teitman
anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings
Babylon
by Robert Graves
Because I cannot remember my first kiss
by Roger Bonair-Agard
Birches
by Robert Frost
Block City
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Blur
by Andrew Hudgins
Childhood is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
deer & salt block
by Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Early Memory
by January Gill O'Neil
Fern Hill
by Dylan Thomas
Fifteen, Maybe Sixteen Things to Worry About
by Judith Viorst
For Some Slight I Can't Quite Recall
by Ross Gay
From the Lives of My Friends
by Michael Dickman
Giraffes
by Kimiko Hahn
Going Down Hill on a Bicycle
by Henry Charles Beeching
In the Waiting Room
by Elizabeth Bishop
Jabberwocky
by Lewis Carroll
Lullaby in Blue
by Betsy Sholl
My Aunts
by Meghan O'Rourke
My Bright Aluminum Tumblers
by Michael Ryan
My Childhood
by Matthew Zapruder
Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
by William Wordsworth
Pirate Story
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Playgrounds
by Laurence Alma-Tadema
Pledge
by Elizabeth Powell
Poem for You
by David Shapiro
Recuerdo
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Solar system bedsheets
by Sarah Vap
The Children's Hour
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Gaffe
by C. K. Williams
The Lamb
by William Blake
The Portrait
by Stanley Kunitz
The Retreat
by Henry Vaughan
The Swing
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Tower
by W. B. Yeats
They Call This
by C. K. Williams
To My Best Friend's Big Sister
by Ross Gay
Untitled [The child thought it strange]
by Richard Meier
Untitled [You mustn't swim till you're six weeks old]
by Rudyard Kipling
We Are Seven
by William Wordsworth