poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

“The Line-Gang” was published in Robert Frost’s poetry collection Mountain Interval (Henry Holt and Company, 1916).

The Line-Gang

Here come the line-gang pioneering by.
They throw a forest down less cut than broken.
They plant dead trees for living, and the dead
They string together with a living thread.
They string an instrument against the sky
Wherein words whether beaten out or spoken
Will run as hushed as when they were a thought
But in no hush they string it: they go past
With shouts afar to pull the cable taut,
To hold it hard until they make it fast,
To ease away—they have it. With a laugh,
An oath of towns that set the wild at naught
They bring the telephone and telegraph.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

One of the most celebrated poets in America, Robert Frost was an author of searching and often dark meditations on universal themes and a quintessentially modern poet in his adherence to language as it is actually spoken, in the psychological complexity of his portraits, and in the degree to which his work is infused with layers of ambiguity and irony.

by this poet

poem
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
poem
The well was dry beside the door,  
  And so we went with pail and can  
Across the fields behind the house  
  To seek the brook if still it ran;  
  
Not loth to have excuse to go,
  Because the autumn eve was fair  
(Though chill), because the fields were ours,  
  And by the brook our woods were there.
poem

Out through the fields and the woods
   And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
   And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
   And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
   Save those that the oak is