What are some styles in the poem "Out, Out-" by Robert Frost?

2 Answers | Add Yours

coachingcorner's profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The poem 'Out,Out' by Robert Frost is a shocking piece of writing about a farm accident and the style reflects/enhances that. The poet uses blank verse,as in this case,he wishes to convey the natural speech that would attend an accident. Even the title is arresting - it could be a fire, or an order in a battle or a command - we are not sure til we begin reading.However,as in life when something interrupts the natural flow of the day's work, the fluency of the verse is interrupted by sharp staccato breaks (caesuras/line breaks) which get more frequent as the poem moves along. - sometimes even breaking the line itself. Can you look for an example of that? The 'normalness' of the language is is thrown into high contrast by this (supper,apron) as the caesura spotlights what has happened to the hand. This style underlines the fear,anxiety and other emotions of such a distressing event.

jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

This horrifying and bleak poem is about a boy who was using a self-powered buzz saw late in the day. His sister came to tell him that it was supper time, and, maybe because he wasn't paying attention, or maybe because he wanted to be done with working and looked the other way, or whatever, the saw blade got loose, and, as if it had a life of its own, the blade cut the boy's hand off. A doctor was called; the poor boy was anesthetized and... and he died. Bled to death.

Then the people went back to what they were doing for nothing more could be done.

As for style, it is plain-spoken Frost factual reporting with an edge as sharp as the saw blade. The sense of threat and dread is there from the start:

"And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled"

Yet the tale unfolds simply and pathetically and chronologically. No nonsense: the sadness and meaningless speak for themselves.

The link supplied below explains it all in greater detail. A true story, very dark indeed.

We’ve answered 318,983 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question