Poetry Corner: The Line-Gang

Sunday, January 09, 2011

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.
- Robert Frost

I'm not sure exactly why this poem appealed to me - it isn't on the most poetic of subjects, and I've never seen a line-gang. For some reason though, the rhythm of the words and the images were very beautiful and clever to me. I thought the line "They plant dead trees for a living, and the dead/They string together with a living thread" was brilliant.

This is probably my last poetry corner for Robert Frost, as I have gotten through the poems I have by him on my Kindle. I am trying to decide what my next daily poetry book should be - I'm torn between Elizabeth Barret Browning, e.e. cummings, and Emily Dickinson. Any suggestions on good poets to read?


  1. I hate Emily Dickinson. I know that seems a little strong, but I've just never liked her.

    I think I've asked this before, but have you ever read Sylvia Plath? I love her poems. She can be a little intense, but she had such an interesting life. Favorite lines of hers:

    Dying, is an art
    Like everything else.
    I do it exceptionally well.

  2. I love Sylvia Plath too, although I haven't read her since high school and I think I would get more out of it now. I need to get a book of hers so I can read my poem a day - if I read poetry in too high of doses it all starts to run together in my head.


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