Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

Closely analyse the poems ‘Sacifice’ by Taufiq Rafat and ‘Out, Out’ by Robert Frost

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In preparation for this essay I read and analysed a series of poems. Some of these poems include 'Tich Miller' by Wendy Cope and 'City Jungle' by Pie Corbett. For the main part of the essay I read the two poems 'Sacifice' by Taufiq Rafat and 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost and found out, about the two different cultures. 'Sacifice' is about a goat being sacrificed when they are laying the foundations of a friend's house, where as 'Out, Out' is about a boy having his hand chopped off by a buzz saw. In class, as a group we took down notes about the two poems.

I will now individually show my understanding of the two poems and write an analysis for them both. I will now analyse 'Sacrifice' by Taufiq Rafat. The poem is about laying the foundations of a house. To do this they have to perform a ritual. The ritual is that the owner of the house has to sacrifice a goat. In the first stanza we can see that the poet feels empathy for the goat as it says 'I can feel its point on my throat'. It is suggesting that he has taken the persona of the goat and feels what it feels.

This stanza is almost out of order, as the poet Rafat could have put line five 'We are laying the foundations of a friend's house' as his first line. He could have done this deliberately because he wants to create effect and to catch the reader's attention by having a strong first stanza with language like 'geysers'. You can tell by the language of the poem that the person who is performing the sacrifice is disturbed and doesn't want to kill the goat as it says 'A hot sticky sweat breaks out on my body'.

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This line in the poem stands out for me because it creates a strong image in my mind and tells me exactly how he is felling towards the sacrifice. In the next stanza we find out that there is a group of people that are involved in laying the foundations of a friend's house, as the sentence starts with 'We are laying the foundations of a friend's house'. By the words 'a brief prayer' and 'we stand in a tight circle' you can tell that the culture of the poem is a religious one and that they are also a close community by them all involved in a ritual also by them all laying the foundations of a friend's house.

The line 'The heat, and the smell of blood make me dizzy' tells you how this sacrifice is making him feel and once again it shows that he thinks this is uncivilized. I think that when it says the goat has a 'civilized and patient look' it makes me feel that the goat doesn't deserve what is about to happen to it and they are going to kill it when he doesn't expect it. In the next stanza they are now performing the sacrifice of the goat. When the poet writes 'Part of the ritual that it is his hand only' it tells you that the person who has to kill the goat is the one who is having his house blessed.

In the line 'How keenly it cuts! ' the poet Rafat is showing that the goat cuts easily and that it is almost like the knife wants to kill the goat. I think that the explanation mark at the end shows the shock and the response of the poet. When the poet writes 'The movement is a little unsteady' this stands out for me because as well as him being nervous I would be too if I had to kill any animal. Also I think it is ironic that by him being nervous, because he doesn't want to hurt the goat, he is actually causing the goat to feel more pain by not being steady.

The word 'butchering' makes this sacrifice feel more unpleasant because butcher means they kill. 'Four calloused hands imprison my jerking legs' this tells us that they are working class people because calloused hands suggests that people work with their hands. Also by saying that the hands are calloused, which means harden, it could suggest that they have hard emotions to this sacrifice. Also with the words 'jerking legs' the poet is taken on the persona and empathy of the goat. In the next stanza they have killed the goat and are now burying it.

When Rafat writes 'the children are fascinated by the tableau' he is saying that the children might want to do this in the future and suggests that this culture could be passed through generations. The goat is forgotten about forever when it says 'Two spadefuls of dirt will cover me up forever' I feel that it is sad that some people would just kill an animal for their culture and just forget about it afterwards. When Rafat says 'a white-bearded man chants something holly' it is coming back to the idea that their community is a religious community.

At the end of the sentence we can tell that this sacrifice is recent by the words 'the cameras click' it also suggests that to some this is a celebration but as you read the last stanza the poet has another opinion. The poet Rafat writes 'we are not laying the foundations of a house, but another Dachau. ' The language he is using is very strong at the end. As I read this last stanza it made me think that when he used the word Dachau that means Concentration Camp or even a Death Camp he clearly shows that he disapproves to the whole sacrifice as I would but he also makes it clear that people have different opinions and feelings, to this.

Over all I think that Rafat makes it clear you can't change the way people feel, this may be because of there religion or culture. I will now analyse 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost. The poem 'Out, Out' is about a young boy who is working in a factory in Vermont. As the poem goes on we find out that a buzz saw the boy was working with chops off his hand. In the first line the poet Frost writes 'The buzz saw snarled' this suggest that by the word snarled there is danger to come. Also personification is used by 'buzz saw'.

The poet suddenly changers the tone of the poem by using the words 'sweet-scented' and also saying in line five about the 'Five Mountain Ranges' and 'Under the sunset into Vermont'. I think that personally this was very clever because the poet has brought the scene alive and goes on to set a pleasant scene with the Mountain Ranges in Vermont. He also tells us a bit about the culture. He does this by mentioning the Mountains, which tell us that this is an isolated community. In line seven the poet has once again changed the tone of the poem by coming back to the saw.

In this line he has used repetition by repeating the words 'Snarled and Ratted'. He explains why the buzz saw was snarling and rattling in the next line by saying 'As it ran light, or had to bear a load'. When the poet writes 'and nothing happened: day was all but done'. This Suggest to the reader that it is just a normal day and that nothing special was going to happen. I found this clever because it is misleading. In the next line the poet shows a bit of emotion by saying 'call it a day, I wish they might have said'. By using the words 'I wish' it makes you think that something bad may happen to him. To please the boy' the poet writes in the next line. This is the first time the poet introduces him as just a boy. This suggests that as apart of their culture they get young children to work. I disagree with this because I think that young children are not as experienced with using dangerous equipment such as a buzz saw and something could happen to them if they are not careful and could get hurt. The poet goes on to introduce his sister in line thirteen 'His sister stood beside them in her apron'. As the poet does this it could suggest that as a part of their culture, families work together.

Frost also writes that the sisters tell the rest of the workers it's supper 'To tell them 'Supper''. This could suggest that the poet has given them traditional roles for the genders. This is that the men have to do the work and the women have to cook. My response to this is that I disagree because it is sexism and I think that is wrong. In the next couple of lines Frost describes how the buzz saw cuts the boys hand off because he is not paying attention and gets distracted by his sister saying to word 'Super' and loses his concentration.

Frost writes just after the word 'Super' that 'the saw, As if to prove saws knew what supper meant, leaped out at the boy's hand' it is as if the saw decides to eat by hearing the hearing the word supper so he users personification. He explains that 'he must have given the hand' and that the boy couldn't pull away in time. 'But the hand! ' the poet writes, which means that he is in shock and dismay by the exclamation mark at the end. By his hand getting chopped off it tells as that it is very physical, manual, dangerous work they do. The boy's first outcry was a rueful laugh'. This suggests that he doesn't really realise what has happened to him. By the poet using the word 'rueful' it tells us again that he is in shock and doesn't believe it. Frost writes in line twenty 'as he swung toward them holding up the hand, Half in appeal' this could mean that the boy has reacted different to his hand being chopped off. This is because at first he was in shock and then he was looking for help by swinging towards them. The poet then writes 'but half as if to keep the life from spilling'.

This could refer to the title 'Out, Out' because as the blood is spilling out of him it is also like the life is spilling and going out of his body as well. The boy's final reaction is when it says 'then the boy saw all' this suggests that he knows that he is going to either be disabled or even die. The poet writes how the boy has now become a teenager by using the words 'big boy doing a man's work' even though the boy is a 'child at heart'. In the next few lines it tells us that the boy has lost his hand and that he has even lost his life.

At first the poet brings the boy alive by using speech and getting him to say 'Don't let him cut my hand off'. The poet now changers the whole pace of the poem by just having the word 'So' by itself. This suggests the finality of the poem. 'But the hand was gone already'. This means that despite what he wants it doesn't matter because the hand was gone and it couldn't have been used again. In the next sentence we find out that their medical provision is quite basic because it says 'the doctor put him in the dark of ether'.

The ether is for the boy to cope with the pain. The boy 'lay and puffed his lips out with his breath'. I think this was sad because we know that he is going to die and that could have been his last breath, but it still suggests that there is life still there. 'And then-the watcher at his pulse took fright'. This just means that the fright caused his pulse to go down. Also the hyphen could suggest a dramatic pause. His life is slowly going away from him now when Frost writes 'Little-less-nothing! I think that the exclamation mark means the end and it goes on to say he has died 'and that ended it'. My response to the end of the poem is a one of disbelieve. This is because the poet writes 'Since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs'. I personally find this hard to believe that their culture is quite hard hearted and that they think death and danger is a normal part of life. I don't know how some people would just carry on with their lives instantly and think it was just another death.

This poem must be quite old because of the whole attitude towards death has changed. This is not like 'Sacifice' because that was quite recent because of the 'Cameras'. I will now write about the similarities and differences between the two poems and compare them both. I will start off with some of the similarities between 'Sacifice' and 'Out, Out'. The first thing I have notice between the two was that they both have quite a sad, and depressing tone towards them. This is because they are both about death. Also in both of the poems the characters take the deaths quite lightly e. . in 'Sacrifice' they just forget about the goat 'Two spadefuls of dirt will cover me up forever' and in 'Out, Out' they feel that it is just another death 'Since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs'. Another similarity is that the poet, or the voice of the poem, does not appear to share the views of the communities described. This is because in 'Sacrifice' the poet does not want to kill the goat but community does and in 'Out, Out' the boy does not want to carry on working 'Call it a day, I wish they might have sad'.

They both tell a story and they create a serious tone because they are in blank verse. As they are in blank verse it sounds like someone is telling a story. The last similarity I found is that they both give insights into the cultures in which they are set. Also they imply criticism of the aspect of the culture they are describing. For example in 'Out, Out' one criticism is that a young boy like him should not be working at such a young age but it is apart of their culture to do so. An example of a criticism in 'Sacrifice' is that they should not kill the goat but they do so because it is apart of their culture.

Now I will describe some of the differences between the two poems. The main difference would have to be that 'Out, Out' is about a human where as 'Sacrifice' is about an animal. They both describe different cultures. For example 'Sacrifice' is a religious community and 'Out, Out' isn't. I found that one difference was that 'Sacrifice' includes empathy with the goat, where as 'Out, Out' just describes what happens. Also 'Sacrifice' is divided into stanzas and is in clear sections, where as 'Out, Out' is not in stanzas and just flows chronologically through the story.

Another difference would have to be that the poet in 'Sacrifice' is more involved where as in 'Out, Out' the poet is more of an observer. The last difference I can think of is that the death of the boy was an accident where as the death of the goat was on purpose. Overall I found that 'Sacrifice' by Taufiq Rafat was very sad because I don't think it was right for them to go ahead with the ritual sacrifice of the goat just because they are laying the foundations of a house. The only decent and respectful bit towards the goat was from the poet himself.

He doesn't think this was right either and at least his heart is in the right place. He lets us know from the very beginning that his real sympathies are with the goat: 'As he moves the knife across the neck of the goat I can feel its point on my throat'. But Rafat's sympathy isn't much use to the goat. This is because if he has his doubts about the ceremony and he knows he is going to sacrifice the goat, I don't get why he is there in the first place if he doesn't want to kill the goat. Apart from this I found it a very interesting poem to read.

For 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost I felt that it is a tragedy that a young boy who lives in a rural area, is propelled to work longs days, doing a job that is fit for a man and that he is doing this instead of spending the days as a youth. When Frost writes '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' I felt that not only do these lines inform us that the boy wished he did not have to work but it also reflects a sense of regret on the bystanders part.

It proposes the fact that if they had finished up early, or even not made this young boy do a job fit for his superior then his death may have never occurred. I found this part particularly important to me because if they had done the right thing and not gave him this job he could have still been alive! I liked the fact that Frost uses particular techniques such as, personification, repetition, onomatopoeia, and word structure, which produced a precise rhythm to the poem. Another bit of this poem I liked is that throughout the poem the buzz saw is personified and is given human and animal like qualities. And the saw snared and rattled, snarled and rattled as it ran light or had to bear a load'. This I found suggests that the saw is in fact some kind of creature, which may posses more power than the boy. To some up I think that Frost's ideas of life and death, the harshness of life's demands, and how he shows personal interest in the way in which individuals deal with life's issues such as death are clearly reflected in the poem 'Out, Out'. I think that this was a great poem to read.

Closely analyse the poems ‘Sacifice’ by Taufiq Rafat and ‘Out, Out’ by Robert Frost essay

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