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The Gum-Gatherer Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Frost Type: Poetry Views: 477

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Mountain Interval1916There overtook me and drew me in

To his down-hill, early-morning stride,

And set me five miles on my road

Better than if he had had me ride,

A man with a swinging bag for'load

And half the bag wound round his hand.

We talked like barking above the din

Of water we walked along beside.

And for my telling him where I'd been

And where I lived in mountain land

To be coming home the way I was,

He told me a little about himself.

He came from higher up in the pass

Where the grist of the new-beginning brooks

Is blocks split off the mountain mass --

And hop. eless grist enough it looks

Ever to grind to soil for grass.

(The way it is will do for moss.)

There he had built his stolen shack.

It had to be a stolen shack

Because of the fears of fire and logs

That trouble the sleep of lumber folk:

Visions of half the world burned black

And the sun shrunken yellow in smoke.

We know who when they come to town

Bring berries under the wagon seat,

Or a basket of eggs between their feet;

What this man brought in a cotton sack

Was gum, the gum of the mountain spruce.

He showed me lumps of the scented stuff

Like uncut jewels, dull and rough

It comes to market golden brown;

But turns to pink between the teeth.

I told him this is a pleasant life

To set your breast to the bark of trees

That all your days are dim beneath,

And reaching up with a little knife,

To loose the resin and take it down

And bring it to market when you please


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