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The Vanishing Red Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Frost Type: poem Views: 73

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He is said to have been the last Red man

In Action. And the Miller is said to have laughed--

If you like to call such a sound a laugh.

But he gave no one else a laugher's license.

For he turned suddenly grave as if to say,

'Whose business,--if I take it on myself,

Whose business--but why talk round the barn?--

When it's just that I hold with getting a thing done with.'

You can't get back and see it as he saw it.

It's too long a story to go into now.

You'd have to have been there and lived it.

They you wouldn't have looked on it as just a matter

Of who began it between the two races.

Some guttural exclamation of surprise

The Red man gave in poking about the mill

Over the great big thumping shuffling millstone

Disgusted the Miller physically as coming

From one who had no right to be heard from.

'Come, John,' he said, 'you want to see the wheel-pint?'

He took him down below a cramping rafter,

And showed him, through a manhole in the floor,

The water in desperate straits like frantic fish,

Salmon and sturgeon, lashing with their tails.

The he shut down the trap door with a ring in it

That jangled even above the general noise,

And came upstairs alone--and gave that laugh,

And said something to a man with a meal-sack

That the man with the meal-sack didn't catch--then.

Oh, yes, he showed John the wheel-pit all right.


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| Posted on 2012-01-23 | by a guest

.: The Vanishing Red :.

This poem describes the murder of the last Native American resident of a New England mill town name Acton. (Note correct spelling; "Action" is a misprint that started, I suspect, with the Library of America edition of Frost.) The miller, in an act of pure racial hatred, shoves John, the Red Man, down into the mill's wheel pit, where John is shredded to death in the gears. Frost was not quite the kindly New England sage he impersonated in his photo portraits.

| Posted on 2007-06-03 | by a guest

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