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Using Newspaper Accounts for Inspiration

Many people don’t realize that Frost’s poem “Out, Out—” is based on an event that actually happened, as is reported in the Littleton (NH) Courier of March, 1910. One of a local man’s twin sons had his hand cut off by a buzz saw and he died as a result; this traumatic experience is at the heart of Frost’s poem.

Using newspaper articles as inspiration and for key information, students can draft solid narrative poems that include specificity, setting, characters, and even dialogue. They can use “Out, Out—” as a model to work with to create their own local news-based poem.

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