The line gang

Words: 101-200

Skills: Context Clues Figurative Language

Grades: 8th 9th 10th

Topics: Realistic Fiction

Genres: Poetry

Lexile Range:

Lexile Measure:

CCSS: Reading: Literature


The Line-Gang

by Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874-1963) is one of the most celebrated American poets. This poem from a 1916 collection is about a group of workmen installing telephone and telegraph lines. Students will read the poem and respond to questions on the language and the structure.

Reading Comprehension Passage

The Line-Gang

by Robert Frost
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.

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. What is the line-gang doing?

2. What does “beaten out” and “spoken” refer to in the phrase “words whether beaten out or spoken”?

3. Explain what the phrase “They plant dead trees for living” means.

4. What does fast mean here: "With shouts afar to pull the cable taut/to hold it hard until they make it fast"?