Neither Out Far Nor In Deep Poem by Robert Frost

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep

Rating: 3.1

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be-
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?

Norman Dale 02 December 2007

I have always loved this poem. It speaks to me of the more general way in which we are drawn so often to look or dwell about something even if we haven't an idea why. The sea does this and so do some people for each of us. I take some disagreement, though I know what he means, with what Frost says about the land varying more. Yes, obviously it does in terms of visible topography but one of the things that draws us to the sea and the coastal edge is surely its restlessness and changeability almost from moment to moment. This was beautifully captured by A.R. Ammons in his poem, 'Corsons Inlet' and is also imminent in the famous second stanza of Eliot's The Dry Salvages. It would be nice if the typo in the penultimate line (Btu) was corrected.

10 7 Reply
* Sunprincess * 30 October 2012

wow this one speaks awesome write..fabulous.. :)

5 5 Reply
Rebbes 09 September 2018

I 😍this poems by Robert Frost

2 0 Reply
Judith Priscilla 06 September 2018

I've always loved this poem since living 3 years on Cape Cod many years ago. It is exactly how I feel about being on the beach.

1 1 Reply
M Asim Nehal 10 December 2015

Such a brilliant poem... They cannot look out far. They cannot look in deep. But when was that ever a bar To any watch they keep?

2 5 Reply
Yusuf Koehn 08 August 2015

The sea is a reflection of human consciousness, we cannot look out far nor in deep, but the changes to the sea (loss of sea life, atmospheric changes, jellyfish blooms and their mindless spineless consumption) are the metaphysical changes we see in

4 3 Reply
Stephen W 01 June 2013

Frost tells us things about human nature, that perhaps we knew but had not taken notice of. We see ourselves anew through his eyes.

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