Iambic Blank Verse
Topical Essay: O’Brien

Will: WWFenn

 

Mending Wall

 

~by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

 

Borders

Borders can be a good thing, but they can also be very controversial, and more often than not, that is the case. In Mending Wall, by Robert Frost, there is lots of talk about borders, or in this case, a fence/wall. Only issue is that one person on one side of the wall is very ignorant and loves the wall, and the other person, the complete opposite. There are always some arguments between the two neighbors, having completely different opinions about the wall, but one of the neighbors just responds in a completely ignorant way.The speaker is thinking about why there is even a wall up, because there is nothing a wall would be needed for. He thinks about the man on the other side of the wall, what he is like and what he would say, thinking about why he needs this wall up in the first place. He then can hear the man on the other side in his head saying; “good fences make good neighbors.”As we know the speaker doesn’t like the wall that much, he doesn’t think that it is all that necessary. He questions, “Why do good fences make good neighbors?” The border (wall) just seems to be bringing controversy into both of these people’s lives, so why even have it? A wall certainly feels like a bad thing considering these two people are completely different people, one completely ignorant, and the other seeming like a very reasonable person.Walls and borders can be good, but if they bring conflict, doesn’t that just contradict the whole point of putting a wall down in the first place?

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

I chose this poem because it really spoke to me. The main theme of this poem is borders, and whether or not they really are good for people. There is also the theme of conflict. The two neighbors talk about whether or not the wall is truly necessary, one neighbor argues that they are bad for relationships, and one argues that fences are good, “good fences make good neighbors”. What made me really interested in this poem is that Frost kind of leaves it up for the reader to choose a side, wall or no wall. He does a great job through the poem, letting the reader know what the conflict is, and giving information on both sides, but not being biased at all. 

Comments

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JP Ward

Nice job Will. I liked your poem a lot, and I think your video made me like it even more. The vidual imagery you were able to pull together made me reflect even more on the deeper meanings of the poem. Your tone and pace were also great. I am excited to hear you recite it in class tomorrow!

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