Norman Holland This is one of Frost's most often anthologized and analyzed poems, justifiably so. The narrator is skeptical of this tradition, unable to understand the need for a wall when there is no livestock to be contained on the property, only apples and pine trees. If you want to contact us regarding any particular content on the website, please use the contact page. They are realities, and so the narrator asks his neighbor to go beyond the hill and find out after all who creates these gaps. The neighbor, however, is unconvinced by the speaker's reasoning and in response, simply utters his father's saying that 'good fences make good neighbors. The poem is also noteworthy from an artistic level. Writing as he did at the beginning of the 20th century, he was witness to the drawing of borders between nations.
Noted philosopher and politician uses the poem to preface her 2016 book, Justice Across Boundaries: Whose Obligations? If your class is more advanced in terms of finding literary devices, you could split your class up into partners or small groups, have them look for the devices, and then have them share what they found. The elves are tiny, supernatural beings from folklore and myth. Where as the old man signifies the spirit of restraint, which insists tradition should be upheld. Frost often compared free verse to playing tennis without the net--a remark which no one has ever interpreted as an attack on nets. The brain of Robert Frost. Shall we have separate identities or shall we get rid of the boundaries between ourselves and the world outside? This doesn't mean, however, that Frost's poetry was straightforward or traditional in content or perspective, as 'Mending Wall' illustrates. He wants to nudge the neighbor's imagination, just as a teacher might wish to challenge a student.
Speech can seem almost ominous, when I hear about those yelping dogs or when the poet spells out the magic he uses to balance rocks. Ask the students to annotate as they hear the poem, marking devices that they recognize and words or phrases that they either do not understand or that jump out at them. This is so, at least partly, because Frost has purposely and purposefully left out of his poem a piece of important information. This monologue may seem to be descriptive in the very first instant. When the speaker and his neighbour mend the wall, is there a friendly spirit between them? The narrator says that sometimes the wall is damaged by some careless hunters, who pull down the stones of the walls in search of rabbits to please their barking dogs. Which person, then, is the real wall-builder? Using language to cope, Frost is telling the neighbor that he is being unrealistic. No other poem in the Frost canon better illustrates his manner—as he described it—and his overall poetic intention.
The neighbour grows pine trees and the speaker has an apple orchard. Even on successive readings, we are surprised by the implications of a given line or phrase, and we find ourselves gauging how much of a smile or frown accompanies each sentence. Make sure you like Beamingnotes Facebook page and subscribe to our newsletter so that we can keep in touch. We keep the wall between us as we go. What one person thinks of as a wall may be just a fence to the other person. Yet the very earth conspires against them and makes their task Sisyphean.
It uses that problem to engage us and demand that we think, which is the poem's pleasure, and its strategy. The neighbor asserts that a good fence keeps the rest of the world safely at bay with minimal complication. However, the narrator gets immensely irritated to see his neighbor firmly holding a stone and giving a look of an ancient stone-age man, who is getting armed to fight. Copyright © 1975 by Duke University Press. What finally emerges from Frost's poem is the idea that the stock reply—unexamined wisdom from the past—seals off the possibility of further thought and communication.
The narrator sees his neighbour holding firmly a stone looking like an ancient stone-age man, armed to fight. Armand, for example, notes that Frost knew pine cones could seed a nearby orchard. He says that the apples that grow in his orchard would not trespass and eat the cones of his pine trees. He does not say that he wants to change his neighbor's mind, to make him believe what he himself believes. He does not moralize: he demonstrates.
The young generation wants to demolish the old tradition and replace it with modernity while the old wants to cling on to the existing tradition and beliefs. Though the narrator comes together with his neighbor to repair the wall, he regards it an act of stupidity. I see him there Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. Twice the proverb is offered to close the matter. When his speaker has in view the energies that disturb walls and boundaries, Frost's prosody vagrantly resists the regularities of his metrical contract: 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 narrator tells that if he has to ever build a wall, he will ask himself whom he will be protecting by constructing a wall and whether the wall will offend anyone.
And the speaker who is not at all reverent toward nature consciously works at deepening that sense of mystery: The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they would have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. He broaches no difficult subjects, nor does he insist on talking about himself; yet Frost is at his best in a sentence like this. In short, the two opposed men in the poem fairly shape up into one, and his name is Robert Frost. Lexington, Ky: University Press of Kentucky. It seems as if nature is attempting to destroy the barriers that man has created on the land, even as man continues to repair the barriers, simply out of habit and tradition. There are no stanza breaks, obvious end-rhymes, or rhyming patterns, but many of the end-words share an assonance e. It is a poem that celebrates a process, not the thing itself.