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Mending Wall by Robert Frost

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  • Mending Wall by Robert Frost

    Being witness to the recent vicious partisanship exhibited by the so called leaders of our country (cultural, political or otherwise), I've become nostalgic for the days in my life when I could find more fellowship...more understanding in those that I met, talked to, read about or read from.

    I just wish civility was common place & not a rarity. After all, it doesn't cost anything.

    Having read this poem when I was very young the oft quoted catch phrase keeps coming to mind more & more often.

    I reread this after many years & found new meaning. Perhaps it will do the same for you.

    MENDING WALL
    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 neighbor 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 neighbors'.
    Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
    If I could put a notion in his head:
    'Why do they make good neighbors? 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 neighbors."

    I welcome your comments

    CD
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  • #2
    Re: Mending Wall by Robert Frost

    I enjoyed reading this again. I haven't read it in such a long time. As you said, I, too, long for more civility and I remember back to the days when bumping into your neighbors not only meant fun conversations but an opportunity to make dates for future get-togethers. Socializing was often, and another chance to get dressed up to go out and share what was happening in our lives.

    Today is quite another matter. I'm glad I lived in the time I did because I don't think this generation or the ones that come after will have that experience. I listen to the news on television and I'm disgusted with the rapidity of the speech. Between the quick repartee and the terrible news, even if you don't have anxiety disorder you can probably get it after listening to a program.

    Just my opinion, but I don't think you can have civility when the language itself has become so corrupted. I think we've become technologically more educated, but behaviorally more vicious and ignorant.

    While I would love to think that things will get better I don't offer much hope on that score. I happened to find the following response to Robert Frost's poem on the internet and it made me laugh because, unfortunately, I think it sums it up:

    If Frost lived where i do with punk *** neighbor kids leaving their **** in my yard[toys, bikes, footballs etc] he would burn that poem

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