Mending Wall by Robert Frost
Robert Frost one of the major American poets. He was a poet, teacher and a lecture and four times Pulitzer Prize winner as a nature poet.
The title of the poem tells us about the spring mending time in New England. It also suggests the fact that the wall was already in existence and that it is being mended/ repaired. Moreover it hints at the subject of the poem.
The poem was written by using the forms of free verse and blank verse. There is no separation of lines and stanzas but the poet has used a tone of conversational with a narration. The thoughts and conversations of the poet and his neighbor are separated through the appropriate use of punctuation marks.
Basically the poem describes a situation where two neighbors get together to mend a wall that separates their adjoining plots. There we see the two contrasting attitudes of the two neighbors while one is believing on the futility of mending the wall and wondering over the action the other one continues on the action believing the fact that ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’
Furthermore the action of mending wall is somewhat against the nature. According to the poet the nature actions create gaps in the wall and that makes the both neighbours to mend it. But as mentioned earlier the two neighbours have two distinct characteristics towards the action. The narrator deplores his neighbor’s preoccupation with repairing the wall; he views it as old-fashioned and even archaic. After all, he quips, his apples are not going to invade the property of his neighbor’s pinecones. Moreover, within a land of such freedom and discovery, the narrator asks, are such borders necessary to maintain relationships between people? Despite the narrator’s skeptical view of the wall, the neighbor maintains his seemingly “old-fashioned” mentality, responding to each of the narrator’s disgruntled questions and rationalizations with nothing more than the adage: “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Besides that we see the narrator is actually more active than the neighbor. It is the narrator who selects the day for mending and informs his neighbor across the property. Moreover, the narrator himself walks along the wall at other points during the year in order to repair the damage that has been done by local hunters. Despite his skeptical attitude, it seems that the narrator is even more tied to the tradition of wall-mending than his neighbor. Perhaps his skeptical questions and quips can then be read as an attempt to justify his own behavior to himself. While he chooses to present himself as a modern man, far beyond old-fashioned traditions, the narrator is really no different from his neighbor: he too clings to the concept of property and division, of ownership and individuality.