This man who is so insistent on maintaining this wall is a product of a long-gone age of thinking. In reference to elves and a spell, she quotes the following passage from the story: Their backs were to the wall so that when a stone fell off it they were taken by surprise. What impresses itself upon the poet is that, for whatever reasons, men continue to need marked boundaries, even when they find it difficult to justify their existence. Many of his poems are like argumentative engagements with himself. The speaker questions many things in relation to the wall that is being rebuilt. The poem ultimately ends symbolically with the neighbor's repetition of the adage that 'good fences make good neighbors. It seems to me Frost is working with an infantile fantasy about breaking down the wall which marks self so as to return to a state of closeness to an Other.
The first line, for example, scans as a trochee and four iambs. Indeed, Frost shrewdly and characteristically stopped his poem just short of a mythological link. Significantly, though the speaker's observation is reiterated later in the poem, it is not a self-contained statement. Not of woods only and the shade of trees. In a manifest way, Frost is simply being sarcastic: you only need a wall if you think immovable trees will cross over and eat inedible seeds. The poem stops shy of dramatizing the speaker's choice of which road to take. He has been firmly rejected by any and all publishers.
The speaker envisions his neighbor as a holdover from a justifiably outmoded era, a living example of a dark-age mentality. When we examine these linked poems in the light that each casts on the other, we find that their relationship really involves statement and counterstatement, or, put another way, theme and antitheme. In the poem's fictional setting, the husband responds to his mournful wife's inability to cope with the death of their child by putting up a false cover of business as usual. Discussion and Research Topics 1. Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder In these lines, 5 out of the feet are variant.
The style of the poem makes it simple… 1226 Words 5 Pages The Mending Wall by Robert Frost Robert Frost was not just a writer. He makes boundaries and he breaks boundaries. It could be that Frost is illustrating what it means to move from delight to wisdom: the road less traveled may not look any different, but it is made different by the inner progress of the traveler. The speaker's sensitivity to what he sees may excite his desire for action, but he is neither capable nor desirous of didactic argument. Etherealizing By Robert Frost A theory if you hold it hard enough And long enough gets rated as a creed: Such as that flesh is something we can slough So that the mind can be entirely freed.
Expansion of post with interpretive passage. On a deeper level even than this is the possibility that Frost was aware of, had taken account of and justified, his own need for barriers. One key to the poet's omission lies in the final lines of the poem. What is the biggest change for them in their new positions? Ultimately, the very knowledge of this opposition becomes itself a kind of barrier behind which the persona, for all his dislike of walls, finds himself confined. You could cluster desks so that they are in groups of four or five, but all face away from the center — the opposite of cooperative learning, at least for the purposes of this activity. Unconscious anger is masked as gentle sarcasm, but the chaos comes through unchanged. He only repeats the aphorism he learned from his father, as if to keep from something original or as if incapable of saying something original.
The poem portrays a speaker who is challenging the need to continually rebuild a stone wall, an image that symbolizes traditions, yet his neighbor is unwilling to consider the speaker's argument that there is no need to mend it. Allow the meter of the poem to drive you as you write it. The two men--farmer and observer, insider and outsider--are separated by deep differences in perception, differences that the speaker does not fully appreciate. His parents, school headmaster William Prescott Frost and teacher Margaret Isabelle Moodie, had left New England because of post-Civil War politics. They are abettors of the ill-doers.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me, Not of woods only and the shade of trees. Here from The Cambridge Companion to Robert Frost, is Frost himself. This overall structure in these three sections can be summarized like this: The narrator works with the neighbor. Student Response Here are several ideas for ways you can have students respond to this poem. The speaker, after all does not ask the neighbor to give up his father's notion.
By contrast, when Frost imagines the reconstruction of the wall as the two men labor, the rhythm and meter of his lines coincide quite exactly: 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. Contrary to the burden of critical opinion, it is less about neighborliness than it is about modes of thought, about language, perhaps even about poetry itself. My apple trees will never get across 25 And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He served the University of Michigan as poet in residence and was honored with the title Fellow in Letters at both Harvard and Dartmouth. 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. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. There is a sort of excitement and mischievousness in the tone of the speaker reflected, one could argue, in the disruption of the meter.
And in truth, Frost's persona is the less communicative and the more hostile of the two. The god of boundaries they named Terminus was not invented by the Romans, but he became one of their important household gods. Yet the speaker must derive something, some use, some satisfaction, out of the exercise of wall-building, or why would he initiate it here? Moreover, the annual act of mending the wall also provides an opportunity for the two men to interact and communicate with each other, an event that might not otherwise occur in an isolated rural environment. Oh, just another kind of outdoor game, One on a side. Which are we supposed to believe? Copyright © 1997 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. The festival of the Terminalia was celebrated in Rome and in the country on the 23rd of February.