Mending Wall

Mending Wall

Wall Graffiti in Monterey, California

This week’s challenge Wall reminds me of one of the most admired poems of English literature, which I had read in my school – ‘Mending Wall’, published in 1914. Written by one of the most celebrated poets of history, Robert Frost, this is a very playful and imaginative poem about the process, and least about the end. Possibly interpreted in a myriad ways, this poem is a treat to read after the long spell of winter has come to an end in this part of the world when neighbors begin the process of repairing their fences during spring. Read it and you will enjoy it with the contrasting imagery of this poem. It will invariably provoke lots of thoughts in your mind from your own life and experiences.

“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 outdoor 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 offense.
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.’ “

– Robert Frost (1874-1963)


Do let me know which verses of this poem you liked most. What kind of a picture you imagined in your mind while reading it? And how do you interpret this poem?

List of few of my poems:

The Charismatic Face

Death, the New Life



I Long to




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17 Responses to Mending Wall

  1. kelleysdiy says:

    Ohh, I just love this. Your writing is fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much Kelley. I had read this poem of Robert Frost in my school and feel this is so much relevant in the present world context, where there are more walls n boundaries than ever.


  2. What an awesome take on the challenge. I love the graffiti on the wall and more so the poem to go with it.
    Robert Frost’s Ice and Fire is my favorite though ! ^.^

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mukhamani says:

    Reading your poem I was reminded of what my father in law once said, earlier there used to be no walls between properties of people, this is in the villages, but now there are. he said walls have divided people in more than one way. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thats a very good observation, and thoughtful too. I completely agree with you. Walls or boundaries have divided people in their quest to prevent things from others. And its to true in cities too. Now be it nations or homes and societies. I guess this is the price of development that we need to pay.

      Thanks dear for dropping by my post. Have a great weekend ahead 🙂


  4. One of my favorites. We had to deconstruct this in college.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Wall | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

  6. Beautiful post, Suyash 🙂

    Liked the way you have presented the image and this beautiful poem 🙂


  7. I can understand Helen. Many poems are difficult to interpret and so figurative. But I thought this one is a much simpler one. May be try to imagine a situation with your neighbors in a countryside setting where their cattle can graze into your area and your apple trees can walk into your neighbors land. Really? So, to avoid such petty conflicts, you got fences or walls between neighbors. Poet says, Good fences make good neighbors. You may ask if thats really true.

    Does it hold true for countries too? Why not have no boundaries between countries, no visas. Everyone is free to walk or travel in other countries. Think the difference.

    Not sure about the Chinese version but I am sure there must be one as this is quite a famous poem. Check it out 🙂


  8. Helen C says:

    Poems are hard for me. I like them, but understand only a little and even that little understanding would usually come from reading it repeatedly 😉 This one for sure I have to read it many times. Any Chinese version? ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. carto says:

    Robert Frost poet laureate of former British colonies — nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

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