Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Mending Wall is a poem written by Robert Frost in his book of poetry “North of Boston,” which was published in 1915. Frost lived in England and he was homesick about his farm in New Hampshire.

Poem Mending Wall in a nutshell

The poem Mending Wall is a Dramatic Monologue, a poem in the form of a speech or narrative by an imagined person, in which the speaker keeps to narrate many events to the silent imagined person.

In this poem Robert Frost is the Narrator and his neighbor is the silent listener. Frost is explaining his past event while he was living in New Hampshire. Every year he used to walk with his neighbor along with their stone wall that divides their property, by repairing it’s stones.

Frost doesn’t believe to be an old-fashioned to follow the tradition so strictly, he doesn’t know the need of a wall separating his and his neighbor’s property as there are no livestock, but only pine and apple trees. Still his neighbor wish there should be a wall and he repeats an old proverb “Good fences make good neighbors.” over the course of the repairing wall.

Line-by-line Meaning : Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
[…………………….
…………………]

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

Here the poet finds there’s some thing that doesn’t love the existence of a wall separating his and his neighbor’s property. The reason is, poet seems the nature itself spills the boulders out and the wall has huge gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:
[………………………
………..]
To please the yelping dogs.

Robert Frost then tries to make some guesses, the wall may be damaged because of the work of hunters. Rabbits may be hiding inside the boulders of wall to escape from hunting dogs. Boulders are jumped off, poet fix them aback. But he assumes the rabbits might have come out of again pleasing the yelping dogs.

The gaps I mean,
[………………………
………..]
And set the wall between us once again.

Frost then says, no one has heard or seen the wall is damaged, but in spring time he usually finds many gaps on the wall. He let his neighbor know of, and they walk together mending the damaged parts of the wall.

We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
[………………………
………..]
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side.

Frost feels it’s funny to repair the damaged area so as they balance the irregular stones. Some are loaves and some are like ball shaped, so risky to balance them. He makes a funny spell to balance the wall “stay where you are until our backs are turned!”. It was felt like playing an outdoor game, their fingers were rough handling the stones.

It comes to little more:
[………………………
………..]
My apple trees will never get across
[………………………
………..]
And to whom I was like to give offence.

Poet himself think of why there is a need of wall. His neighbor has pine trees and Frost has Apple orchard. His apple tress will never ever cross his boundary and eat neighbors cones under his pine trees.

Whenever poet tries to convey this message to his neighbor – he kept repeating an old saying – “Good fences make good neighbours”. Poet is still confused why need of a wall, there are now cows or any other livestock.

Seems the wall was built by his neighbor. Speaker says, if it was his own  idea to make a wall, he will first ask himself if there a need of a wall, whom he would like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
[………………………
………..]
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

The speaker again jumps to the very beginning notion of the poem, there’s something that doesn’t love a wall. He could tell his neighbor it is “Elves” that destroys the wall, but he could understand he is coming up with silly explanation with his own. Thus the Speaker actually wants to lighten up him and questing the real necessity of a wall in between them.

Poet watches the neighbor bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top in each hand like primitive caveman does, in the darkness off woods and the shades of trees.

Speaker affirms he will not go behind his father’s saying “Good fences make good neighbours”. He keeps mending the wall repeating this.

Salahudheen Kozhikoden

The Founder and CEO of LittleHelpz. He is a post-graduate in English Language and Literature and a web addict. His areas of interest are Blogging, Designing, Programming