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January 25, 2006

Frost "Mending Wall" and "After Apple-Picking"

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 really like this passage because it shows his inability or unwillingness to try to talk to his neighbor and persaude him that good neighbors are more than good fences. He understands that there is nothing between the fences and he doesn't understand why they are putting up the fence. Yet he just goes along with the neighbor, without saying a word.

Posted by SeanRunt at January 25, 2006 10:57 AM

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Good point -- that's part of the metaphorical wall that's between the speaker and his neighbor. While the speaker does write this poem about the wall, he goes along with helping to repair it. It sounds like it might be the only thing he and his neighbor do together!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 25, 2006 2:55 PM

As we talked about in class during our discussion of this poem, the speaker probably doesn't voice his feelings because he wants his neighbor to come to his own understanding of the wall's lack of value.

Posted by: ChrisU at February 28, 2006 10:46 AM

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