Q uick H istory Full Name: Robert Lee Frost Life: March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. One of the most popular and critically respected American poets of his generation, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. Teacher, mill worker, newspaper reporter Poems about country life and the beauty of landscape Poet of deep thoughts with spiritual meanings
Q uick H istory Nationality – American Lifespan - 1874 – 1963 Father - William Prescott Frost Jr. Editor of the San Francisco Daily Evening Post Education – Harvard Career - Poet, essayist, educator, and critic Born in San Francisco but lived in a farm in New England DarthmouthUniversity and later Harvard without a degree
Q uick H istory Four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Author of Fire and Ice, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, The Road Not Taken and A Question Poem ~ Mending Wall Wrote just before World War One in England Reminded him of his home in America Relationships about anyone anywhere Unites rural description with deep thinking
STRUCTURE Structural Description of the Poem 45 - line consists of one verse paragraph = like a wall of words I = story with narrator; monologue; dramatic speech Present tense = idea happens as the reader reads the poem contractions, oh = space filler, everyday speech, immediate emotion Full stops in the middle of lines = common in everyday speaking, adds a natural feel ex: He said it for himself. I see him there.’
CONCEPTS setting = countryside in spring border between two farms writes about both a physical wall and the character of his neighbor compares the neighbor to himself What makes a good neighbor?
INCEPTION a country scene where the walls need to be repaired a farmer’s pride in the wisdom passed down to him by his father. stubbornness in a conservative farmer who blindly follows tradition examines how humans deal with each other and live isolated lives.
THEMES barrier building [Sisyphus ~ Greek Mythology; push a boulder up the hill only to have the boulder roll down again] (segregation in its broadest sense) the doomed nature of this enterprise Our persistence in this activity
MENDING WALL Something there is that doesnt 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,
MENDING WALL 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:
MENDING WALL "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!" We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of out-door 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."
MENDING WALL Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: "Why do they make good neighbors? Isnt it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall Id ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offense. Something there is that doesnt love a wall, That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
MENDING WALL But its not elves exactly, and Id 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 fathers saying, And he likes having thought of it so well He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors.”
LINES FO R THOUGHT a respectful distance between neighbours is the recipe for harmonious relationships (27/45) a farmer’s pride in the wisdom passed down to him by his father (43) portrays an unusual and dour country character (40) co-operation between neighbours (12) people need their own space (15) explores the futility of a country custom (21)
LINES FOR THOUGHT suggests there are mysterious forces at work in nature (35-36) different types of agriculture in the locality (24) the way some people keep to themselves, no matter what (41) the mental struggle between two neighbours who appear to co-operate on a physical task while they are very different in outlook (23)