Poem Reflection: Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”

Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”; it is a poem about the literal and figurative portrayal of human’s separation from the world, from nature, from the neighbors, and even from people themselves. It’s a form of protest and rejection – both physical and psychological.

The speaker feels the wall serves no real purpose at the end, a total waste of effort even if it provided privacy and apparent “peace”. Frost uses words throughout his poem that allow the much deeper meaning of the wall to be revealed. The wall allows the two neighbors to mend their friendship, reminisce on their lives, and become closer during every spring. He even reveals it at the end.

While the poem lacks rhyme, Frost repeats two lines in this poem, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” and “Good fences make good neighbors.” The repetition of these lines, as well as the repetition of certain phrases throughout the poem, emphasize the use of repetition as the main poetry form to construct his ideas and express his feelings, the whole “this is my side of the argument, and that’s your side of the argument” theme. As the poem drifts away in symbolism and meaning, Frost was able to bring the reader back into focus on the feelings of the author, Frost himself, and also on the wall, so he made sure to say it twice.

Using this wall metaphor and symbolism loudly and repetitively, Frost introduces a theme that can be seen replicated today in every walk of life in America or elsewhere. It’s in politics, it’s in culture, and it’s in every aspect of daily life. We build fences (walls) to isolate us from others, to isolate the haves from the have-nots. Nations build walls in the name of sovereignty and security and economic supremacy. It grew to a bigger social sound bite gaining more traction as human chaos continues down its destructive course of disagreement and division. The wall is the physical and emotional barrier people create to express such feelings and actions.