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Transcript of Mending Wall
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. 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. What Is This Poem About? About The Poet Robert Frost was an American poet who wrote mainly of the rural life he once lived. The majority of his works revolve around the ideas of nature while portraying a deeper meaning, one you may know of is "The Road Not Taken". As seen in his poem "Mending Wall" his rural upbringing begins to develop the importance of change and why it is important to break free from tradition. Frost's Intent Structure and Form This poem follows a Blank Verse structure, this means that it does not rhyme, but the overall structure is unique. It also follows an iambic pentameter which means that each line has ten syllables. Anaphora Personification Metaphor Simile Metaphor Poetic Devices Line 16 "To each the boulders that
have fallen to each." Line 26 "And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him." Line 28 "Spring is the mischief in me,
and I wonder..." Line 39-41 " I see him there bringing a stone
grasped firmly by the top in each hand,
like an old-stone savage armed." Line 17 " And some are loaves and some so nearly balls..." Literal Message Figurative Message Shmoop Editorial Team. "Mending Wall" Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 26 Mar. 2013 Sources Cited In this poem, the speaker's property is separated from his neighbor's by a stone wall. During Spring, the two mend the wall of any gaps that have been created during the year. The speaker sees no reason for the wall, yet repairs it anyway. He continuously tries to persuade his neighbor to break free from tradition, otherwise known as having walls for the sake of walls. The literal meaning of this poem is that tradition, for the sake of tradition, is no reason to have tradition. The ideas and feelings of alienation and loneliness come only to those who ride in the mainstream, they don't stray away to experience new and exciting things. It is not the love of the wall that keeps the speaker's neighbor coming back, it is his love of the act of building the wall.
The speaker describes Spring as "the mischief in me," which goes to show his creative and imaginative side longing for more. This is kind of like a deep Kafkaesque existentialist revelation which is similar to an epiphany, but varies in the fact that one who has this Kafkaesque revelation begins to understand where they fit into the world and that any changes they want in their life they will have to do by themselves. "Good fences make good neighbors." the speaker's neighbor repeats as the two come together once more. The speaker asks to know what he was "walling in or walling out", and to whom he was to "give offence." What this is really suggesting is that without creativity and imagination you will live a normal life, and unless you make a change you will never know what could have been. That, is a sense, is an allusion to his poem "The Road Not Taken". Background Knowledge While reading "Mending Wall" relate the ideas and themes to that of the story of Sisyphus. According to Greek mythology Sisyphus was the King of Corinth who was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll a large boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down under its own weight, and to repeat this action forever. Robert Frost's intent for this poem was to convey the importance of breaking tradition. He does this through the speaker and his neighbor, but also important in portraying this message is the unspoken third wheel, otherwise know as nature which, in a way, plays the role of the unspoken decision of mending the wall. Sound Devices The author uses sound devices such as the use of an iambic pentameter to place emphasis on certain words and phrases to highlight emphasis.