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Mending Wall by Robert Frost

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oralia garza

on 25 March 2014

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Transcript of Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Oralia Garza
Montserrat Cruz
Ana Garza
Diana Valeriano

Mending Wall by Robert Frost
As a farmer trudging through his fields, interacting with the local farm folk, and performing his laborious daily chores, Frost was meticulously observing nature at work, and drawing unparalleled inspiration for the bulk of poetry that would eventually belong to the world for all time. He spent untold hours studying nature’s intricacies and developing an exceptional and powerful sensitivity to its intoxicating influence.
What do we think?
Oralia thinks: "Nature inspires me to paint. Nature always calms me down and makes me feel free when I feel like the world is crashing down and there's nothing to fix the problem. Nature its something you cannot control so you never know what is going to happen. That's why nature inspires me to paint because it is intriguing and beautiful."
How can nature inspire you?

He was the most celebrated poet in America, and with each new book—including New Hampshire , A Further Range , Steeple Bush , and In the Clearing —his fame and honors including four Pulitzer Prizes increased.
Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and died in Boston on January 29, 1963.

Robert Frost was influenced by the emotions and events in an everyday life. A banal event from his day, was transformed into something with a deep meaning and was sided with a feeling like love, hate, conflict, etc. In 1912 Robert Frost moved to England to concentrate on writing full-time. Mending wall was inspired by a natural world, when he was in his farm in New Hampshire.
Historical background
Robert Frost met Edward Thomas in London in 1913, neither had yet made his name as a poet. They became close, and each was vital to the other's success.Edward Thomas and Robert Frost were sitting on an orchard stile near Little Iddens, Frost's cottage in Gloucestershire, in 1914, when word arrived that Britain had declared war on Germany. They had no idea of the way in which this war would come between them. In six months, Frost would flee England for the safety of New Hampshire; he would take Thomas's son with him in the expectation that the rest of the Thomas family would follow.
Reading strategy
What is an inference?
You make an inference when you use clues from the story to figure out something that the author doesn't
tell you.
meaning by what they take the words to mean and how they process sentences to find meaning. They infer unstated meanings based on social conventions, shared knowledge, shared experience, or shared values.
Practice your inference skills!
What can you infer about the following sentence?
Mary went into labor. She had a monkey
Ana thinks:
At the moment in which you´re in contact with nature you feel free, free to express you, without mistakes and without barriers where my imagination can flow at a constant rhythm, where every single aspect can create a new thought, where the emotions and feelings are identified with every single sound. With the breeze air passing through my skin where the tranquility is present; at the moment of the storm my problems are free and have their own voice expressing ideas. That's why the nature inspire me at the moment in which I feel identified with each single moment of a leaf, with every single sound of water flowing through the river, they are emotions expressed in single ways through small actions that occurs in nature.
Literary analysis
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.

Lines 1-4
• By using "something" our speaker suggests that there is a thing (not naming it) in humans or simply in nature that is against "walls".

•The boulders start to crumble by natural causes.

• As a result of said natural action, the wall has gaps big enough for two people to pass through comfortably. The neighbor and him.

Lines 5-9
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,

• In addition to the Something alluded to in line 1, our speaker tells us that hunters are culprits as well. However, their "work is very different from the Something’s wall-destroying techniques.

• He says, "I have come after them," instead of "I came after them," giving us the impression that this is a common occurrence.

• Little bunnies like to hide inside the wall from the hunters, and, so, in turn, the hunters tear down the wall to find them.

Lines 10-15
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.

• Our speaker, sensing our sensory overload, steers us back on course. At the end of line 9, he says, "the gaps I mean," reminding us about the mysterious Something that destroys this wall. The Something is so covert that no one sees or hears it make gaps in the wall.

• Our speaker has a neighbor. This neighbor lives beyond the hill, and, at spring, our speaker tells the neighbor that the wall needs some mending.

• The two walk the whole length of the wall which separates their properties. Each walking on their side of the wall as they go.

Lines 16-19

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!’

• As they walk along they pick the boulders that fall to their side, but our speaker and his neighbor have a difficult time putting the rounder boulders back into the wall.

• The process of replacing the little boulders is so frustrating that the speaker and his neighbor resort to talking to the little rocks, and, in talking to them, they come up with a kind of spell.

• The speaker and his neighbor wish the boulders to stay in the right place "until our backs are turned?" It’s as though the speaker and the neighbor know that the wall will fall apart again soon. They simply want the wall to stay intact in their presence.

Lines 20-22
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:

• As the speaker and his neighbor walk the length of their wall, their hands get sore from handling all of the rocks.

• The speaker likens the whole process to a game, like volleyball maybe. The wall is like a net, and the speaker and his neighbor are the two opposing teams.

• The speaker says that such a ritual "comes to little more." Mending the wall is just a game to him. There’s no deeper purpose.

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.

Lines 23-26
• He indicates that the precious wall, the one that he spends all of this time talking about, is actually unnecessary. Now, we find out that our speaker isn’t really that into the wall itself.

• Our speaker wants to convince his neighbor that the wall is plain unnecessary.

• He tells his neighbor that the apples that he grows will never eat or disturb the pine trees which grow on his neighbor’s property.

Lines 27-29
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:

• In response to the speakers argument the neighbor simply says, "Good fences make good neighbors."

• This is a famous proverb that’s been around for centuries. We take it to mean that this neighbor likes his privacy and his own space.

• Our speaker becomes a bit mischievous. He desperately wants to stir the pot and challenge the "good fences make good neighbors" proverb. He wishes that he can somehow inspire his neighbor to rethink the whole wall thing.

“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 offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say ‘Elves’ to him

Lines 30-36
• The speaker understands the neighbor’s philosophy, if one person has cows and wants to keep the cows from wreaking havoc. But there are no cows.

• We infer that the wall was never his idea to build the wall, it was his neighbor’s idea

• He tells us that, if he ever builds a wall, he will first ask himself why he’s building the wall and what that wall’s purpose is, also if whether such a wall will offend anyone.

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.

Lines 37-40
• Our speaker can tell his neighbor that elves keep destroying the wall, but he knows that it’s not elves, and he wants his neighbor to come up with some silly explanation on his own.

• He wants his neighbor to lighten up, and to question the real necessity of keeping a wall between them.

• As the neighbor holds onto a stone, our speaker thinks that the guy looks kind of a caveman. It’s as if walls are holdovers from more primitive times.

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.”

Lines 41-15
• The neighbor doesn’t only look a bit like an "old-stone savage," but there’s also darkness in him.

• We learn that the neighbor’s favorite saying ("Good fences make good neighbors") actually isn’t his own, but harkens back to his father’s saying.

• When the speaker tells us this, we see this neighbor as a man of tradition and old-school rules.

to repair something broken or unserviceable
“But at spring mending-time we find them there”

a smooth rounded mass of rock that has a diameter greater than 25cm and that has been shaped by erosion and transported by ice or water from its original position
“And spills the upper boulders in the sun”
alongside each other and facing in the same direction
“And makes gaps even two can pass abreast”

to utter a sharp or high-pitched cry or bark, often indicating pain
“But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs.”

a verbal formula considered as having magical force
“We have to use a spell to make them balance”

wayward but not malicious behaviour, usually of children, that causes trouble, irritation, etc
“Spring is the mischief in me (…)”

to grip something firmly with or as if with the hands.
“Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top”

a member of a nonliterate society, one regarded as primitive
“In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.”

Montse thinks:
For me, nature is inspiring because it is so much more than us. One who is attuned with nature is attuned with the practice of living. All of nature moves in a spiral as do our personal lives. It is important to spend time in nature because in this way we can become attuned to its wisdom.

What can you infer from this following sentence?

Sarah left a Payless Shoes bag on the floor and is wearing shiny red heels.

What can you infer from this following sentence?

William's house smells of soy sauce and used chopsticks are on the table.
Diana thinks:
Nature inspires me, not just because of its beauty (it’s really beautiful), it inspires me because there is nothing human in it, so there is no single thing that could remind me of my problems or of this human world. Nature is not a silent place, it is a place where, if you observe carefully, you can learn many things. It is the only place where I hear my thoughts without my problems; nature is a mystery, just as we are. So nature doesn’t inspire me to a specific task, it just inspires and fills me with hope and with peace; because nature is not corrupted, nature can only be beautiful.
Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco.
He became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence.
His first published poem, "My Butterfly," appeared on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent.
In 1895, Frost married Elinor Miriam White, who was a major inspiration for his poetry until her death in 1938. The couple moved to England in 1912, after they tried and failed at farming in New Hampshire. While in England, Frost also established a friendship with the poet Ezra Pound, who helped to promote and publish his work.
Full transcript