NOW the stone house on the lake front is finished and the
workmen are beginning the fence.
The palings are made of iron bars with steel points that
can stab the life out of any man who falls on them.
As a fence, it is a masterpiece, and will shut off the rabble
and all vagabonds and hungry men and all wandering
children looking for a place to play.
Passing through the bars and over the steel points will go
nothing except Death and the Rain and To-morrow.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Carl Sandburg's poem A Fence


  1. nik c says:

    We analyzed this poem for a group project today and we thought it was deep and almost motivational. With the “palings on the iron fence” part showing how nobody can hurt your soul, dreams, or your personality can. Only death, the rain (i guess sadness maybe), and tomorrow (as in you can change them)

    idk. i really like it though. our presentation is tomorrow. but whatever, poems always seem different to other people. its nice seeing how other people interpreted it

  2. masud says:

    the poem is talking about the suppression that the people of south africa went through during the appartheid.

  3. Kelly says:

    This poem is about the present, and the future. The author suggests the fence is installed to protect the house from outsiders today, this was indicated itially by the word “Now”.Though the fence was intended to keep the outsiders out, however, only death and the rain is sure to cross this fence in the future. This was suggested by using the word “tommorrow.”

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