Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
And make 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,
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:
“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 were 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 though of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem Mending Wall

67 Comments

  1. Nancy says:

    The wall is the boundary line that man haves against each other. This wall is needed because we as humans do not want others to see what is truly inside. We only want them to see what we want them to see. The facade individuals put on cannot last forever due to the fact when winter comes along and it ” sends the frozen-ground swell under it”. This means that the weather has moved the rock used to build the wall and what is underneath is truly exposed (mans true self). Every year the narrator and his neighbor has to keep rebuilding the wall and since the rocks used are uneven and “the boulders that have fallen to each” once again lucidly displays that maintaining a facade is nearly… impossible as Frost states “we have to use magic to make them balance”. Although it seems ironic that “good fences make good neighbors” there is some truth in this statement. Men need privacy among society. We need privacy and there is the factor of-trust. It also remains the neighbors what is yours and what is theirs which is important because it is the idea of ownership. But…the narrator is not fully opposing the idea of a wall as he states “where there are cows? But here there are no cows”. The generals public needs boundary. Due to this wall, the narrator does not see his neighbor clearly “he moves in darkness as it seems to me”. Once again the narrator literally cannot see his neighbor but rather his shadow.

  2. BB says:

    I think mending walls is about Ponies and Rob-dogs desperation to have a pony.

  3. palak says:

    this is a poem that we hav to study in yr10. this site has helped me lot and thanks to all of you. This has helped me a lot to write my notes. Speacial thanks to sam from china.

  4. Sergio says:

    i liked it a lot

  5. haley ♥ says:

    this poem is talking about the boundaries man builds against man. things like race,caste,religion.the speaker’s neighbor won’t budge on his opinion of the fence.he thinks it’s neccessary.the speaker tries to convince him that you don’t need a fence and they can live in peace without it.nothing moves the grumpy neighbor.it’s pretty much about that.yup.

  6. haley ♥ says:

    this poem is talking about the boundaries man builds against man. things like race,caste,religion.the speaker’s neighbor won’t budge on his opinion of the fence.he thinks it’s neccessary.the speaker tries to convince him that you don’t need a fence and they can live in peace without it.nothing moves the grumpy neighbor.it’s pretty much about that.yup.

  7. haley ♥ says:

    this poem is talking about the boundaries man builds against man. things like race,caste,religion.the speaker’s neighbor won’t budge on his opinion of the fence.he thinks it’s neccessary.the speaker tries to convince him that you don’t need a fence and they can live in peace without it.nothing moves the grumpy neighbor.it’s pretty much about that.yup.

Leave a Reply to Nick Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Robert Frost better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.