• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Commentarty: Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Commentary on Robert Frost's 'Mending Wall' At first glance 'Mending Wall' is a simple, pleasant poem containing all the aspects of a lyric that is sweet to the ear and able to give the reader or listener a 'feel good' sensation. It has all the right elements that a good poem (as defined by the following, admittedly limited, criteria) should have, viz alliteration, assonance, rhythm, structure, tone and of course, the ubiquitous iambic pentameter. Is it really anymore than that? In this commentary I shall argue and try to demonstrate that 'Mending Wall' is in fact a very profound and thought-provoking piece of work. It not only provokes deep thought and argument but also makes the reader question his own values. When President John F Kennedy inspected the Berlin Wall he quoted the poem's first line: "Something there is that doesn't love a wall". This shows that the poem had quite a significant impact on the president, and that he perceived the poem to be about political walls and not just a wall between two farmers in rural New England. The Russians also saw this in Frost's poem, and we know this because when 'Mending Wall' was first published in Russia, they omitted the first line: "Something there is that doesn't love a wall." ...read more.

Middle

There is also humour in the poem, which is shown in lines 18 and 19. These lines bring a light-heartedness tone to the poem, but the lines could also be perceived as sarcastic and mocking. Frost playfully suggests that they use a magic spell to balance the stones on the wall. "Oh, just another kind of outdoor game". This line makes the poem have a more conversational tone, the word 'oh' does this, but it is also a gap filler. The line may mean that Frost thinks that the wall is unnecessary and that him and his neighbour only build it to pass time, or maybe as an excuse to meet up. The word 'game' in this line also suggests that mending the wall may be some sort of competition between the two neighbours. Frost's opinion is strongly yet subtly shown in line 21: "One on a side. It comes to little more". This tells us that Frost thinks that mending the wall is a pointless exercise and to him it is nothing more than a game. This could be seen as slightly insulting to the neighbour, as the neighbour take the process of building the wall quite seriously and does not question or joke about it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Robert Frost often uses universal themes in his poems but uses rural imagery and rural life to convey his ideas. Frost also uses imagery in his poems, and 'Mending Wall' is no exception. The first nine lines set the image of rural New England life. There is also an example of imagery in the structure of the poem. The poem has no verses, it is one long stanza, a 'wall' of words and this creates the image of a long solid wall. The different lengths of the lines could also represent the gaps in the wall. The whole poem is written in blank verse, which is non-rhyming but in iambic pentameter. The poem contains a lot enjambment which is one line running into the next. In the poem there are five colons, which cause a pause while reading the poem. These pauses are like the gaps in the wall. I think that the message that Frost was trying to send out in this poem, was that in society we create too many barriers amongst ourselves. These metaphorical barriers stay in place for a long time, in some cases for centuries, and these barriers are present for each new generation and eventually people stop asking why the barriers are there, what good do they do, who sets them and most importantly who will break them? ?? ?? ?? ?? 9/13/2007 IB1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Robert Frost section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Robert Frost essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Write a critical appreciation of Mending Wall exploring how far you think that Frost ...

    3 star(s)

    When told that "good fences make good neighbours", he begins to wonder "who [he] was walling in or walling out".

  2. Commentary: 'Out Out' by Robert Frost

    cry at first but laughed at his careless mistake, laughed as if to stop himself from crying, or perhaps just because the fact that he had hurt himself hadn't sunken in yet. When he showed his family what had happened he 'swung toward them holding up the hand, half in

  1. “Deceptively simple poems about everyday rural life and activities” - look at two or ...

    The poem does not use any complicated language. This reinforces the simplicity of the point being made in the poem. Although there are no complicated words in this poem Frost does use unusual word order in places. "Whose woods these are I think I know" This line stuns the reader as they have to think about what it means before they can understand it.

  2. "Advertisement" by Wislawa Szymborska - Commentary.

    home, I work in the office," shows the list-like structure, which is evident at the start of the poem. The structure seems almost redundant by the end of the last stanza, as the point seems to be clear, which is an explanation as to why prescription drugs are advantageous.

  1. On 'Mending Wall' by Robert Frost.

    This preference foreshadows the narrator's calm but cold reaction on mending a wall at the end of the poem. In line 11, 'But at spring mending-time we find them there', along with the rebirth of spring emerge gaps in a wall, coordinated reparation as well as a remarkable irony in

  2. Robert Frost

    However with many tragedies he also had many accomplishments. In 1930 he received the Russell Loines Poetry Prize. Robert had many more children but had great difficulties with them. His daughter Jeanie had to be placed into a mental hospital in 1920, his daughter Elinor died of heart failure on 1938.

  1. After Apple Picking by Robert Frost

    As the persona looks back on his life, he sees unfinished tasks, and thus he feels regret, which parallels the apples to the experiences that he has missed in life. The poem moves beyond a realistic description of apple picking through the use of tone.

  2. Birches" moves the reader to interpret the deeper meaning within the poem. Frost uses ...

    Love is the source of the contrast as Frost contemplates his break from the world. "...Earth's the right place for love: I don't know where it is likely to get better...." Still Frost is growing weary of this earth. Frost refers to the branches as "black" and the trunk as "white".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work