Mending Wall

Robert Frost

 
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.
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 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.'
 

Poems by This Author

"Out, Out—" by Robert Frost
The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
A Line-storm Song by Robert Frost
The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift
Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night
After Apple-Picking by Robert Frost
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
An Old Man's Winter Night by Robert Frost
All out-of-doors looked darkly in at him
Birches by Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Blueberries by Robert Frost
You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
Bond and Free by Robert Frost
Love has earth to which she clings
Christmas Trees by Robert Frost
The city had withdrawn into itself
Design by Robert Frost
I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
Dust of Snow by Robert Frost
The way a crow
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire
For Once, Then, Something by Robert Frost
Others taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs
Ghost House by Robert Frost
I dwell in a lonely house I know
Going for Water by Robert Frost
The well was dry beside the door
Home Burial by Robert Frost
He saw her from the bottom of the stairs
Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost
As I went down the hill along the wall
Mowing by Robert Frost
There was never a sound beside the wood but one
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold
October by Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild
Reluctance by Robert Frost
Out through the fields and the woods
The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost
Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
The Oven-Bird by Robert Frost
There is a singer everyone has heard
The Pasture by Robert Frost
I'm going out to clean the pasture spring
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
The Sound of the Trees by Robert Frost
I wonder about the trees
To Earthward by Robert Frost
Love at the lips was touch


Further Reading

Poems About Friendship
After the Movie
by Marie Howe
Blue Is Beautiful Amy but the Story Is So the '90s
by Farrah Field
Book Loaned to Tom Andrews
by Bobby C. Rogers
Dear Friends
by Edwin Arlington Robinson
For N & K
by Gina Myers
Friend
by Jean Valentine
Friend,
by Jean Valentine
From the Lives of My Friends
by Michael Dickman
Given
by Joanna Klink
Heaven for Helen
by Mark Doty
Heaven for Stanley
by Mark Doty
How I Am
by Jason Shinder
I Love the Hour Just Before
by Todd Boss
On Gifts For Grace
by Bernadette Mayer
On the Road to the Sea
by Charlotte Mew
sisters
by Lucille Clifton
Skunk Hour
by Robert Lowell
Song of Myself, X
by Walt Whitman
Stanzas in Meditation
by Gertrude Stein
Suddenly
by Sharon Olds
The Armadillo
by Elizabeth Bishop
The Soul unto itself (683)
by Emily Dickinson
This Lime Tree Bower My Prison
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
To a Friend who sent me some Roses
by John Keats
To Amy Lowell
by Eunice Tietjens
To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like a Death
by Lloyd Schwartz
To Thomas Moore
by George Gordon Byron
Train-Mates
by Witter Bynner
Travelling
by William Wordsworth
We Have Been Friends Together
by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
You & I Belong in This Kitchen
by Juan Felipe Herrera
Your Catfish Friend
by Richard Brautigan