Posts Tagged ‘fences’

“He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

not of woods only and the shade of trees.”

— excerpt from Robert Frost’s Mending Wall

Yesterday, I watched a former politician speaking with great authority, as his wife looked upon him adoringly, as he spouted hatred and nurtured fears in a subtle way.  I had to turn off the television before I put my shoe through it.  I sat for a bit trying to remember that Booker T. Washington quote, about allowing no man to belittle his soul by making him hate him.

Not long afterwards I found myself reading about current politicians and wannabe politicians, echoing the sentiments of that former politician.  They spoke with great gravity about the need for bordering walls. Southern walls.  Northern walls.  Who knows,maybe even walls within cities. Nothing new, I suppose. Throughout human history, there have been such calls. It’s the public response to those calls that I wonder most about.

In Frost’s poem, Mending Walls, as two men rebuild the wall separating their farms, one says, “Good fences make good neighbors.” The poem’s narrator replies…

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

“Why do they make good neighbors? …

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! …”

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