Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stone Fences

So stately and picturesque, they are everywhere. Stone fences, one of my favorite New England specialties. They make me think of the poem by Robert Frost-- Mending Wall
by 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.'

From The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1916, 1923, 1928, 1930, 1934, 1939, 1947, 1949, © 1969 by Holt Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Copyright 1936, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1953, 1954, © 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 by Robert Frost. Copyright © 1962, 1967, 1970 by Leslie Frost Ballantine.

2 comments:

Brittney said...

Your blog about the pine cones really made me stop and think. Like those little, tiny, and very large pine cones. People come in all shapes sizes and we all have ideas, But how often do we meet a person, hide them away in our drawer and later when we are tired of them do we throw them out. I don't know how many people I have thrown out, not always knowing I was doing it. I know the pinecones don't care, but we do, when it happens to us. Don't know why it hit me like that. Just a thought. ( Not that I have many).

Hope you had a good 4th. We did enjoy family time and fireworks. Loved watching the grandbaby enjoy the fireworks, He was way more fun to watch than the fireworks.

Brittney

Talkin' Texan said...

Good point Brittney,
Guess we've all felt tossed out at times, and probably guilty of tossing as well. I'm glad God gathers us into His collection no matter our size, shape, or "worth."