"Mending Wall" is a metaphorical poem written in blank verse, published in 1914, by Robert Frost (1874–1963). The poem appeared as the first selection in Frost's second collection of poetry, North of Boston. It is set in the countryside and is about one man questioning why he and his neighbor must rebuild the stone wall dividing their farms each spring.
The neighbor rebuilds the wall without question, quoting "Good fences make good neighbors," a line listed by the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations as a mid 17th century proverb. But Frost's narrator questions the proverb, noting that neither his apple trees nor his neighbor's pine trees are likely to encroach on the other's property. He says, "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." He also observes, both at the poem's opening and again midway through the poem, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall," referring to the forces of nature that bring a wall to decay and require it to be repaired and rebuilt. But the neighbor is not receptive to the narrator's doubts, quoting again at the poem's close that "Good fences make good neighbors."
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