In the poem "Mending Wall," the wall reflects the two perspectives of two separate persons, one by the speaker and the other by his neighbor. The wall not only serves as a separator between the homes, but it also serves as a barrier to friendship and communication. It prevents the speaker from trespassing on his neighbor's property.
The mending wall is someone else's attempt at fixing something that's broken. In this case, the thing being fixed is a fence. Someone has taken it upon themselves to fix this fence by nailing pieces of wood against it. This person is like another person who might mend your shoe or coat when you give them useable items that they could sell for money. Mending walls is therefore about helping others.
Fences have many different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. In this case, the wall serves as a boundary marker defining the home's property from that of its neighbor. This separation allows each family room to grow plants that are beneficial to health, such as fruit trees. It also prevents dogs and cats from running into the street without their owners knowing.
Another meaning of the wall is that it creates a division between two groups of people. In this case, it separates those living inside the house from those living outside of it. The people within the house will rarely if ever go outside, while the people outside enjoy doing so regularly.
"Mending Wall" is a poem that gives two contrasting viewpoints on maintaining boundaries between people. Every neighbor has a distinct point of view. One neighbor wants a visible line to distinguish their property borders, while the other does not see the point.
The speaker in "Mending Wall" accepts this fact and moves on. They do not try to change their neighbor's mind by arguing about whether or not to have a fence. This would only cause strife between them. Instead, they focus on something more important: themselves.
Here are the two contrasting lines with which the poem begins:
This much I know: You cannot talk about one thing / without talking about the other. The whole subject is intertwined. / Nothing about me without also including you.
One neighbor wants a clear border, while the other doesn't. Which description sounds more reasonable? It depends on how you look at it. If you are near the wall, then it might make sense for your neighbor to want a clear line because then they wouldn't be able to walk up to it. However, if you were the one wanting the line to be clear, then this would be taking away their right to privacy. There is no right or wrong here; it's all relative to the situation.
In conclusion, maintaining boundaries is important because it keeps conflict at a minimum.
A repairing wall is a poem about a wall that separates the speaker's land from that of his neighbor. The speaker's perspective on the wall is that it is needless to have a barrier that separates them. It is a hypothesis in which being closed-minded with each other is not an impediment but an opportunity. Therefore, the speaker fixes the wall by mending it with love.
-- The Wall: A Repairer of Walls by John Donne
Love is the choice you make when there are no more options left, who knows maybe someday they'll build a wall that separates me from my love and then they'll know what time it is.
-- Adam Price - "Maybe Someday" (2013)
I believe that if we all do our part, love will win. The wall between us may be high and hard to get over, but I can reach out my hand and help you over it. Then with God's grace, we can work together to mend what hurts us most. For where walls divide people, love can unite them - Martin Luther King Jr.
One interpretation of Frost's poem "Mending Wall" is that the wall represents a shared commitment. The speaker feels forced to repair the wall every year since the neighbor wants to do so. Another hypothesis is that the wall represents the necessary separation of the neighbors. Although they share a border, they are still independent individuals.
Frost was a contemporary of T. S. Eliot who wrote about similar themes of isolation and community. Like "Mending Wall", "The Wasteland" by Eliot also uses poetry as a means of communication. In this case, it is between man and God after the destruction of civilization following the First World War. Frost and Eliot were both members of the famous circle that included William Butler Yeats and Jose Garcia-Rojo. They were all influenced by symbolism and their work can be read as a reaction against Victorian sensibility which was dominated by rationalism and science.
Eliot also used medieval allusions and references throughout his poems which readers would have understood based on what they knew from history books. For example, "The Hollow Men" is about people lost in modern society with no purpose in life. Frost did not reference any historical events or people in his poems but rather he imagined them using elements from traditional English folk songs as well as scientific facts.
They also had similar titles that might lead one to think that they were written by the same person.