July 13, 2020

Max’s Musings

By Max Molleston

One of my remaining books poetic and about poetry and the poets who created their work crossed my path, I think, at an appropriate time. The Classic One Hundred All-time favorites. It is a reissue, which in poetry, speaks for itself, edited by William Harmon. Within I found a poem many of you know and from one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost. It is timely, in the sense that we are all surrounded and some seriously exposed to a medical endemic. We are instructed about it and warned, as well, on certain procedures to follow. The poem, which we will relate parts, is the very familiar Mending Wall. 50+ers who were taught by those who valued poetry know the opening:

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.

Even now, we world citizens have been instructed about gaps and file our complaints about footage apart from one another, and about other serious challenges to our everyday living. If we are lucky, our complaints sail into the safe wind.

If not, we suffer or know someone who has suffered and perhaps succumbed. MendingWall goes on:

The gaps I mean, no one has seen them made or
heard them made, But at spring mending time
we find them there.

Spring has been our time to discover, if not the crisis itself, so much of others troubles with dedicated workers who need action to succeed down the path(s) taken and worked.

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!”

The strength in this poem is working together to achieve.

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.”

Editorial thought on the poem can be traced to Poor Richard’s Almanac, but the wording is Frost’s own so that he is alone among modern poets with the distinction of having composed a genuine proverb. Proverb or not, the expression ‘Good fences make good neighbors’ needs to be captured in real life more often than it is. Join me here next month, to see where good neighbors have led our lives.

Filed Under: Personal Growth