The poem is set in rural New England, where Frost lived at the time—and takes its impetus from the rhythms and rituals of life there. The poem describes how the speaker and a neighbor meet to rebuild a stone wall between their properties—a ritual repeated every spring. This ritual raises some important questions over the course of the poem, as the speaker considers the purpose of borders between people and the value of human work. Isn't it. But here there are no cows.
Summary and Analysis of the Poem "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost
Frost’s Early Poems: “Mending Wall” | SparkNotes
In spring, the two meet to walk the wall and jointly make repairs. The speaker sees no reason for the wall to be kept—there are no cows to be contained, just apple and pine trees. He does not believe in walls for the sake of walls. His neighbor will not be swayed. The speaker envisions his neighbor as a holdover from a justifiably outmoded era, a living example of a dark-age mentality. But the neighbor simply repeats the adage.
Are borders necessary or regressive? Are humans naturally driven toward greater connection and cooperation, or does some old, mistrustful instinct always hold us back? With understated wit and a knack for crafty symbolism, Frost casts a cold eye on the real and figurative walls that divide us.
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 neighbour 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.