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Mending Wall

Mending Wall

by Robert Frost

Section X (lines 38-41) Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 38-41

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
.

  • Our speaker can tell his neighbor that elves keep destroying the wall, but he knows that it’s not elves, and he wants his neighbor to come up with some silly explanation on his own.
  • He wants his neighbor to lighten up, and to question the real necessity of keeping a wall between them.
  • Suddenly, we’re back in the present tense, and our speaker sees the neighbor close by.
  • The neighbor repairs the wall, and, as he holds onto a stone, our speaker thinks that the guy looks kind of caveman-ish. It’s as if walls are holdovers from more primitive times.

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