Good fences make good neighbors |每日一读


Good fences make good neighbors


Mending Wall(修补墙)


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.


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 neighbor 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.


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!’


We wear our fingers rough with handling them.


Oh, just another kind of out-door game,


One on a side. It comes to little more:


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.’


Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder


If I could put a notion in his head:


‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it


Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.


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.


Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,


That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,


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.


He moves in darkness as it seems to me,


Not of woods only and the shade of trees.


He will not go behind his father’s saying,


And he likes having thought of it so well


He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’




In “Mending Wall,” Frost writes a contemplative poem based on the activity of going out with his neighbor each spring to mend the stone wall that divides their property.  Frost himself doesn’t really like the wall–he feels it is unnecessary, unfriendly, outdated, and a bit rude to have.  However, his neighbor, who seems to be steeped in tradition, says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  This is an old saying that seems to imply that you can be better neighbors if there are boundaries; that way, you don’t end up fighting over what property is whose.  It helps create lines, which eliminates potential conflict.  So, for example, if there is a tree that is kind-of in-between two houses, who has to rake the leaves every fall?  Without a fence, neighbors might argue about this issue, or just silently seethe with rage as the leaves build up and the neighbor doesn’t rake them.  With a fence, the tree definitely belongs to a certain person; they are responsible, and the potential problem is solved.  So, that is what the quote means.  Frost, however, disagrees.  He gives several reasons for this in his poem, but the main reason is that their properties don’t really need them.  He has apple trees, the neighbor has “all pine,” and, as Frost says,  “My apple trees will never get across and eat all the cones under his pines.”  Trees don’t need to be fenced in or out–they don’t steal or interfere with anyone, like someone’s dog would, if unchained or fenced.  He also mentions that sometimes fences are put up to keep the cows in, but, “here there are no cows.”  They don’t have animals to keep in or out, and no property disputes.  He also asserts that there is something ominous and unkind in a wall–he says that a wall implies you are keeping something dangerous away, or dangerous in, and that’s not very pleasant.  In the end, he even compares his wall-loving neighbor to “an old stone-savage,” symbolically indicating that keeping walls is a rather savage ritual that is only needed in more dangerous times.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

在“修补墙”中,弗罗斯特根据每年春天与邻居一起出去修补分隔他们财产的石墙的活动写了一首沉思的诗。弗罗斯特自己并不喜欢这面墙 – 他觉得这是不必要的,不友好的,过时的,有点粗鲁。然而,他的邻居似乎沉浸在传统中,他说,“好的围栏会成为好邻居。”这是一句老话,似乎暗示如果有边界,你可以成为更好的邻居;那样一来,你最终不会争夺什么财产是谁的。它有助于创建线条,消除潜在的冲突。那么,例如,如果有一棵树在两座房子之间,那么每年秋天都要耙树叶?如果没有篱笆,邻居可能会争论这个问题,或者只是随着叶子积聚并且邻居不会耙他们而默默地发怒。有了围栏,这棵树肯定属于某个人;他们负责,潜在的问题得到解决。所以,这就是报价的含义。然而,弗罗斯特不同意。他在他的诗中给出了几个理由,但主要原因是他们的属性并不真正需要它们。他有苹果树,邻居有“松树”,正如弗罗斯特所说,“我的苹果树永远不会穿过他的松树下吃掉所有的锥体。”树木不需要被围起来或围起来 – 它们不会偷走或干扰任何人,就像有人的狗一样,如果没有链子或围栏。他还提到,有时会举起围栏以保持奶牛进入,但是,“这里没有奶牛。”他们没有动物可以进出,也没有财产纠纷。他还断言,墙上有一些不祥和不友善的东西 – 他说墙是暗示你保持危险的东西,或危险的东西,这不是很愉快。最后,他甚至将他爱墙的邻居与“一个古老的石头野人”进行了比较,象征性地表明,保持墙壁是一种相当野蛮的仪式,只有在更危险的时候才需要。我希望这些想法有所帮助;祝好运!

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