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Works by Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost Review

The first two poems are good pieces written by Carl Sandburg. The First poem is titled “A Fence” and the second one “Onion Days”. The third poem is a very interesting piece by Robert Frost titled “Mending Wall”. The three poems have apt language of metaphorical compositions. The themes in the poems give a true picture of our lives. The second poem also has precise sentences that determine the rhyme scheme of the poem. These sentences have a flow of idea that illustrates the theme. The third poem by Frost is also structured in a block stanza. Both poems have a unique style of writing.

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“A Fence” is poem that gives the workmanship procedure of installing a fence around a stone house. From my point of view, there are different symbolic metaphors in the poem that relate to our day-to-day lives. For example, it is obvious for people to fence properties, but the irony in the poem gives the “fencing” a perilous function of the iron steel fences. Fences are meant to protect and give order in a piece of farm. The fence in this aspect is fencing a stone house. As safe as a stone house might be, there should be neighborhood and friendliness. This symbolic nature is questioning. That is, the stone house may symbolize one of the most treasured things in life: our children; our education; wealth; life; and businesses. These treasured aspects in life have been “hard earned”, Carl puts it that “Now the stone house on the lake front is finished…” (Page 32; lines 1). Hence, protection is essential; many a people protect their children, education, and wealth from calamities. The fencing is the art of protection. However, the fencing in the poem is meant for enjoying the hard earned treasures. The fencing is blocking trespassers and the persona is happy about that. Carl wanted to show the selfish nature of humans, the lust and self attitude that blocks our relationship with the outer world. Our over protectiveness that neglects the hungry, the needy, the wandering little orphans, and the vagabonds. Whenever we go out from our fence, these people surround us. Yet we become unfriendly, we flag ourselves as superior because we have one or two prestigious things in life. As a result, Carl warns us of this practice of installing iron fence. The aftermath of this unfriendliness is unpalatable, since; we shall never experience the joy of corporate life but experience death and a lifeless life in future.

The second poem “Onion Days” heavily employs the use of assonance. The rhyming words in this line – “she takes a street car at half-past five in the morning” – talks about Mrs. Pietro taking a car (Page 32; line 10). The combination of the vowel sound gives a melancholic mood about the life of the worker. Briefly, the poem stipulates a day-to-day life of the poor and the rich. The hustle and bustle of an expectant female worker is aptly described by Carl. The capita income is very meager, yet she is pregnant and very joyful. The dramatic irony makes one to wonder how the youngling will be brought up in such low economic standards. The boss of the onion workers does not conform to Christian teaching. The lust about earthly development and oppression of the workers is lingering in his mind! The financial burden is affecting both social classes of people in the poem. The poor and the rich are subjected to financial strains. However, the rich oppress the poor when they are pay less every time new recruitment occurs. The rich seek to increase their output and pay a smaller amount to the diligent workers without mercy. The freedom of workers and life standards are being discussed by a persona who seems to be part and parcel of the society situation. Like “A Fence” this poem “Onion Days” highlights upon the struggles of life and the evil part of humans in segregating other human beings.

“Mending Wall” resembles the first poem in theme and structure. The structure is made up of one stanza that is fairly long. Frost employs repetition to emphasize on the theme. One particular line that has been repeated in the poem is “something there is that doesn’t love a wall” (Page 66; line 1). Briefly, the poem portrays the day-to-day chores of two close neighbors. These neighbors are regularly mending fences and walls that designate their presumably precious properties. The specific details of mending the walls are interesting to read. The physical aspect of mending these symbolic walls shows the commitment of the neighbors. The personas in the poem establish a good rapport when they share their experiences. However, they have certain differences that are quite dramatically ironic. There are symbolic features like the “apples” and “stones” that develop the theme in this poem. Well, the poem ideally highlights on the theme of separation and segregation of people. The wall keeps apart people. There have no arena for sharing experiences. The wall classifies people differently hence there is no equality.

I enjoyed the first poem “A Fence” because it was short to read. Moreover, the brevity was mind-numbing and made me to use a lot of time to decipher the hidden meaning from the extrinsic symbolic features in the poem. Its structure resembles the shapes of a fence. The four lines are long like an iron fence! The sentences give ample time for a reader to digest the subject matter before reaching the period punctuation marks.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Works by Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost Review'. 24 December.

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