Walls and Fences

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

It strikes me that in Frost’s poem, Mending Wall, fence is a term used somewhat loosely. There’s a difference between a wall as border and fence as border. I’d suggest that animals are more tied to fences than borders and that walls imply more of something permanent. A border fence is a dumb idea, I think, and that for the future, other kinds of impulses need to be the call of the moment. What about human trafficking as a simple question of consequences?

The 2,000 mile US-Mexico border is complex. It’s more than just a magnet and playground for drug cartels. It’s a metaphor for relations. If this is so, then words have to be more powerful than chain-link. In this case, poets are more important than polititians. Friends more than enemies.


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