Former English teacher John Grindrod (”Looking at life from both sides of the fence,” July 23) attributes the proverb “Good fences make good neighbors” to poet Robert Frost, but Frost’s point in “Mending Wall” is that he does not subscribe to that philosophy. It’s the worldview of “an old-stone savage armed,” Frost said. It’s the philosophy of someone who “moves in darkness … not of woods only and the shade of trees.”
Of his own philosophy — and the point of the poem — Frost says, “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know/What I was walling in or walling out.”
It’s a thought for serious consideration in these days of Middle Eastern conflict and immigration debates.