What paradoxes exist in the following piece?  Can you find anything other than the wall acting like a barrier but there is always a way around it?where there's a wallthere's a wayaround, over, or...

What paradoxes exist in the following piece?  Can you find anything other than the wall acting like a barrier but there is always a way around it?

where there's a wall
there's a way
around, over, or through
there's a gate
maybe a ladder
a door
a sentinel who
sometimes sleeps
there are secret passwords
you can overhear
there are methods of torture
for extracting clues
to maps of underground passageways
there are zepplins
helicopters, rockets, bombs
bettering rams
armies with trumpets
whose all at once blast
shatters the foundations
where there's a wall
there are words
to whisper by a loose brick
wailing prayers to utter
special codes to tap
birds to carry messages
taped to their feet
there are letters to be written
novels even
on this side of the wall
I am standing staring at the top
lost in the clouds
I hear every sound you make
but cannot see you
I incline in the wrong direction
a voice cries faint as in a dream
from the belly
of the wall
Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Remember, a paradox does not simply mean "a contradiction" as many falsely presume it does.  A paradox is a statement that seems contradictory in nature, but when analyzed, can contain a possible truth.  Paradoxes can also be statements which go against popular opinion or generally accepted ideas.

I think you are right about the paradox here lying in the overall idea of "wall."  Presumably, walls are built to keep people in or out.  They are not created to be somehow destroyed.  This poem(?) however, suggests that the presense of a wall, given its purpose to keep people in or out, necessarily means there is a way to get through.

This piece seems to have a deeper, more political theme running through it.  It is as if the speaker has identified several unspecific instances of walls failing, therefore, by nature, now, all walls must be built to broken through.  The idea that if the wall has a sentinel, he will sometimes sleep (and therefore fail at his job) is a minor paradox within the bigger picture.  In this case, the paradoxes serve to provide a sense of hope that eventually, there will be no barriers between two worlds.