What are the figures of speech used in the poem "Mending Walls" by Robert Frost?

Expert Answers info

Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,471 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Other answers to this question have addressed assonance, alliteration, metaphor, personification, apostrophe, and hyperbole, so to round out the answer and examine more subtle or less frequently noticed figures of speech in "Mending Wall," let us consider the following techniques:

When a poet inverts the syntax of a line it is called inversion, or anastrophe; it is often used to control meter, or to provide emphasis. Frost employs it in the opening line, "Something there is that doesn’t love a wall," instead of "there is something that doesn't love a wall.

Frost also employs the use of first person perspective as the speaker relates the narrative in real time, or present tense as the reader and the speaker experience the action of the poem together.

Frost borrows a technique from rhetoric when he arranges two rhetorical questions back-to-back in the lines "Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it where there are cows?"

Simile is used when the speaker imagines his neighbor "like an old-stone...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 676 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gracie O'Hara eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write6,824 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading: