Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”
- In terms of personalities and character traits, what do you see to be the key difference between the narrator and his neighbor beyond the hill?
- Based on what you find out in the poem, what seems to motivate the narrator to want to make a change? Also, why do you think the neighbor would be so resistant to change?
- Do you think the conflict between speaker and neighbor can be resolved? If so, what would it take?
- Based on what you learn in the poem, what does the neighbor think makes a “good neighbor” (other than “good fences”)?
- How is this view similar or different from what you would consider to be a “good neighbor”?
Wilfred Owen, “Dulce Et Decorum Est”
- What does the speaker mean that he “turned [his back]” in line 3? What does this signify in a poem about World War I?
- In your own words, rephrase lines 15-16 to better state what you think the speaker is trying to say.
- What is the effect of the speaker referring directly to the reader/listener in line 17?
- Historical notes tell us that when the speaker refers to “my friend,” he is speaking of a poet named Jessie Pope, who used her poetry to exhort young men to join the war effort and shed their blood for the sake of their country. Based on this information, what point is the speaker trying to make to this “friend” about the actual experience of war versus the telling of war stories by those who haven’t experienced them?
- Which of the two poems did you appreciate more and why?