Also see Farm Animals, Farming and Horses.
- Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up. (G.K. Chesterton)
- Fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
- Good fences make good neighbors.
- Neither fences nor "No Hunting" signs deterred hunters from roaming on our wooded property. Finally my husband, an ardent organic gardener, found a natural solution. He silenced the guns with this sign:
"Trespassers will be composted."
- There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation, the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
- There is no fence or hedge round time that has gone. You can go back and have what you like if you remember it well enough. (Richard Llewellyn)
What is the difference between one yard and two yards?
(answer at bottom of page)
A circle of rusty wire
rolled up and left leaning
against a post
in an old fence row
catches and holds the eye
better than a new spool
It is brittle,
not bright or tidy,
not able to last for years,
but it has character
and tells a tale--
about cattle pressing against it,
reaching for greener grasses,
about hands hardened
by its barbs and twists . . .
It reminds me
of the old farmer somewhere,
who handled it,
and was changed
and labor, to living.
Page Idea for this poem:
I made a page using this poem.
I printed the poem (the title
was a barb-wire font) and
matted it on brown paper
cut with deckle scissors.
I centered it and surrounded
it by photos of old wire--
coils of barb-wire, old fences,
rolled up hog-wire, etc.
I rounded the corners of the
photos and matted them on
light blue paper that also had
the corners rounded.
The light blue matched the
sky in some of the photos.
It might have been better to
take the photos in sepia tone or
black and white and use neutral
colors for the mats.
A strong stone wall
Is good to see:
All those different rocks
Getting along fine.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
And make gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there,
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There were it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Now the stone house on the lakefront is finished
and the workmen are beginning the fence.
The palings are made of iron bars with steel points
that can stab the life out of any man who falls on them.
As a fence, it is a masterpiece, and will shut off
the rabble and all vagabonds and hungry men and
all wandering children looking for a place to play.
Passing through the bars and over the steel points
will go nothing except Death and the Rain and Tomorrow.
Songs about Fences and Gates
- 25 Miles of Barbwire - Mark McLay and the Dustdevils (2008)
- Barbed Wire - Megan Conner (2011)
- Barbed Wire and Roses - Pinmonkey (2002)
- Barbed Wire Fence - Plainsong (2005)
- Barbwire - Nora Dean (2011)
- Barbwire Fence - Nick Josephs (2007)
- Broken Fences and Broken Dreams - Bud Hobbs (1949)
- Cat on the Fence - Felix Laband (2001)
- Close the Gate - Ron Loutit (2007)
- Don't Fence Me in - Judy Coder (2005)
- Fence Post Blues - Arlo Guthrie (1970)
- Fence Rider - Rusty Richards (2007)
- Fences to Mend - Margie Lane (2008)
- Garden Gate - Patti Reid (2008)
- Gate, The - Larry Williams (2002)
- Gate in the Wall - Anne Lister (2005)
- Gate of Dreams - Trey Gunn (2000)
- Gate Post - Sterling Blythe (2006)
- Gate Stands Open, The - Susan Getz (2007)
- Gatekeeper - Feist (2004)
- Gonna Build a Big Fence Around Texas - Gene Autry (1945)
- I Didn't Jump the Fence - Red Sovine (1967)
- Mending Fences - Lawton Williams (2005)
- Old Barbwire - 100 Damned Guns (2009)
- Old Iron Gate - No Kids (2008)
- Open the Gate - Dennis Brown (1994)
- Ridin' Fence - Sleepy LaBeef (1961)
- Shut That Gate - Ted Daffan (1946)
- Thousand Miles of Fence, A - Luanne Wolff (2008)
- Through the Pearly Gates - Brown's Ferry Four (1952)
- Waiting at the Gate for Katy - Bing and Bob Crosby
Answer to Riddle