Mending Pants (With apologies to Robert Frost)

I once again didn’t feel an affinity for today’s prompt, but a friend had suggested that I try this week’s Poets & Writers poetry prompt, so I did it instead.  What follows is a familiar poem by Robert Frost entitled “Mending Wall” and then my parody of it entitled “Mending Pants.”  I hope that I am interpreting that grimace on your face as a smile, and if so, I can link my poem to the Daily Post prompt as well, thereby mending two fences with one stone!!!

Mending Wall   (by Robert Frost)

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes 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 where 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 offence.
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.”

Mending Pants (With apologies to Robert Frost)

Something there is that doesn’t love a fast,
That sends a frozen pizza to waylay it,
And spills the diner’s flesh out towards the sun;
And makes gaps in his pants legs where two balls can pass abreast.
Those forks of custard are another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left him with new stone on stone*
Until his flesh again peeps by habit out of hiding
To tease the helping girls. 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 lady know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to mend his pants
And set him down between us once again.
We keep him there between us as we sew,
To each the breaches that have fallen to each.
Some near his buns and some so near his balls
We have to fuse him well 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 ball on a side. It comes to little more:
She has your pine staff and I your apple, Richard.
Your apple, free, will never get across
And be misplaced to crowd its twin, I tell him.
He only says, “Good pants repairs make good neighbors.”
Frisky with springtime, I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are actually balls? But here there appear to be no balls.
Before I mend thy pants, I’d like to know
What I was panting in or panting out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love tight pants,
That wants them torn! I could shout “Elvis” to him,
But he’s not exactly Elvis, and I’d rather
He saw it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing his stones grasped firmly at the top
In each hand, like an old stoned savage armed.
He moves in discomfort, as it seems to me,
His balls lonely and his blade not yet set free.
He will not go far before his pants start splaying,
Yet he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good pants repairs make good neighbors.”

*a stone is a British unit of measure equal to 14 pounds.

(Wish I could have printed these out side-by-side so the parody is clearer.  If you are really a purist, perhaps you’ll do so to enjoy the parallels.)

16 thoughts on “Mending Pants (With apologies to Robert Frost)

    1. lifelessons Post author

      You are the first to read and comment. Thanks, Susan. I started working on this yesterday when I was in a huff over the Daily Prompt. Bad mood prompted by a health emergency. Today, fresh from the retina specialist, I finished it–armed with eye meds that put me in a better mood. Your comment, along with Sandi’s, helped the better mood along considerably. Thanks so much for commenting. Hope to see you here again. Judy

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. Allenda Moriarty

    I laughed out loud! Could you hear me in Mexico? Will you forgive me if I say you kept me in stitches? You have done Robert Frost proud and he is bowing to your way with words. Of course I was envisioning Tony as the neighbor with ripped pants, and we both know he has a lot of balls. When he was in college, he ripped out the seat of his pants one time and stapled them together to get back from class. He was a class act, always!

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  2. Ann O'Neal Garcia

    this is funny. I read the first poem and thought, good God, that’s as brilliant as Rob’t Frost. Oh, my gawd, maybe I’m ready for the feeble-minded clinic. I especially thought you wrote the thing about elves not liking walls. It’s been a long hiatus since I’ve read Frost, obviously. I’ll now read your poem and leave a reply ASAP.

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  3. Pingback: “Mending Pants”–Parody of “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  4. hobounivercity

    oh boy, ohh girl. twick or twear your frost impressions did great. humnor is your most finest in a neighborhood i once lived.
    sincerely
    General BT Hope hobounivercity.com
    p.s. motivationally done just well.

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  5. emily

    Excellent work, I think Robert Frost would find great humour in your work. I’ve read a few of your posts now, and I still say you’re most brilliant at poetry. Thanks for this. I sincerely hope that your eye has returned.to normal, it sounds to me that it was disperesed with those lovely drops they put in so they can have a look at the back of your eye? Well whatever it was I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Mending Wall and Mending Pants!!! | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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