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The Executive and the [unacknowledged] Legislator

[ by Charles Cameron — “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world” — PB Shelley ]

President Trump reads the lyrics of a song about a snake:

Trump is arguing the dangers of immigration and the necessity of a wall…

My response:

Poet Robert Frost reads a poem about a wall:


There’s irony aplenty in the Frost poem, and the voice of the narrator is generally not taken to be that of Frost himself. Worth pondering, thugh, are these lines:

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.

Frost’s poem, though, is contrapuntal, with its two key statements clashing:

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,


Good fences make good neighbours.

Frost, it seems, leans more to the latter position — and Trump might have done himself a different favor, and quoted Frost.

3 Responses to “The Executive and the [unacknowledged] Legislator”

  1. zen Says:

    “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up” – John F. Kennedy (allegedly paraphrasing G. K. Chesterton
    New Englanders like their fences

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Nice one, Zen. Thanks.

  3. larrydunbar Says:

    So it might be asked, did the New Englanders know something that JFK didn’t, as if to reason?
    My guess is that their reason left at the beaches, which are fences with depth, width and direction.

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