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Walls: an historical meditation

by Kevin T. McEneaney
Mon Jan 30th, 2017

Walls: an historical meditation

Everybody loves a wall.

Walls can last a long time.

Look at the Great Wall of China—

it’s great to take photos from it.

Walls are extraordinary things.

Walls appear attractive,

even when forbidding.

They look quite beautiful

surrounding august estates.


Walls are symbolic

and hence not really real.

As a metaphor for greatness,

walls are primarily decorative,

attractive architecture

in the form of height.


The only defect of walls

remains tunnels and ladders;

high walls become

canvas temptation

for political graffiti.


Walls should be built by nations

whenever the opportunity arises

because they identify nations

bestowing fame in history books.

Yet you can always build walls

at any time for yourself

around your own house

or your own philosophy

to make yourself feel more secure.


Even the word wall sounds mellifluous,

a poetic word if there ever was one.

As a famous American poet once said:

“Good fences make good neighbors.”


P.S.  In Anglo-Saxon

from which the word wall derives,

a wall is a pile of dead bodies

from which soldiers fight behind

as they bitterly lament

the memory of their dead comrades.