Throughout the poems “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, “Slam, Dunk, & Hook” by Yusef Komunyakaa and “Common Ground” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, there are similar plots and themes deeper than the surface of the text, even though each poem tells a completely different story. These three poems also tie into “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education” written by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach and his discussion of service in a higher education community.
The themes of each of these readings are the relationships the characters possess and how each relationship is important but at the same time different. In Frost’s “Mending Wall”, the reader discovers a conversation between a man and his neighbor walking and fixing the fence that separates their yard. The speaker wants to take down the fence but the neighbor is opposed, stating that “good fences make good neighbors” (line 27, 45) twice. The repetition of this statement furthers the strain of the speaker and neighbor’s relationship. In the relationship between these neighbors, they seem to be respecting each other, but staying out of each other’s ways.
In “Slam, Dunk, & Hook”, Komunyakaa expresses his love for the game of basketball, while portraying the relationship theme. He also goes deeper into the story when he explains the day “when Sonny Boy’s mama died/ He played nonstop all day, so hard/ Our backboard splintered” (lines 24-26). Here, the reader discovers the relationship between Sonny Boy and basketball. It is so important to him that it helped him get through his mother’s death.
Lastly, Cofer’s “Common Ground” also expresses the relationship theme. The second stanza of this poem illustrates the relationship the speaker has with her grandmother, father, and mother all with the physical characteristics she now portrays. She has her “grandmother’s stern lips” (line 10), her “father’s brows arching” (line 14) and her “mother’s nervous hands” (line 15-16). These characteristics are all pieces of herself that were passed down from generation to generation. She holds a relationship with all of these people in her life, and now that shows in her appearance.
In the Jesuit community, the relationships you maintain are extremely important. It is important to have relationships with your elders and people within the community. Volunteering with children is something that I have always loved to do; in order to be trusted with new children, relationships need to be formed with the instructors of a specific organization. “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in the Jesuit Higher Education” explains how important it is to come together as a community, which is exactly what Loyola does, and one of the reasons I chose to attend this school.