Each passage in Mending Wall by Robert Frost, Slam, Dunk & Hook by Yusef Komunyakaa, Common Ground by Judith Ortiz Coper and The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education by Fr. Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach describes relationships between different people and also the importance of these relationships. In some of these poems these themes are more present, but the overall message of respect and community is conveyed in all.
Mending Wall by Robert Frost shows the relationship between two figures, one that wishes to build a wall separating the two, saying, “Good fences make good neighbors”, and another, the speaker, who complies with the requests of the first by building a wall between them both. The speaker does not understand the purpose of the wall and takes some offense to it’s presence, but overall respects the neighbors wishes to separate the two in whatever way the neighbor intends. At the bottom of the passage on page 370 of Poetry by Michael Meyer, there are questions to take into consideration for critical writing and discussion. One question that comes up is about the irony of that even though the speaker does not love the wall, the two neighbors still meet in the spring for the speaker to mention to the neighbor how the wall is in need of repairs. For someone who doesn’t love the wall, why would they offer to repair it? I think this shows the mutual respect that each have for each other, and whether they disagree or agree on a matter is not nearly as important as having a basic and mutual respect for one another’s wishes. I think that that is one of the underlying messages of the poem.
There are more common themes present, I think, between Slam, Dunk & Hook by Yusef Komunyakaa, Common Ground by Judith Ortiz Coper and The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education by Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. The theme that is the most present in all three is that most purposes in life are fulfilled as a whole being and not separate entities or people. In Slam, Dunk & Hook, the author describes not one person carrying a team to victory, but instead a whole team coming together and helping each other to ultimately take over the game that belongs to them. In Common Ground, the author makes connections from what she sees in herself today that she saw in her parents and grandparents as a little girl. Because of this recognition, she becomes closer to all of them by finally understanding and empathizing with them, realizing the pain of age that they all once suffered that she now experiences as well. They are finally on the same page and have reached that “common ground” with each other. Finally, in The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education, Kolvenbach describes that a part of the Jesuit tradition is building community. By becoming closer to those around you, you build relationships that can withstand anything and that therefore as a community you become stronger.