Misreading Robert Frost

In reference to the Jan. 17 commentary by Silvio Laccetti, headlined “Walls have a long history of working well,” offering a defense of walls and President Trump’s desire for one, I will not dispute Laccetti’s article point-by-point, although I would think that anyone, even the president’s staunchest supporters, might be wary of quoting a Trump-provided statistic to support a case. I will take issue with his use of the Robert Frost quote “Good fences make good neighbors,” which Laccetti refers to as “wisdom.”

I believe the speaker in the poem thinks the phrase to be a shortsighted, unthinking quote by his neighbor who “will not go behind his father’s saying,” and even mocks his fellow worker, gently, perhaps, in a non-tweetworthy way, by pointing out that he repeats the expression simply because he likes having thought of it.

Frost also repeats the phrase as the last line, perhaps unintentionally, fixing it in our minds as the piece’s overall meaning. But we shouldn’t repeat mistakes simply because they sound right.

The poem suggests that old reasons are not always appropriate to new problems, and that at the very least we should ask ourselves why we are rebuilding walls which nature keeps tearing down, only to keep the pine trees from the apple.

Richard Hyde, professor of theatre (retired)

Hiram College, Hiram

 

Close gun loophole

U.S. Rep. David P. Joyce should support House Resolution 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. He should support saving lives and keeping guns out of the wrong hands by closing the loophole that enables prohibited buyers to avoid a background check simply by seeking out an unlicensed seller. We need to modernize our laws to address all the ways guns are sold today.

I am a registered voter and student who is scared every time I go into public because I know guns are in the wrong hands. I do not want to have to worry when I am getting groceries, going to school or just hanging out with my friends. I am not asking Congress to vote to take everybody’s guns away. I am a supporter of the Second Amendment for the right to bear arms, and a supporter of H.R. 8.

Benjamin Dale Kellar, Cuyahoga Falls

 

Mayor’s priorities wrong

I was a city of Akron employee for 30 years. During this time I worked for many mayors.

Never have a mayor’s priorities been so far out of skew with the needs of our city. If Don Plusquellic were still mayor rather than the default-for-mayor that we now have, the chuckholes would have been fixed promptly. The actual traffic lanes (many barely visible), rather than bike lanes, would have been painted.

If our streets were plowed, the safety of all of us would be much better. The money is being spent in the wrong places.

Terry L. Zimmerman, Akron

 

No excuses, Akron

It was inexcusable and unacceptable of the city of Akron to not have plowed, salted and cleaned West Market Street by Tuesday morning.

It took me from 5:45 a.m. to 6:03 a.m. to get from Grand Avenue and South Portage Path to where magical Fairlawn begins, then seven minutes from there on totally clean West Market to the park and ride lot on totally clean Ghent Road.

I don’t want to hear about how big Akron is. West Market is a main street. It was pure snow and ice just as it was Monday afternoon. The Elms area was pure slip and slide and pray.

Plow! Financially I cannot move out of Akron. I would if I could in 30 seconds.

Kathleen Kellner, Akron