Robert Frost’s poem entitled, “Mending Wall” and “Common Ground” by Judith Ortiz Cofer offer some of the same literary devices but used in a different way. The Irony throughout both of these poems is very hard to find, though once located can completely change the way one looks at each work. While the other two works, “Slam, Dunk & Hook” by Yusef Komunyakaa and Peter-Hans Kolvenbach’s piece titled “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” both offer something more than what is just seen at the surface.
“Mending Wall” and “Common Ground” both have deep seated irony that is very important to each of the poems. In the Frost’s poem the narrator seems to not want the wall while his neighbor clearly thinks the wall is a good idea without much explanation why. If we look at these lines, “But at spring mending-time we find them there. I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line, and set the wall between us again.” it is clear that the narrator seems it of great importance to fix the wall during spring time, and even goes out of his way to make a “mending” time with his neighbor. If the narrator truly did not want the wall, he could easily just ignore it and allow it to fall by itself instead of building it back up each year. In “Common Ground” the irony comes in the first stanza, while it could be taken as Cofer describing how she is connected to her relatives; it seems that she is talking about death. “through your pores, rises the stuff of your origin.” Instead of taking this as your families DNA runs through your body, it can ironically describe the decaying process of a body.
“Slam, Dunk, & Hook” and Kolvenbach’s work both describe a deeper meaning into something common. The game of basketball is something widely known just as the idea of religion is. Yusef Komunyakaa and Kolvenbach, respectively, offer a new insight to each. “With Mercury’s Insignia on our sneakers, We outmaneuvered the footwork of bad angels.” With this line Yusef Komunyakaa makes the players something more than just people, or a team but rather gods, or heroes. Not unlike this Kolvenbach challenges us to see deeper into religion and education, “Solidarity is learned through ‘contact’ rather than through ‘concepts’” He is saying that Jesuit education is much more than a religion, or a way of studying, but is rather needed to be a way of life. Just like how basketball is more than just a game.
“Slam, Dunk & Hook” by Yusef Komunyakaa and Peter-Hans Kolvenbach’s piece titled “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” offer a deeper way of viewing two things. Both “Mending Wall” and “Common Ground” use irony as a way to change the meaning of each poem.