Walls in Poetry: And the Wall Came Down: A Poem

Updated on January 9, 2019
Tim Truzy info4u profile image

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

Walls collapse with time.
Walls collapse with time. | Source

Walls we make as Youth and Adults

Humanity has a repeating cycle of experiences and events which gives us universal themes and concepts for establishing and maintaining societies. In youth we seek to be more independent, pushing the limits of what we can and can’t do before becoming emancipated adults. We question and challenge. We want the reassurance of parents but the freedom to assert ourselves. We want love from others while seeking what that means to us. Essentially, we strive to build without demolishing what has been stable for us since birth.

The poem below was inspired by constructive dialogue I had with a fellow poet on this site, Mark Tulin, who reminded us skillfully in his work: We have to tear those walls down and get on with being human. I've also included different meanings of the appearance of walls in literature. Enjoy: And the Wall Came Down.

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What type of outdoor shelter did you build with friends as a youth?

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Our movements can cause more problems than solutions.
Our movements can cause more problems than solutions. | Source

And the Wall Came Down

String them up!

Boots martial marching midway

Lines lean swinging left and right,

People in tents singing right to left,

Men, women, babies-human contents,

Ordered to line up.

Hang them up.

Headaches stressing branches,

Tied to forms in trees of paperwork,

Jerking side to side,

Like clothes on a line,

Hanging in the desert to dry.

What’s the scuttlebutt?

Walls of water can’t build a border,

Ships are female but not a daughter,

Cast an anchor do again the slaughter.

Ring them up?

Roots partial searching for Golden Rule,

Not found in obvious rule of gold.

Lines angled top to bottom stinging my hands and yours,

Purchase low and lower still until the fallen are `down.

Or beneath a wall.

Bang them up.

Lines T-cells surrounding barricades,

Incarcerating sickness cannot stay,

Engulfing infection on that terrible day,

Alas A cold caught me,

Under blanket securing shut off from the world,

Walled off from the oaks, cedars, birds and squirrels,

Fenced in wanting virus thrown out.

Hang it up!

Boundary still in China to mighty Rome,

Going forward to Jericho barrier,

And even my sniffles-

Eventually fell to tonics.

Dream us up.

I saw bustling Berlin once,

Strolling with ice warring shoes,

Fighting the coming chill,

In a ring pretending a line,

Drawing a wall to stop the freeze.

I vote a hammer,

Ballot a bulldozer,

Apathy mixes concrete,

Sympathy brings nails,

And history carries coffins.

Down standing up.

Shaking in cold bedroom covering tonight:

Embracing threads so colorful and white,

Singing my healthy grandchild to sleep,

Tale Humpty on horse named Troy,

Hug them up.

Arms two lines forming a circle,

Tribes in house separated by nations,

Enclosures invisible to heart.

Making rows of trees bend,

Oaks, cedar, pine,

North, west, east, south:

All without directions:

Holding wall sagging line firm.

Walls provide temporary security.
Walls provide temporary security. | Source

Digging up My Youth and Filling in Adult Awareness

One of my construction activities as a youth involved digging a tunnel near the forest where we dwelled. My friends and I dug about three feet under the earth, fortifying walls, and even placing candles and electric lights in the twenty feet long environment. This was inspired after reading about the hobbits and other classics. I would sneak away in that place with my favorite Asimov novel or book of poetry and relax. Often, I took my comic books and imagined I was a superhero, saving the world from impending disaster.
However, the tunnel collapsed, walls giving in to the force of gravity, as our youthful pursuits took us elsewhere in life. But my need to monitor walls of insecurity and exclusion internally and externally remained as I matured. I struggled to fight tunnel vision, keeping my vision focused in order to avoid stumbling into a hole or running into visible and invisible obstacles. Along the way, literature provided some of the tools to keep those walls at a minimum.

Wall symbolism in Literary Works

  1. The use of walls in artistic works can indicate physical separation. They can also show a barrier to intimacy in the characters or a community. Walls may be symbols of the limits of a community’s or character’s tolerance. These structures are synonymous with an impasse in literature.
  2. Some artistic works may incorporate walls to show social instability. They can also represent personal insecurity or comfort, which may be flawed in some manner. Walls can be portrayed as obstacles to action. In literature, walls can symbolize the horrors hidden inside of us.
  3. Some works may use walls to show deterioration of mental health. Or the situation could be reversed. For Instance, a wall could indicate an author is drawing attention to the fact a character or community is protecting overall well-being. Walls can demonstrate fear of “the other,” eventually leading to dealing with fears of self.
  4. Nevertheless, creative individuals may find unique ways to use these structures in their work. The meaning of any symbol may change as the novel, poem, or other literary creation moves forward. for this reason, the reader should examine the text with care to understand what the author is communicating.

Walls in literature can represent many aspects of life.
Walls in literature can represent many aspects of life. | Source

Poll

Should we define who we are with walls?

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No matter how strong a wall appears, it will not last forever.
No matter how strong a wall appears, it will not last forever. | Source

Questions & Answers

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      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        5 hours ago from U.S.A.

        Hi, Mark,

        I received your email concerning a blurb for your book, and I would be honored. The reason you hadn't heard back from me is because I needed to check to see that there wasn't some joker playing a trick.

        I'll love the honor.

        Also, your comments are always insightful and full of the wisdom of a man who has given great thought to the human condition.

        Much respect and deepest admiration to a talented and gifted writer,

        Tim

      • Mark Tulin profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        7 hours ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Another great theme, Tim. I often think about how others boundary themselves from one another. Not only fences, hedges, or walls. But other types of boundaries to push other people away or separate themselves. Psychological boundaries, elitist boundaries. Money is perhaps the greatest wall. With money, you could build yourself a big home with a huge gate and a Berlin-type wall surrounding it. The images in your poem were fantastic. There are so many ideas attached to a slab of concrete.

        Also, Tim. Would you be interested in writing a short blurb for me on an upcoming chapbook of poetry? I would be honored, but if you're busy, I'd understand.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        2 days ago from U.S.A.

        That is a great song, Sean. Ironically, it was banned on British airwaves for many years. It's funny: even people who deal with education can appreciate a great tune like that. We lay those bricks, and we can remodel those walls, inside and outside.

        Thanks for dropping by.

        Much respect,

        Tim

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        2 days ago from Greece, Almyros

        An excellent work you've done here my dear Brother, and so relevant to the times we live! You reminded me of one of the greatest musical works ever. The Wall by Pink Floyd! Thank you for your effort for world awakening.

        "We don't need no education

        We don't need no thought control

        No dark sarcasm in the classroom

        Teachers leave them kids alone

        Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

        All in all it's just another brick in the wall.

        All in all you're just another brick in the wall."

        Gratitude!

        Sean

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        6 days ago from U.S.A.

        Thanks, Bill. That means a lot coming from an accomplished writer such as yourself. I appreciate it.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        6 days ago from Olympia, WA

        I was a master wall-builder in my youth, until I realized that walls were preventing me from growing. The walls are no longer.

        Love your poetry, rapid-fire like a machine gun, pay attention or you'll miss the best part....excellent, Tim!

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        9 days ago from U.S.A.

        One common myth states that the Great Wall of china can be seen from the moon. This is possible only with a powerful telescope. The Great Wall of China extends nearly 5500 miles, but it is in pieces which favor the topographic surroundings, making it difficult to see clearly. However, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), some astronauts have reported noting the Great Wall. The ISS orbits about 250 miles above the Earth.

        But once a person goes above the karman line, about 62 miles above the planet, clearly seeing objects on Earth can be difficult. Unless a person is looking for a mountain range or a big desert, man-made items are virtually unrecognizable. The Great Wall does show up distinctly in radar images taken by the space shuttle Endeavor. I suspect walls vanish or appear depending on your point of view.

        Thanks for reading.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        10 days ago from U.S.A.

        Thanks, Nell for adding a thoughtful comment to this article. I appreciate your insight and contribution. Yes, we do build our own walls and prisons.

        I hope your day is going well, and may your weekend be peaceful.

        Much respect and deepest admiration,

        Your writing colleague, merely an ocean (not a wall) away,

        Tim

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        10 days ago from England

        Interesting stuff Tim. Funnily enough, one of the main things I remember hearing my friend say years ago, was, 'We make our own prisons, but we are the only ones who can knock down those walls.' So very true.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        11 days ago from U.S.A.

        Interestingly enough, in 1958, CBS broadcasted the series "Track Down." One interesting episode was called: The End of the World. During this particular airing of the show, a fictional character, Dr. Walter Trump, attempted to sale locals a wall which was supposed to protect them from a meteor shower. He was eventually arrested for his fraudulent claims.

        Some times reality can be stranger than fiction. On this, I kid you not. I learned this thanks to Talkingpoints.com, and apparently, the show can be found on Youtube.com.

        Thanks for reading.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        13 days ago from U.S.A.

        Eric, I can honestly say I wish I was there with you, brother.

        Until you have met someone who tried to escape the walls of imprisoning poverty and abuse, then it's hard to understand the plight of these people. True, everyone isn't a saint, but that's true on both sides of everything. We do need the law, of course - I believe you would agree - the Law of His Love.

        I have a friend who was persecuted in a Middle Eastern country, even imprisoned, for simply not wishing to worship the way the government dictated. With help, her family dug tunnels to escape, eventually, finding a job with our government when she reached America.

        She speaks three languages: Farci, English, and Spanish - I hope her skills are useful down there.

        Her family truly understands what walls can do to people.

        Much respect, prayers, and love,

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        13 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Tim we are headed back down south at midnight tonight. Just stuff like clean water, blankets and food. That border must be vigilant but that don't mean we cannot be vigilante in caring for our brothers and sisters and kids on that side. Coffee and my special lemonade will keep us sharp. I think we might be the "counter" caravan.

        Folks have forgotten about them. Not on our watch.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        13 days ago from U.S.A.

        Thank you for dropping by, Hayley.

        I appreciate your comment on my article.

        Walls are fascinating and they can lead to interesting scenarios.

        Much respect,

        Tim

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        13 days ago from U.S.A.

        Thank you, Ms. Dora. Your comment is always valued. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

        Ms. Dora, thanks for being supportive and always kind. It's people like you who help others build fortresses for protection and climb over walls of all kinds in life.

        Much respect and admiration,

        Tim

      • Hayley Dodwell profile image

        Hayley Dodwell 

        13 days ago from United Kingdom

        Fascinating read!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        13 days ago from The Caribbean

        I liked Andy Rooney for his ability to pick an item that seemed insignificant and develop it into something grand. You reminded me of him here. Suddenly I see walls in so many different places, having so many different purposes. Really good work in both poetry and prose.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        2 weeks ago from U.S.A.

        Eric,

        My creative, thoughtful, and skillful friend of many talents - Really?

        You went over the Vatican wall? That took a sense of bravery and daring.

        I like what you wrote here:

        "I ain't never seen a boundary that wasn't worth crossing."

        I look forward to reading about the Rio Grande.

        I can relate to walls keeping footballs and other flying objects from landing all over the place. Everyone of my brothers and sisters played some sports and we had baskets filled with every type of projectile you could imagine.

        Thanks for your kind comment and sharing your experiences.

        Much respect and admiration to a wonderful writer and brother,

        Tim

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        2 weeks ago from U.S.A.

        Hello, J Beadle,

        thank you for your insightful contribution and kind words. I remember when I was young, watching our president telling Mr. Gorbachev to tear that wall down separating West and East Germany. Likewise, we have to get on with sincere communications in our nation and around the globe.

        Walls can protect, but they can keep the natural state of human oneness from happening.

        Yes, I just put up a fence to keep out deer and foxes from my own yard. The beauty of irony is not lost on me here.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Tim Truzy 

        2 weeks ago from U.S.A.

        Hi, Flourish,

        I love that: "Cats don't honor fences." If they did, my dogs would be bored. They have made friends with the local cats. I frequently catch them resting in the yard right beside each other.

        I can understand why borders are important, like you said. I remember reading you went to a very impressive university, and I am sure they had their reasons for wanting to secure the "perimeter" as my dad used to say.

        May be things will change and we will reduce our fears of "the other." You are a brave soul to do so already around your home and our neighborhood (HP).

        Have a great day and wonderful week, Courageous Flourish.

        Thank you for being supportive and thoughtful in your comments.

        Talented and prolific in your many writings, you make me smile with your wit and insight into human nature and music.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 weeks ago from USA

        I like your poetry and the musings on symbolism in literature. I especially liked your line about the daughter.

        I’m not one to endorse walls in practice. When I was in college, my university literally started to build a wall and tall decorative fencing to separate the campus from the surrounding city. There was a homeless problem and i attended an elite private university that didn’t want them sleeping on campus or coming on property at all really. Although homeless has never been my issue, building walls felt strange to me. Were they keeping us in or others out? Now in my neighborhood development my neighbors erect backyard fences and there’s no way to get from point a to b except using the street. I don’t mind the occasional kid cutting through my backyard on the way from the bus stop to his house. The fencing is all different styles and heights too. We are one of the only ones who didn’t build a fence. Cats don’t honor fences anyhow.

      • JBeadle profile image

        J Beadle 

        2 weeks ago from Midwest

        I like the mix of prose to support the poetry. Someone I read elsewhere had said walls weren't as important as the empty space they create within - the space where we seek shelter and the places where we like to reflect on the happenings outside of the walls. It's difficult in life when a person puts up a "wall" but they sure create many of the inside places I am drawn to. Great original hub.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        This is just great. I love walls. In part to pay for my undergraduate degree I built walls. On Saturday last we went to our neighbors house to shore up their side of our mutual fence. Her little 80 year old frame is to die for. And then she blue taped ours out of shape. My boy is learning how to hammer in nails.

        Our walls keep footballs, soccer balls and golf balls in except the "oops" and neighbors toss them back.

        Funny but in my creative work which is all I have in my War of Art I just have to tear them down. I scaled the wall of the Vatican once and dropped in just for kicks with some Spaniards. I ain't never seen a boundary that wasn't worth crossing. More later about the Rio Grande.

      working

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