How do I Love a Fence?

By Edmund Brown

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning -

How Do I Fence Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

How to fence a farm? Let me count the ways.
I build fence to the depth and breadth and height
my fields can reach, where reaching out of sight
For the ends of keeping stock and line alike
I build fence to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, in sun and headed-lamp.
I build fence freely, dry and through the damp
I build fence purely, as they turn from praise.
I build fence the passion put to use
In my old griefs and with my childhood’s faith.
I build fence with a love I seemed to lose
With all my lost saints. I build fence with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but build fence better after death.

This is an "H" brace, which is used to terminate a run of fence. The H has a loop of wire holding tension on it so the fence can't pull over the end post on the right.

This is a floating brace, also used to terminate a run of fence. Hidden in the grass under the sloped piece of wood is a loop of wire that completes a triangle between the upright post and the sloped post. The black plastic circle is a reel used to hold temporary fence that I move every day or so.


This is a plastic T post on the perimeter fence of 4 strand hi-tensile electric. I'm not a huge fan of this type of post. They're a bit too flexible.



This is a wooden perimeter post. Wood posts are tried and true, but they're hard to place (I use a big rental machine to drive them into the ground). And they cost more than smaller posts.


This is a temporary post for daily paddock creation. It's a 1/2" fiberglass rod with a spring clip on it. The "wire" is a braid of plastic thread (for strength) and stainless steel wire (to carry the shock)..

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