“Birches”; The Comparisons To Imagination And Reality.

1338 words - 6 pages

Often times we may see ourselves wondering through a photo album from our youth or a neighborhood park and reflect on our experiences as a child, the innocence that went along with our almost singular view of the world around us and the joy created in even the most trivial of activities. Robert Frost touches these thoughts in his poem “Birches” as he recounts childhood, and it’s memories, through the observation of Birch trees having been bent from the ice of winter. Though the trees have been arched by the elements of the cold, Frost prefers that they have become this way through the activity of children riding them down and how the act of riding the Birch trees down is a reflection of childhood, as well as a representation of childhood innocence. In his poem “Birches” Frost reflects on the innocence of childhood, its contrast to the harsh realities of life, and how both childhood and life’s realities are in mutual benefit of one another.

As Frost initially interacts with the woods, the Birch trees, he is reminded of his memories of childhood, how he associates the trees with his own youthful activities. Frost reflects on the trees immediately in the poem, referring to how he would prefer that the Birch trees were bent over by boys at play. “When I see birches bent to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging them” (1-3). In this passage Frost begins the poem with the opinion that, as he sees the bent Birch tree, he would rather have the Birches bent over by boys. In this instance Frost displays a preference to the innocent, almost destructiveness, of children as opposed to nature having subdued the trees. Because the children who bent the Birch trees over had perceivably done it as a game, or for some innocent reason, it makes the tree’s submission more appealing. If boys were the reason that the trees had been pushed down it suggests that their demise was the subject of joy or innocence, where as any other submission would be a recognition of a harsh reality only known by one whose innocence and childhood play had been lost.

Continually Frost reflects on his preference to childhood innocence as he reaffirms his approval to the trees submission as a result to child's play. After reflecting on Winter’s effect upon the Birch trees, Frost reaffirms his approval of the childhood imagination being able to find joy in riding Birch trees. “Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, Whose only play was what he found himself” (24-25). Again Frost imagines that the Birch trees have been concord by the youthful imagination of a boy, rather than the harsh Winter. In the passage Frost references how without the structure of an organized activity, in this instance baseball, youthful ingenuity takes over and is forced to find a creative outlet. The fact that the boy lives too far from town to learn how to pay baseball allows the child to use his imagination as his only source of fun and...

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