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Analysis Of Robert Frost´S Poem Birches

1097 words - 4 pages

In Robert Frost’s poem “Birches” the poem does not vaguely say who the narrator is but it is assumed it is a man. The poem draws a parallel between two worlds. The poem takes place on a winter morning in the woods with icy white birch trees scattering the landscape. The poem is not about the landscape, but rather the narrator images of his past. The birch tree’s branches question the narrator to what is real and what is not. This “swinging” event has a great effect on the narrator causing him to imagine “some boy's been swinging” in the birch tree “bending them to the left and right.” This is where reality takes over his imagination because of the fact that “swinging doesn't bend them down to stay”; ice-storms do that. The swinging and swaying of the branches has great consequences on the narrator. The narrator is taken from reality and talks of an escape from the reality of life. He wants to be on Earth again because "earth's the right place for love." He wants the leaving to be temporary. Swinging on the birch branch is a temporary departure from his own reality, it is his imagination. Reaching “heaven” is contingent on the fact that the narrator must reach towards those “higher branches.” Climbing the trunk slowly, “always pushing upward further away from imperfect burning, weeping, earth and truth but always ready at the top of the arc to swing back down to Earth again.”The narrator talks about what real effect that nature’s ice has on birch trees. Nature causes the branches to be weighed down. This event also has a consequence on the narrator. The narrator again shifts from the world of reality to the world of imagination.
The narrator’s creative imagination is based on the scene of mangled broken birch tree branches, “arched” from a storm. The narrator turns the depressed image of damaged birch trees to scenes of fallen leaves of “the hair of girls thrown over their heads to dry in the sun.” The narrator also connects ice and glass that is “from the shattered inner dome of heaven.” But for the narrator, no matter how far up he climbs, he will never leave Earth. The narrator claims he “should prefer to have some boy bend them,” making the birch’s branches weigh down. This makes the narrator reflect on his own boyhood, “I once myself a swinger of birches.” Swinging in the birch branches is like an out-of-earth experience for him. The narrator misses his childhood and the birch trees in a sense are his never-land; a place where youth is forever. At the end of the poem, the narrator is confused what he wants to do “I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, but dipped its top and set me down again.” What Frost did with the birch trees is quite clever. The narrator wishes he could travel back and forth from adulthood to his youth, where he could climb the birch trees “all the way up to heaven.” The birch tree branches are a barrier between his hopeless life on Earth to the openness of heaven. The...

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