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Birches Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Frost Type: poem Views: 208

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When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy's been swinging them.

But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.

Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them

Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning

After a rain. They click upon themselves

As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured

As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.

Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells

Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust

Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away

You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,

And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed

So low for long, they never right themselves:

You may see their trunks arching in the woods

Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,

Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair

Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.

But I was going to say when Truth broke in

With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,

I should prefer to have some boy bend them

As he went out and in to fetch the cows--

Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,

Whose only play was what he found himself,

Summer or winter, and could play alone.

One by one he subdued his father's trees

By riding them down over and over again

Until he took the stiffness out of them,

And not one but hung limp, not one was left

For him to conquer. He learned all there was

To learn about not launching out too soon

And so not carrying the tree away

Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise

To the top branches, climbing carefully

With the same pains you use to fill a cup

Up to the brim, and even above the brim.

Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,

Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.

So was I once myself a swinger of birches.

And so I dream of going back to be.

It's when I'm weary of considerations,

And life is too much like a pathless wood

Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs

Broken across it, and one eye is weeping

From a twig's having lashed across it open.

I'd like to get away from earth awhile

And then come back to it and begin over.

May no fate willfully misunderstand me

And half grant what I wish and snatch me away

Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:

I don't know where it's likely to go better.

I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree

And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk

Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,

But dipped its top and set me down again.

That would be good both going and coming back.

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

I love climbing trees. My favoirte part of being a grownup is the ability to do childlike things without someone yelling, "hey kid! Get down from there!" x x

| Posted on 2013-11-14 | by a guest

.: :.

This year the colours have seeemd particularly stunning, Ann, but I'm puzzled as the berried plants in our garden, and around the area along the canal bank where we walk, don't seem to have been touched by the birds. We drove through the country to Nottingham yesterday, a miserable day, masses of leaves on the ground still striking in colour, but now many bare trees.

| Posted on 2013-11-13 | by a guest

.: :.

I should imiagne the birds will still be finding plenty of other food at present. It will be in the winter months they come to rely on the berries. I love the autumn colours and although they have been late arriving this year they do seem quite strong. I like taking photos from different angles and what you see at your feet can make an interesting study. At this time of year you get the coloured leaves and on frosty days you can often get them tinged with frost, too. One of my favourite sets of photos showed autumn leaves in a puddle beneath a layer of ice. Quite surreal.

| Posted on 2013-11-13 | by a guest

.: :.

ha a while ago I was trying to get a very smiilar shot of me laying in a cherry tree in full bloom, and I didn't storyboard it out like I usually do and my husband somehow got the message to prioritize the blossoms and branches and not me... the results were kind of silly and heavy-handed looking instead of evoking a nice lazy day. I still need to post them soon because the blossoms are so pretty, but I was so disappointed that I thought I had gotten the shot I wanted and when I got home it wasn't there. It's so interesting what a difference positioning makes! The silly thing is it was in central park, so of course, everyone passing by had to get their phone and cameras out and take pictures of me without asking and a bunch of people probably got the shot that I didn't. Anyway, I just thought it was funny we both took tree climbing pictures so close together- it's like we are dainty adventuretiming kindred spirits. and I like those lil telephones.

| Posted on 2013-11-12 | by a guest

.: :.

can anyone paraphrase this please??

| Posted on 2009-02-23 | by a guest

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