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Birches: Do the "Birches" Speak?

Uploaded by Fulls377 on Apr 15, 2002

The poem, “Birches,” by Robert Frost evokes all of the senses. Whether it is the rhythmic flow of the poem or the mere need to recite the words for a clearer understanding, the images that flood the mind are phenomenal. Imagery is an essential part of poetry. It creates a visual understanding of the overall meaning of the poem and gives a glimpse into the unsaid mind of Robert Frost. The imagery also paints a scene of cold wintry days and warmth of summer nights. Robert Frost, while knowing the realistic causes behind the bent birch trees, prefers to add an imaginative interpretation behind the bending of the birches. He also uses the entire poem to say something profound about life. The message that Frost could be implying is that life can be hard and people can lose there way, but there will always be innocence, love and beauty in the world if people look for it. Frost uses imagery to convey this meaning throughout the poem.

In the first section of the poem, Frost explains the appearance of the birches. Frost wants to believe that the branches of the birches bend and sway because of a boy swinging on them. However, Frost suggests that repeated ice storms are what bend the branches. Frost compares the breaking away of the ice from the trees to the “dome of heaven” shattering (Line 13). This could be a metaphor for life using imagery. The ice can symbolize difficult times that come in life, while the ice breaking away may represent renewed hope for the future. Initially, the forest scene describes, "crystal shells Shattering and avalanching on the snow crust-- Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away" (10-12). The words "shattering and avalanching" (11) give the feeling of calamity and perhaps fear or sorrow. A disturbance in the universe is suggested by the "heaps of broken glass" (12) that make it seem as if "the inner dome of heaven had fallen" (13). Frost also lends sound to his description of the branches as “they click upon themselves As the breeze rises” (7-8). This may be a spin on the idea that problems and experiences "click" off of people, however, the click is not a snap implying that problems do not break people. Frost further explains the branches bend because of the ice, however, they do not break. This can also be compared...

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Uploaded by:   Fulls377

Date:   04/15/2002

Category:   Poetry

Length:   5 pages (1,186 words)

Views:   1639

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