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Birches by Robert Frost
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| Words: 1194 | Submitted: 06-May-2011
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DescriptionStructural Analysis Paper on the poem
Idealism in “Birches” by Robert Frost
The poem “Birches” by the legendary poet, Robert Frost, is a widely known and well-loved poem. Robert Frost, a four-time winner of Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, wrote this piece in the year 1916 and included it in the collection Mountain Interval, which was later published in 1920 (Wikipedia). This poem is written in blank verse form, with three stanzas each containing twenty lines, with the exception of the third, which only contains nineteen. I selected “Birches” to analyze because I truly agree with the common conclusion of what this poem means and the message Frost intended it to have. Among these messages are the ideas of expressing ideals, longing for the past, and the connection of ascending and descending in the natural and spiritual world. Each one of these points is clearly expressed in this poem and can be further discussed through the reader’s perspective.
In the beginning of the poem, Robert Frost is truly expressing an ideal. He says “I like to think some boy’s been swinging on them. But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay. Ice storms do that” (Frost). Here, he wants to believe that the branches of the birch tree were bent by a young boy having fun playing, not an ice storm (which is negatively portrayed in this poem). So when the speaker says “I like to think,” he is expressing the fundamental difference between what people wish to believe and what they know is real. For example, I’d like to believe that everyone could live long happy lives, but I know, in reality, this could never happen. Next, Frost brings the reader into reality by simply describing the effect of an ice storm on birch trees: “They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, and they seem not to break; though once they are bowed so low for so long, they never write themselves” (Frost). In nature, ice storms truly do cause branches of birches to bend low due to the weight, and they continue to stay wilted permanently. In addition, Frost uses alliteration beginning in line ten of the first stanza when he writes: “Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells shattering and avalanching on the snow crust-“(Frost). This alliteration uses the S sound, a sound reminiscent of the wing going through the woods in the winter. Secondly, Frost uses the comparison of girls on hands and knees drying their hair in the sun to the shape of the birches when they stoop low. He continues to say: “But I was going to say when ...
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