• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Birches" moves the reader to interpret the deeper meaning within the poem. Frost uses the metaphor of the ice storm to illustrate its connection with life. T

Extracts from this document...


In the adolescent years we are young, we are strong, tall and unbent due to inexperience of childhood which is a very important and necessary part of youth. "Birches" illustrates the author's ability to take the regular activities of life and transform it, giving it a much deeper interpretation. The reader perceives the poem to refer to a young country boy "whose only play was what he found himself," in this situation, finding entertainment in riding birch branches. The poem, though appearance may seem quite literal in language, is very interpretive when closely viewed. "Birches" contains deeper themes of life, love, aging and death as well as good and evil which are to be conveyed in this essay. The poem opens with a description of the activities of the young. Frost contemplates the simplicity of childhood: "I like to think some boy's been swinging them." When we are young we are erect and straight such as the birch tree. The author implies the theme of aging by imagery of "straighter and darker trees..." Frost vividly describes the shape of the branches of the birch tree to show the overwhelming weight of the ice storm. "Then bend them down to stay." Frost uses the "ice storms" to describe the power of the journey through life and its toll that it takes. The author portrays the ice storms as dominant over the submissive branches. ...read more.


The sun's warm appearance liberates the ice to reveal the cold, harsh reality of adulthood. With the discarding of the shells Frost attitude turns bitter-sweet towards the birch. The author uses harsh language to describe the birch's environment. "Such heaps of broken glass... the inner dome of heaven had fallen". The author's use of strong images is interpreted to be the ignorant perception of youth to want to discard the shield of youth and venture out into the cold, harsh world. Frosts' "withered bracken" is the harsh descriptions of the disillusioned youth as they are "dragged". The author's mellow tone reveals the pity he has on the youth and the inescapable fate that their burden of old age may never be lifted. "Once they are bowed so low for long, they never right themselves". Frost uses future imagery to describe what the future holds for these young birches. The author describes the future in a gloomy tone, as being overwhelmed with life: "You may see their trunks arching in the woods years afterwards trailing their leaves on the ground." Frost uses the imagery of a young girl on her hands and knees, bowing, in order to portray the burden that is placed on the backs of these "like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair ... over their heads to dry". These images stand for the disillusionment of youth to want to run from under the canopy of protection which is freely included in childhood. ...read more.


The Birch tree symbolizes a height, a height that can only be reached by a child. Pointing toward the sky the tree symbolizes power and the struggle to overcome the daily burdens of life. To overcome the aging process Frost would like to climb as a he did when a youth and not stopping until his dying day. "I'd like to go climbing a birch tree, and climb black branches up a snow white trunk toward heaven till the tree could bear no more." The author implies that life at its best is climbing a birch tree when young, seeing things how they really are, in black and white, without opinions shaped by life. "That would be good going and coming .... One could do worse than be a swinger of birches" I'd like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. 50 May no fate wilfully 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, 55 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. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Robert Frost section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Robert Frost essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss Frosts use of language and setting in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy ...

    3 star(s)

    refer to the 'desert' of his mind - The narrator infers that all the places mentioned (the field, the forest, and the night sky) carry with them a great sense of isolation and loneliness - but he cannot be 'scared' by them because his loneliness is greater then any of theirs.

  2. Write a Critical Appreciation of 'Birches'.

    The double alliteration and heavy vowel sounds in the phrase: 'So low for so long', creates a further depressing outlook.

  1. By looking at 'Birches' and 'Out, Out-' by Robert Frost, compare and contrast the ...

    In "Out, Out-" they indicate the abrupt end of the boy's life whilst in "Birches" they imply the sudden and definite end of childhood. The saw is personified in the line "The buzz saw snarled and rattled..." in "Out, Out-" to help us picture the scene and also indicates the hidden danger in such work.

  2. Write a critical appreciation of Robert Frost's 'The Wood Pile', noting to what extent ...

    In "tuft of flowers", it is a butterfly which guides him to the tuft of flowers.

  1. Robert Frost's 'Acquainted with the Night' - review

    only the difficult Terza Rima rhyme scheme but also a novel, sophisticated and rigid pattern in form. A formal pattern from the 'I have' sentences is formed from a rigid, somewhat mathematical pattern - 3 'I have' sentences in the first stanza, 2 in the second stanza, 1 in the third stanza and none in the fourth.

  2. Robert Frost

    Robert Frost describes the choices we make as two roads that lead to different places where we do not know where they lead. Where they lead is our future which we cannot tell and we try to forecast as well as we can, to be able to choose the better one.

  1. Robert Frost: A Great American Poet"Rightly or wrongly, Robert Frost has achieved a reputation ...

    Some people think that "The Road Not Taken" was written because at some point in Frost's life he might have been cheated or misunderstood. He might have felt that he took "the wrong path" (Sweeny and Lindroth 36). In "The Road Not Taken" Frost is telling of that time, through the traveler when he needed to make a choice.

  2. Emotional Barriers in Robert Frost's Mending wall and Home burial".

    and it's come to this a man can't speak of his own child that's dead". She then says that he is unable to speak of his own child as he does not know how to do so.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work