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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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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