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An Interpretation of Frost's Birches Essay

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An Interpretation of Frost's Birches


After reading this poem, I believe that it can be divided into three
specific parts. The scientific explanation for the appearance of birches,
Frost's boyhood fanatasy about their appearance, and his present day
interpretation of their appearance.

In the first section, Frost explains the birches appearances
scientifically. He implys that natural phenomenons make the branches of the
birch trees sway. He explains that ice storms, which is a characteristic of
New England weather, can accumulate on the branches and cause them to
become heavy and bending. (For those of ya'll not familiar with the
appearance of the bark of the birch, click here.) Birches have a black
background with crackled snow white bark on top of the black bark. It has
an unusual appearance because both the black and the white are visable.
Frost offers many suggestions for their appearance. It maybe due to the ice
breaking that is burdened on the bark. The breeze causes the ice to move
and crack certain parts of the bark, creating the crackling effect. "As the
[ice] stir cracks and crazes their enamel." He also compares this image to
that of breaking glass and compares it to the "dome of heaven" shattering.
I enjoy how he offers such different interpretations for the appearance of
the bark. My personal favorite is the shattering of the dome in heaven. I
think this creates a vivid image for the reader. He goes on to say that
once the branches are bent, they never return completely upright again, but
they are so flexible that they never break."You may see their trunks
arching in the woods/ Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the
ground." These are some of the natural phenomenons that Frost me...


... middle of paper ...


...s to revisit his childhood days, where his
life was peaceful, fun, and carefree. He does not want to just simply die,
but "die, and be reborn again." He is not rejecting earth, because he likes
earth and all that it has to offer. "Earth's the right place for love:/ I
don't know where it's likely to go better." Although he has grown up, he is
still a part of this fantasy world that he would be content "climbing"
birches his entire life. He uses the image that the top of the trees
represent heaven, and the more he climbs the closer he is to reaching his
dream. However, he does not want to reach heaven right this instant, so the
bending of the tree would send him back down to earth, or reality. "But
dipped its top and set me down again/ That would be good both going and
coming." But he would be perfectly content with his life being a "swinger
of birches."


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