Analysis of A Black Birch in Winter

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Analysis of A Black Birch in Winter

This poem is extremely easy to understand if one understands the comparison being made.

Although by saying that a tree may look old in the winter but it will appear reborn in the spring is what

Wilbur is talking about, he is relating and comparing this to the life of an aging man. The poem states that

"Old trees are doomed to annual rebirth, new wood, new life, new compass, and greater girth." This means

that the tree will stretch and crack year after year to accommodate new growth. This resembles a rebirth of

the tree each year, but also an aging process.

The poem talks about the old tree and relates it to an aged man. "Or the trenched features of an

aged man." It means that the tree is comparable to the aged man because it grows, stretches, and cracks as

the years go by. The man grows older and becomes more wrinkled or "cracked," also. He will continue to

get more wrinkled and cracked as the years go by. The tree can be looked upon as something not that

fancy, like "mosaic columns in a church," along with the features of an aged man. The mosaic columns

would appear to be big and old, probably scarred from weather and time, as a tree might look.

As one looks and studies the old tree and its annual rebirth, one might notice that it is like a form

of art. "And this is all their wisdom and their art, to grow, stretch, crack, and not yet come apart. The older

trees get the stronger they usually get. When one looks at the cracks and features of the tree, one can notice

how strong and wise the tree is by all the patterns and age marks on the tree. Rings are features that can tell

how old a tree is. As the tree grows each year, and becomes stronger, the rings build themselves up around

the old wood, which makes the tree bigger.

There are some symbols in this poem that some critics of the psychological method use. Yonic

and Phallic symbols are images that depict female and male images. Yonic symbols are concave symbols,

which refer to females.