- THE POEM: BIRCHES —-BY ROBERT FROST
A] BACKGROUND OF THE POET: Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California to a journalist, William Prescott Frost, Junior and Isabelle Moodie in 1874. His father was a teacher and an editor. After the death of his father on 5th May, 1885; the family moved to Lawrence Massachusetts, under the leadership of William Frost Senior. Frost graduated from Lawrence High School.
B] SETTING: The poet is set in a rural area or landscape.
C] SUBJECT MATTER OF THE POEM: The poem deals with rural life in which the poet believes that the birches being bent to left and right sides instead of in straight form was caused by some boys. The poet later realized that it was the ice storms that was responsible for swinging the birches. Despite the fact that the poet discovered the truth about the swinging and bending of the birches, he still believes in his imagination of the boys swinging and bending the birches. The poet confirmed that he was once a swinger of birches and wished to be so. He became weary of this world, felt like climbing a birch tree to heaven and come back again to earth.
D] LANGUAGE: The language is simple, formal and straightforward. The language is conversational in nature.
E] FORM: The poem is written in blank verse of iambic parameter.
1. THE ACT OF BALANCING: It has to do with how to reconcile between impulse and carefulness, spontaneity and structure.
2. YOUTH: The poet imagined ‘’some boys’’ which implies the youthful age. He was a swinger when he was young.
3. FAITH: The poet hoped to leave this confused earth and make heaven-ward journey. The poet wanted to go to heaven and come to earth. He did not want permanent death.
4. CONFUSION: The poet find himself in a confused mind in relation to the swinging of the ‘’birches’’.
G] LITERARY DEVICES USED IN THE POEM:
1. SIMILE: The way the birches throw their leaves on the ground was compared to how ladies throw their hair over their heads to dry in the sun. It is in lines 18-20. In line 45, it compared life to a pathless wood which indicates the problems man always face in the world.
2. METAPHOR: The shattering of the ice blocks from the branches were referred to as broken glass that are swept away. It can be seen in lines 11-12.
3. RHETORICAL QUESTION: It is used for the purpose of emphasis. A question that demand no answer. This is seen in line 23 to mean what was responsible for the swinging of the birches.
4. ENJAMBAMENT: It is predominantly used in the poem. The lines of the poem run into another to realize their meanings.
5. SYMBOLS: The idea of swinging symbolizes an escape from problem in order to prepare for greater improvement. Is