Birches Essay

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Smith is a writer and editor. In this essay, she argues that, while "Birches," like so many of Robert Frost's poems, is a delicate balancing act of memory and imagination, reality and fantasy, and heaven and earth, the poet's intent is not to judge these things but to find his own way among them.

Many people read Frost's poetry, especially better-known poems such as "The Road Not Taken" or "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," and come away with a sense of Frost as a rustic, good-natured painter of nature scenes. While Frost was indeed a great poet of the natural world, his vision was far more complex and nuanced than most readers realize at first. One of his great concerns was how a person can define himself or herself in the world - that is, what does it mean to be conscious and what is the...

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This section contains 1,584 words
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Buy the Birches Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Birches from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.