Birches Essay

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Perkins has published widely in the field of twentieth-century American and British literature. In the following essay, she examines how Frost uses images of nature in his poem to reflect its themes.

Robert Frost's "Birches" presents vivid, personal descriptions of nature as he describes a boy playfully swinging on birches. As he often does in his poetry, Frost here presents an ambiguous view of the natural world and uses that as a starting point for a questioning of larger issues. As he describes a hypothetical boy climbing high up birches and then riding them down to the ground, Frost raises questions about the nature of human existence.

The poem opens with the speaker seeing "birches bend to left and right" and imagining that a young boy has been swinging on them during play. Immediately, though, he undercuts his imaginative, pleasing image with the harsher truth of nature. He...

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This section contains 1,375 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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.
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