Birches Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Kemp analyzes "Birches" in the context of Frost's poetic output of 1913, finding it to be "an initial and highly consequential experiment."

Although Frost can be said to have reached his artistic maturity in the summer of 1913 when he completed the regional poetry that made North of Boston a significant contribution to American literature, he soon discovered how difficult it was to combine his new role as Yankee poet with his ambition to be "one of the most notable craftsmen" of the age. By December of that crucial year, the struggle to select, revise, and organize his poetry into an effective structure left him "clean shucked out," and, as the conclusion to North of Boston indicates, somewhat distraught and discouraged.

In the ensuing years, he sought a more reassuring regional identity, a different approach to the "poetry of the farm." Instead of presenting himself...

(read more from the Critical Essay #5 section)

This section contains 2,665 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.