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Birches Essay | Critical Essay #6

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Birches.
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Critical Essay #6

In the following essay excerpt, Hart shows how "Birches" represents the difference between the earthbound Frost and the transcendentalism of T. S. Eliot.

In "Birches" the poet begins by recalling that he has seen birches permanently bent by the ice that collects on them in the winter, and then he toys with a pleasant fancy. When he looks at birches bent in this way, he "likes to think some boy's been swinging them." But he knows that this is not true—that the trees bent by ice all winter are permanently bent and that swinging does not do this, and he withdraws the thought almost as soon as it is offered. In this seemingly casual discourse, a serious point is being broached: truth has asserted its claims at the expense of fancy. Ice, not a boy playing. But fancy is not defeated. It comes forward again in...

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This section contains 801 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Birches Study Guide
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Birches from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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