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Comment 58 of 138, added on June 5th, 2010 at 7:27 AM.
I think this poem contains a number of different themes but is centered
largely around the theme of swinging between two polar opposites: Truth and
imagination, youth and age, heaven and earth. From the first few lines we
see the contrast between the playful activity of swinging birches and the
'straighter darker trees' which I believe represent the realism of life.
Just as the voice of 'After apple picking' seems to long to return to its
youth, there is an element in 'Birches' of the voice dreaming 'of going
back to' his youth so that he may re-influence his future. Climbing the
birch tree will also help him to navigate the 'pathless wood' that his life
has become lost in. Ultimately though there is a strong sense that, in
order for the voice of the poem to achieve the 'Truth' he must be prepared
to take control of his own actions by not 'launching out too soon'. In my
opinion this truth seems to be the ability to connect the real with the
ideal as a rational thinker to achieve an equilibrium, which the boy can
achieve by accepting the concrete and the imagination.
J from United Kingdom
Comment 57 of 138, added on January 29th, 2010 at 11:58 AM.
some of the comments r funnier than hell. like #24
jeff from United States
Comment 56 of 138, added on January 8th, 2010 at 12:25 AM.
The first time I read this poem I was really confused. It is hard for me
to understand Poetry. My teacher then told us about it and good golly this
is definatly not a G rated poem if you look into it. I thought she was just
pulling my leg, but I was curious so I looked up some information about
Robert Frost so I could better understand his miliue a little better and I
do believe that this poem is very sexually related. It's too bad.
Charlie C from United States
Comment 55 of 138, added on December 14th, 2009 at 1:22 AM.
layers of birches
This has been one of my favorite poems of all time. I have been discovering
layers of meaning in this poem since I was a child. And, I am female. I
never once, until today, thought about the idea that someone could read a
sexual reference as a layer here, but as any real poet, as I'm sure Frost
would agree, truly profound poetry and art allows the one experiencing the
poem to see new meaning and beauty in their own personal way.
For me, this poem spoke to my own development- as I grew from innocent
youth to deal with life trauma, my own level of resiliency, my continued
connection with imagination, nature, and how this inspires me, the
beautiful art of keeping maturity married to childhood imagination... these
are the things of magic I found Frost speaking of. I have linked this poem
to my own discussion of nature metaphors in life and poetry on my new site
www.ruminature.com. Come check it out if you resonate with my response and
submit your own poetry!
Comment 54 of 138, added on December 12th, 2009 at 10:03 AM.
i don`t have any critic about this poem it is writen very good ano it it is
based in a life and death and confronting challenges Robert Frost is a very
excellent writer and contrains moral in his writing..
Comment 53 of 138, added on December 1st, 2009 at 4:15 PM.
I dont belive that in 1916 someone would ateempt to write a poem about
"riding birches" as something sexual and don't think about replacing the r
with a t because that term wasn't loosely used in that time. Also, the last
line is not about him saying that there are worse things than sex or
thinking about sex, just clearing that up.
Roxy from United States
Comment 52 of 138, added on September 22nd, 2009 at 6:46 AM.
For those who don't see the sexual references in this poem, I believe you
are missing part of it's beauty. Yet, there is much more to this poem.
For me it's about life, death, happiness, misery, play, work, reality,
fantasy, heaven, reincarnation, sexual discovery, youth, aging, sexual
frustration, uncertainty of death, wanting to go back to youth and
innocence, struggles of life, beauty and love of life, hoping for
reincarnation, flirting with suicide, but not wanting to die and risk not
coming back. What makes this poem great is that you can read it through
your own life and reach deeper levels of understanding as you mature. This
is a very masculine poem and I can see why some of the younger male readers
fantasize about replacing the "R" in birches with a "T".
D from United States
Comment 51 of 138, added on May 9th, 2009 at 6:10 PM.
im doing this poem for my iop and i fell in love with it as soon as i read
it. i have to talk about it for atleast ten minutes. i wish i ahd a whole
period. theres so much about this poem that speaks to me, and that i would
love to share with my class. mr. frost is a genius for a second i thought
he was actuallt talking about a boy which makes it seem at first sexual.
reading it again i see he talks about innocence, and aging. the way he uses
first second and third person makes it even more intreguing because he
doesnt lose the reader on who or what he is refering to. appearence us.
reality plays a big part in this poem as well. dreaming that he could go
back and come back. its truly remarkable how frost wrote this poem
yavi from United States
Comment 50 of 138, added on March 24th, 2009 at 7:32 AM.
not only does robert frost concure the dificulties of nature but he also
developed on a more physimetical world. one thing that needs to be
established before reading frosts poetry is the complications concerning
frosts own mental health he was experiencing a crisis out side of the war
crises, somewhere more personal ..frosts own home. its difficult to assume
the measure to which frosts depression allowed him to write many say that
its the key hole to reality. this is certainly apart in birches. however in
a letter to frank grey ( an old friend of frosts) he wrote about his sexual
frustration and his inability to conect sexualy to his wife. this sexual
frustration does radiate with in frosts peotry and its only fair to assume
that birches is a direct analogy of erectile disfuction with refrence to
the 'birches drooping' . with not one to talk to directly about frosts own
problems ho chooses to funnel his frustration through his poetry and if one
looks closly at what is being said it is increasinlgly clear.
Comment 49 of 138, added on March 3rd, 2009 at 10:11 PM.
For some reason, half the people on this appreciation site misuse it (I
guess they can't comprehend anything but sex, or any literature above The
Cat in the Hat). If you're not going to say something that's going to
contribute, why say anything?
Now to my thoughts on the poem. I recently had to read this for a class and
had a little trouble understanding it at first. After rereading it, though,
symbols and meaning become a little more apparent. Along with what someone
else said (a yearning to past innocence) I feel as though another theme is
a reflecting on the death of innocence. He is, after all, looking back at
these young, care-free times in admiration.
Numerous symbols exist in this poem as well. When Frost describes the trees
as young and old in the first few lines, he is perhaps referencing people,
or even himself. Ice storms are symbolizing obstacles that bend trees [test
people] over time. Perhaps, this heaven could, in a less complex way, be
symbolizing the times as a child spent innocent and idly.
Ian from United States
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