Robert Frost – Natural Symbolism Birches Robert Frost is a modern poet whose poetry is written to be easily understood and read as though it were everyday speech. He uses free verse to tell of his love and respect for nature. He also utilizes natural symbolism in a lot of his writings. He has written about rural landscape and wildlife so much that people often refer to his as a nature poet. In the poem Birches, Frost utilizes natural symbolism to explain how heaven is the ideal realm of purity and light, a place in which we can aspire to. He also explains how the tension between earthly satisfactions and higher aspirations emerges from the recollection of a childhood game.
The use of unrhymed iambic pentameter helps Frost illustrate his personal experiences of loneliness, love, and desire. Frost’s description of loneliness is provided immediately after he first refers to himself with his specific description in Line 20. There he states, I should prefer to have some boy bend (the birches). He describes the loneliness of his youth, writing that he was a boy on a farm too far from town to learn baseball whose only play was found in him. As a young boy, Frost’s only amusement was to swing from the birches. His attempts to conquer loneliness were demonstrated through the vehicle of the birches.
Frost goes on to describe perhaps the most valuable lesson he learned as a child trying to overcome loneliness, the lesson of practice makes perfect. Frost states He always kept his poise to the top of the branches climbing carefully with..pains..Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish kicking his way down through the air to the ground. He learned here that there are times in life when one will conquer a situation be done with it, and fly joyfully away knowing that one has conquered it. Frost also uses Birches to illustrate his experiences with love. He has apparently been hurt by love before, stating, I’d like to get away from earth and then come back to it and begin over. May no fate willfully misunderstand me And half grant what I wish and snatch me away not to return. Apparently his heart has been broken by a lost love.
He may think this is because he submitted vulnerably to her, but if he had a chance to do it again, he might not submit himself so much to the next thief. However, he definitely has the desire to achieve love. His desire to achieve is described when he states how he would like to achieve love. Frost states, I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, and climb..toward heaven (the top or ultimate of his desire, be it love or something else) till the tree (or the world) could bear not more, but dipped its tip and set me down again. He is possibly stating that no matter what life one pursues, one can use the world as a tree that one can climb to the top, but realize that at a certain point, the world will no longer be able to support one.
Frost ends his poem stating his satisfaction with overcoming loneliness and love and benefiting from the desire to achieve by writing, One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. Birches is written beautifully in blank verse, even though each line is in iambic pentameter. The absence of rhyme scheme implies that a poet must compensate for this in other ways. Frost’s does this wonderfully with the use of enjambment and imagery in his poem. This can be seen in his explanation of the appearance of the birches.
Frost explains the appearance of the birches scientifically implying that natural phenomenon makes the branches bend and sway. Frost also lends sound to his description of the branches as “they click upon themselves as the breeze rises.” Frost explains the branches are bent by the ice, but do not break. Frost again adds beautiful imagery comparing the bent branches “trailing their leaves on the ground” to “girls on hands and knees throwing their hair before them to dry in the sun.” Poetry.