Robert Frost's poem, "Birches," points out that at certain times in life, it can be good to go back to what was once simple and true, like when children swing on the branches of trees. The setting of the poem is winter time and Frost seems like an old man wishing to be back in his youth. This paper will examine Frost's poem in depth to identify all the literary elements that are used. After the literary elements are identified, this paper will show how Frost himself wishes to be a child again swinging on the branches of birch trees.
The literary elements Frost uses really help to show the poems true beauty and power. Frost keeps his black verse interesting by using different variations. An example of regular blank verse in his poem is: "I like to think some boy's been swinging them" (line 3, p. 1175). An example of irregular blank verse in his poem is: "With all her matter of fact about the ice storm" (line 22, p. 1175). Two examples of alliteration in Frost's poem are: "Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair" (line 19, p. 1175), "Toward heaven till the tree could bear no more" (line 56, p. 1176). The alliteration in both of those lines is the repetition of the T sound. Frost uses imagery in his poem to paint a vivid picture. The reader almost gets cold as Frost describes the birch trees covered in ice and snow, bending under their own weight: "Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning/After a rain. They click upon themselves" (lines 6-7, p. 1175). He uses figurative language when he writes: "As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored/As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel/Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells" (lines 8-10, p. 1175). Frost uses metaphors when he writes about the ice on the birches resembling "crystal shells" and "heaps of broken glass". One example of a simile in Frost's poem is: "Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair/Before them over their heads to dry in the sun" (lines 19-20, p. 1175)....
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