Robert Frost - Birches

Essay by AgentBoaHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2003

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Robert Frost is a very well known American poet, and what would be better then reviewing one of his famous poems? Birches takes us away from the woods of New Hampshire (which are typical of Frost's poems) or the despair of humanity and places us partly back in the woods, but also partly in a certain metaphor of sexuality not found in any of Robert Frost's other poems.

The poem taken literally revolves around a boy living on the New England countryside "whose only play was what he found himself," in this case, riding birch branches. Frost's poems are very literal in language but by analyzing each line, different themes and interpretations may be found. A more deeper and figurative meaning to "Birches" is its theme of life and death.

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. He moved to New England at the age of eleven and became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

He was enrolled at Dartmouth College in 1892, and later at Harvard, but never earned a formal degree. Frost drifted through a string of occupations after leaving school, working as a teacher, cobbler, and editor of the Lawrence Sentinel. His first professional poem, "My Butterfly," was published on November 8, 1894, in the New York newspaper The Independent.

After their New Hampshire farm failed, and it was abroad that Frost met and was influenced by contemporary British poets. By the time Frost returned to the United States in 1915, he had published two full-length collections, A Boy's Will and North of Boston, and his reputation was established.

Though his work is principally associated with the life and landscape of New England, and though he was a poet of traditional verse forms and metrics who...