‘Birches’ is one of the best poems by the great Modern poet Robert Frost. The American poet Robert Frost published this poem in his third collection of poetry.

‘Birches’ consists of a fifty-nine line and famous as an ‘Anthologized’ poem. The poem first comes to the reader in the year 1916. The poem talks about the poet’s imagination on Birches trees.

First, the poet thinks that some boys are swinging into them. But later realized that it is not right. So, the poet is trying to speak about nature.

This is the poem that pushed Robert Frost to become a poet of nature. There is another poem called “Swinging on a Birch-Tree”. It can be said that Robert Frost had taken admiration from this poem that was written by Lucy Larcom.

Birches Theme

Birches Critical Analysis

Nature is the central theme of the poem. The poet is addressing nature by Birches trees that are bending. Maybe by the bending Birches poet tries to speak on the age of the trees and also of himself.

Then comes the poet’s nostalgic expression where he wants to go back to his past days. Nostalgia is another theme of the poem. Based on that he has written this poem.

Birches Summary

Here, Robert Frost is starting with an explanation where he is talking on the Birches trees. Poet sees Birches trees are bending to the right and left side.

The Birches tree
The Birches tree

Perhaps it is a forest where other trees are also standing and it is getting darker. Poet first thinks that boys are playing with the trees.

“But swinging does not bend them down to stay
As ice-storm do…”

So, the line says that suddenly the poet gets to know that the boys are not able to bend the trees like ‘ice-storm’. Now, the poet is speaking that they all have seen the trees are bending with a load of ice on the winter days.

Maybe the ice made them bend. In the next lines, the poet is explaining that maybe the weight of the trees makes the Birches down.

Birches Quotes

“and turned many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazed their enamel.”

These lines enunciating that the trees sometimes mode and the enamel gets crazed. This line is very symbolic because it talks about the weather. And after that, the sun rises and the trees achieve the crystal warmth and the ice gets avalanched.

“Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.”

The ice fell upon the branch of trees. The scenario that has been created is very fantastic. The poet is saying that people will think that the inner doom of heaven had fallen down on the earth.

A Quote from the Poem
A Quote from the Poem

And now he is uttering that the ice made trees down to the bracken. But they are not seems would be broken though they are already bowed. Here the first stanza ends with his poetic imagination on the trees.

“So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods”

By these lines, the poet is trying to say that the Birches trees are low from long age and they never tried to get themselves stand again and the readers can see the trunks of the trees and arching in the mud.

Now the poet is comparing the Birches with a girl who’s hair is seems like fall in the woods. The posture that he is presenting is very nice. The knees and her hands are lying on the grassy field. The trees expand their heads to get dried in the sun.

After that poet also takes a reference of some boys that are learning baseball in the town. They are playing freely and to them, the weather does not matter.

“So was I once myself a swinger of Birches.
And so I am on going back to be”

This line prefers the poet’s love for these trees and perhaps he is wanting to get back his childhood days. He wants to be swinging in these trees by going to the back.

“And life is too much like a Pathless wood”

This is a very famous line where he is now coming back to reality and saying that life has become critical and perhaps for that, he wants to go back to the childhood days.

Again he is saying that he wants to get away from the world. Maybe the life of the poet is filled with depression, frustration. In the next lines, the poet expressing after coming back to the world he would start from the very beginning.

“I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,”

Poet desires to be climbing the trees where black branches are filled with ice. Further, he is saying that the trees are getting up to heaven and the poet remains at the bottom of the tree, again it set the poet down near the field.

So he is saying that when he is swing it would be beautifully going and coming.

Birches Analysis


The whole poem is standing on the imagination of the poet. In the beginning, he thought it was some boys swinging on the Birches tree. Later, he realized that they are the Birches trees that are being fallen down because of a load of ice.

So, the weather is a relevant part of this poem. Wintry morning, snowy evening, cold breeze explains the weather of America where the poet was living. Then gradually poet’s imagination grows and says the trees are liking like a girl that expands her hair.

The Book Cover of the poem The Birches
The Book Cover of the poem, The Birches

Again Frost uses his imagination where he is going and coming by the tree. He is trying to remember his past days of childhood where he used to play. So this part is very much nostalgic from the perspective of the readers.

Questions and Answers

Robert Frost uses the blank verse in this poem and no significant rhyme scheme is being found. When we will be talking on literary devices firstly ‘Enjambment’ will come and take place. Here, it means the continuation of though even to the next paragraph.

Anaphora is also an important literary device. It says the repetition of words in the starting of two lines one after another. “As the” is the perfect example of Anaphora.

A simile is another example of a poetic device. When the poet compares something with something other facts then readers call is Simile.

“Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girl on hands and knees…”

Hyperbole is another part of a poetic device. It is used when the poet exaggerate something in the lines like,

“Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust.”

Except these all, few literary devices are used but these are common like Alliteration, Imagery, Symbolism, etc.

Questions and Answers

Why do birch trees bend?

In a load of ice, Birch trees Are being bent.

What birches mean?

Birches is a kind of tree that means human life.

What type of poem is Birches?

Birches is a perfect nature poem.

What is birch tree used for?

The birch tree is being used to show the time table where everything gets changed.

What is the theme of the poem birches?

Nature is the central theme of this poem.

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