Showing posts with label birches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birches. Show all posts
Examine the theme of endurance in Birches (WAEC MAY/JUNE 2017 QUESTION AND ANSWER).

Birches is a poem written to paint the picture of uneasiness of living on earth most especially as an adult by using the birch trees as symbol of such uneasiness. Frost showed a distinct feature of the birch tree as a very tough and tenacious tree in nature.

Such feature led us to the theme of endurance among other themes such as the theme of nostalgia, theme of transition, theme of earthly pleasure, etc.

Now is the time to delve deeply into the theme of endurance. The flexibility of the birches aided their ability to contain swinging and pressing down effects caused by ice-storms. The poet mentioned two different strains of the birch trees which are the imaginary boy swinging it and the ice-storms; of the two, the ice-storms left the birches bent forever. The birches didn't just endured the burden of the ice but continued to grow in its ice-caused deformity "Year afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground"; after the birches are permanently bent, they didn't stop growing knowing that the deed is done and never to be reversed.

Inference of endurance is drawn from stanza four of the poem between line 14-19:
"They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair"

(1) Background. The poets share differences in territorial background; William Blake was an English poet born in Broadwick St. Soho, London. While Robert Frost was an American poet born in San Francisco, California.

(2) Plot. Both poems go different direction in terms of narration. The Schoolboy by William Blake talks about child who preferred informal education to the mandatory formal education enforced on him by his parents; while Birches by Robert Frost speaks of his delightful childhood experience of swinging birches

Nostalgic feeling partially surfaced in the poem Birches by Robert Frost in line 23 to 24, "I should prefer to have some boy bend them/ As he went out and in to fetch the cows_"
partially making reference to the nature of his own background as a rural boy who played alone swinging the birch trees remembering how the pleasure used to be "riding them down over and over again/ Until he took the stiffness out

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