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Poem
Posted by: Margie (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: October 28, 2000 07:34PM

I am searching for a poem "Birches". It is by a classical poet, but can't remember who. If anyone is familiar with this piece, kindly email to me. Better yet, if you have the poem send the whole thing. I needed it by Sun. 10/29 for a reading, but am unable to locate. Help !!!


RE: Poem
Posted by: Chesil (---.neo.rr.com)
Date: October 29, 2000 04:12AM

Birches By Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees
I like to think of some boy's been swinging on them
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay
As ice storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice and a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
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
Shattering and avalanching on the snow crust-
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered brackin 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
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when truth broke in
With all her matter of fact about the ice storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to catch the cows-
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And no one but limp, not one was left
For him not to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So I was once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back and begin all over.
May no fate willingly misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Towards heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do no worse than be a swinger of birches.





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