What is the literary meaning for this paragraph?

"When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy's been swinging them.

But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.

... One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."

3 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Where's the rest of the poem?? The most important lines of that poem (Birches by Robert Frost, if you didn't know) are not included in your "paragraph".

    Take the last stanza of the poem, let's deal with that, shall we?

    So was I 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 45

    Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs

    Broken across it, and one eye is weeping

    From a twig's having lashed across it open.

    Pause here. The narrator says that when he was a child he used to climb birch trees until, under his weight they would swing him back down to the ground. As an adult, when his life is tough (twigs lashing him in the eye) he dreams of his childhood again, of climbing those trees and riding them back down, free of the cares and pains of adulthood.

    I'd like to get away from earth awhile

    And then come back to it and begin over. 50

    May no fate wilfully misunderstand me

    And half grant what I wish and snatch me away

    Not to return...

    Pause again. The narrator is explaining his wish, now and again, to get away from life's troubles (climbing the tree) and then later return to life to start things fresh (the tree swinging him back to the ground). However, he notes, he does not want to be misunderstood and have anyone believe he wants to die, to leave Earth forever (snatch me away/ Not to return).

    Earth's the right place for love:

    I don't know where it's likely to go better.

    He wants to stay on Earth and live because Earth and human life is the right place for love. He doubts there will be more or better love in death than in life.

    I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,

    And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk

    Toward 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 worse than be a swinger of birches.

    The narrator, when he goes, would like to go by "climbing a birch", that is by reaching out, away from life and its troubles, toward heaven. But only climb until his tree tips and gently sets him back down on Earth, where love is.

    The final line indicates that the narrator believes his philosophy of reaching out toward heaven and then returning to Earth, of enjoying the climb and the fall is a good one - one worth living by.

    This, of course, is simply a superficial treatment of the poem. There is much more to write about (it helps if you have the whole poem to read) - especially of the "Truth" that breaks in after the simile of a girl drying her hair in the sun - however, I'll leave the rest of the poem to you.

    Source(s): Me and my English degree
    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What is the literary meaning for this paragraph?

    "When I see birches bend to left and right

    Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

    I like to think some boy's been swinging them.

    But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.

    ... One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."

    Source(s): literary meaning paragraph: https://tr.im/eEgqs
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 years ago

    Swinger Of Birches

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.