Nature Poems - Poems For Nature

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Birches - Poem by Robert Frost

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.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
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 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
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 fetch 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 not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him 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 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
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.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully 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
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.

Comments about Birches by Robert Frost

  • Gold Star - 21,810 Points Robert Murray Smith (7/2/2016 3:28:00 AM)


    Aa great sensitive nature poem.10

    You might like to read my: Golden Leaves Of Autumn.

    Robert (Report) Reply

    8 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,237 Points Loppo Louie (6/12/2016 11:19:00 AM)

    Excel lent poem by R.Frost. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,584 Points Oladipo Daniel Akinnusi (5/30/2016 4:20:00 PM)

    The poem also depicts life as where to be loved and love inreturn (Report) Reply

Read all 37 comments »

Poems About Nature

  1. 1. Birches , Robert Frost
  2. 2. The Darkling Thrush , Thomas Hardy
  3. 3. The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter , Ezra Pound
  4. 4. Song Of Nature , Ralph Waldo Emerson
  5. 5. Meditation At Lagunitas , Robert Hass
  6. 6. Lycidas , John Milton
  7. 7. Four Poems For Robin , Gary Snyder
  8. 8. Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus , William Carlos Williams
  9. 9. Nutting , William Wordsworth
  10. 10. A Minor Bird , Robert Frost
  11. 11. The Wild Swans At Coole , William Butler Yeats
  12. 12. October , Louise Gluck
  13. 13. To The Thawing Wind , Robert Frost
  14. 14. Night On The Great River [three Translat.. , Meng Hao-jan
  15. 15. February: The Boy Breughel , Norman Dubie
  16. 16. Assurance , William Stafford
  17. 17. There Is Another Sky , Emily Dickinson
  18. 18. Ode To Autumn , John Keats
  19. 19. Hyla Brook , Robert Frost
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