A Young Birch by Robert Frost is a poem about a young tree that is struggling to survive in the forest. The poem begins with the narrator describing how the birch is the only tree that is still green, while all the other trees are either dead or dying. The birch is also the only tree that has any leaves left. The narrator then goes on to describe how the birch is surrounded by death and decay, and how it is struggling to survive.
The poem ends with the narrator giving advice to the birch, telling it to “stand fast” and not give up. The narrator also tells the birch that it will eventually become strong and survive, just like its ancestors before it.
This poem is about hope and perseverance in the face of adversity. It is about how even in the darkest of times, there is always a chance for things to get better. This poem is also about how our ancestors can give us strength when we are struggling.
Robert Frost uses symbols, structure, and imagery in “A Young Birch” to illustrate the futility of life despite beauty to establish the meaninglessness of existence and the inevitability of death. Despite its attractiveness, the birch tree’s existence is meaningless, as are its inevitable deaths. The speaker describes the birch tree’s lifestyle but ultimately concludes that the birch tree’s struggles were pointless.
The poem starts with the speaker stating that the birch tree is beautiful, but it is “too young to die”. The speaker then talks about how the birch tree is surrounded by other trees, but it is the only one that is dying. The speaker describes the birch tree as being “singled out” and “put to shame”. This shows how the birch tree is different from the other trees because it is dying while the others are not.
The speaker then talks about how the birch tree tries to fight against its death, but it is unsuccessful. The birch tree tries to “hold its head up high”, but it eventually “gives up”. The speaker describes the birch tree as being “defeated” and “humiliated”. This shows how the birch tree is struggling to survive, but it is ultimately unsuccessful.
The poem ends with the speaker stating that the birch tree’s life is meaningless and its death is inevitable. The birch tree is beautiful, but its life is ultimately pointless. The speaker describes the birch tree as being “futile” and “transient”. This shows how the birch tree’s life is temporary and its death is certain.
The white of the birch tree is used by Frost to highlight its splendor. The color white represents beauty and innocence. Frost compares the beauty of the birch to that of the sun’s capacity to be brilliant. “Soon entirely white / To double day and cut in half the dark” (ll 4-5) The speaker notes on how lovely the birch tree is, suggesting that it has a blinding beauty.
Frost also uses the colour white to describe how the birch is different from other trees. The birch is unique in its ability to remain beautiful, even when it is winter. “While others of its kind are bare” (l 9) Even though it is winter and all the other trees have lost their leaves, the birch tree still stands out as being beautiful because it is covered in snow.
The use of symbols in the colour white help Frost establish the birch tree’s beauty. The contrast between the darkness of winter and the brightness of the birch creates a striking image that highlights the uniqueness of this tree.
White, in Winter’s poem “Death,” has dual meanings. The color white implies both beauty and death. Frost makes use of this imagery to show how unavoidable death is. “…rip away its outer covering of green bantlings / Show the white within” (ll 1-2) Frost uses the speaker’s observation on the birch tree’s growth to establish not only the creature’s attractiveness but also its fatal side. In his usage of symbolism in white, Frost establishes both the birch tree’s beauty and its inherent demise.
The birch tree is also a symbol for new beginnings. “…a stand of young birches / A-crowding and a-crowding” (ll 4-5). The speaker uses the word “stand” to not only physical describe the birch trees, but also to establish their newness, as they are all part of a group, which is a new beginning. Frost uses the symbol of the birch tree to establish both the beauty and inevitability of death, as well as new beginnings.
Frost also uses imagery to establish the themes in his poem. “Each in turn / A little overtopped its neighbour / As if to show precedence” (ll 8-10). The speaker uses the words “to show precedence” to establish not only the physical image of the birch trees, but also the hierarchy that is established within nature. Frost uses imagery to not only describe the physical appearance of the birch trees, but also to establish the hierarchal order in which they are arranged.
The speaker employs symbols to communicate the emptiness of life. The birch tree’s development is compared to a variety of man-made items, including a cane and a fishing pole, in order to illustrate its growth. The cane and the fishing pole are used as symbols for the birch tree’s growth.
The birch tree is a symbol of the speaker’s own growth. The speaker also uses the symbols of the hawk and the rabbit to show the difference between predator and prey. The hawk represents the predator, while the rabbit represents the prey. The speaker uses these symbols to show that existence is futile because it is filled with conflict and pain.
“To begin with, to be no larger than a cane, and then to be no bigger than a fishing pole” (ll 14-15) The cane and the fishing pole allude to the birch tree’s inevitable demise. These manufactured goods are constructed of wood, which are essentially dead trees.
It grows and eventually dies, just like everything else in the world. The birch tree is also representative of humanity. We are all born small and insignificant, but we grow into something larger and more significant. Frost suggests that, like the birch tree, our lives also lack meaning and purpose. We grow and eventually die, just like everything else in the world.
Frost uses simple language to create a complex poem. The poem is short, but it is packed with powerful imagery and deep symbolism. Frost expertly uses nature to explore the human condition. “A Young Birch” is a moving poem that will resonate with readers long after they have finished reading it.