OUTPACE 8 marks long questions,EXTRA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS BIRCHES BY ROBERT FROST Extra Questions And Answers (8 Marks) ISC class 11 and 12 English Poems

BIRCHES BY ROBERT FROST Extra Questions And Answers (8 Marks) ISC class 11 and 12 English Poems

You are going to go through BIRCHES BY ROBERT FROST EXTRA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ISC class 11 and 12 English Poems. Understanding a text meticulously in its entirety is very important for a learner for scoring better in the exam. Efforts have been made to ensure a thorough and proper BIRCHES BY ROBERT FROST EXTRA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ISC class 11 and 12 English Poems.

BIRCHES BY ROBERT FROST Extra Questions And Answers (8 Marks) ISC class 11 and 12 English Poems

8 Marks

1. “Birches is a poem with a vivid display of images and appealing narration”. Elucidate with reference to your reading of the poem by Robert Frost.

Ans: Robert Frost, a poet of the rustic, rural realm of England; has always been known for his scintillating imageries, varying from the description of woods, the meadows, pieces of ice as a broken mirror, the playful swinging of a rural boy, averse to the drudgery of urbanisation.  In his poem, Birches, the mastery is not withheld but shown with the help of a long per se dramatic monologue as the poem advances in its long, continued stanza.

When the poem commences, the sheer visual lines mesmerizes our minds. The lines “When I see birches bend to left and right…I like to think some boy’s swinging them” takes our thoughts with them, making us delve into the reminiscences of our childhood pleasures. The lucid, simple narration appeals to the readers, making them jingle with their long lost memories, taking them away for a while from the mayhem of modernisation. As we move forth, the striking imagery of a girl bending down to dry her hairs under the sun is compared with the “trailing of leaves on the ground”.

The simple however eye-catching description appeals to the readers. Also, the series of unfolding events as the boy climbs the top branches of the tree with precision is equated with one filling the teacup with utmost care. The little details Frost curates culminates in a fruitful poem, of memory, passion, love for nature, transcending earthly realms yet returning to one’s longing duties and relations of this changing world.

2. What is the tone portrayed through Birches by Robert Frost?

Ans: Birches, a poem of joy, pleasure of childhood, innocence, loss and realisation surges in a hopeful overtone, where the speaker being nostalgic, brings the memories of his lost childhood to us as he reflects nostalgically, his dregs of joyful past, spent by swinging on the birch trees “So was I once myself a swinger of birches, / and so I dream going back to be.” However, this motions of tree, swinging from left and right, and bending down so much as the boy overpowers them also has a deeper meaning.

This symbolises the struggle we face in our day to day life, where we are forced sometimes to bend and “bow/ so low for long, they never [may] right themselves.” And yet their will “seem not to break.” One determined in their pursuit, however hard the situation might be, they strive and endure the difficulties till the end. “Brightness seems brighter when one has witnessed darkness”. There is an intriguing contrast drawn between the two phases of this poem, where the first part, explores the reality of nature idealism using symbolism of the birch tree and the innocence of the boy making him “swinger of the birches”.

Although his aloofness keeps him away from the acquaintance of the boys who play baseball (a sign of urbanisation), yet he enjoys those pleasures rare for the times, “one by one he subdued his father’s trees,..And not one but hung limp, not one was left, For him to conquer. He learned all there was..” Secondly, the boy climbs with precision up the branches (a move into maturity), and though the recent pleasures soothes his mind, yet he chooses Earthly duties over the sürülen enjoyments. A hope sprawls as one learns to survive and achieve height, climbing birches of life. 

3. Bring out the in-depth and philosophical elements of the poem “Birches”.

Ans: Birches fumes with many such instances of philosophical insight and elements which could only be brought out by careful and in-depth speculation. The richness of Birches is not only by its tantalising imageries for visual description but also by metaphors, comparisons and a philosophical end to its satiating start. As we involve with the beginning lines, the dancing birches “to left and right” brings out a rhythmic tone to the poem. The long stretch of the poem, its numerous lines and long stanza forms a picture of the long tree trunk as if one precedes the lines to climb up Frost’s Birches.

The mention of ice-storms, their permanent bending of the limbs, brings out the readers and also the poet of his conceived dream of the past and the swinger boy. However, a hopeful notion is brought out by how the birches which may bend and bow to the external forces, yet will not break and endure with resilience. This is a clear message of optimism when one is advised to face all the odds with determination to emerge victorious.


“And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed

So low for long, they never right themselves:”

Also, the sense of individualism is brought out by the lines where the boy spares his time amidst nature alone, without friends while the other boys were engaged in playing baseball. This escapism and isolation into nature rejuvenates his soul and helps him climb up the branches of experience by working on himself. This idea extends to the next few lines where the narrator explicitly shares his pain and though this distance from reality is feasible at times, yet later he decides that “Earth’s the right place for love: / I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.”

The poem reflects on all the pathos and joys of life ends with a note on embracing the reality and completing the duties and responsibilities beckoning us.

9. How far can one enunciate Birches being a poem showing the growth of a child from innocence, gradually bending down, embracing the experience and adhering to one’s loss of childhood?

Ans: The surreal flow of Birches by Robert Frost immersed in subtlety of narration projects before us a cycle of life and its various stages of existence. The idea shown through William Blake’s collection of poems “The Songs of Innocence” and the other on the advent of reality “The Songs of Experience” are aptly the reflection of a similar idea conveyed here. The poem sets up with a tone of simplicity and innocence as the “left and right” motion of the swinging birch trees makes the poet weave a fantasy world of a village boy (rural setting as Robert Frost is famous for) where the trees having bent down is claimed to be the mischief of a boy swinging on them.

“I like to think some boy’s being swinging them.”

Gradually, this bending down of trees brings into play the external forces like ice- storm that brings with it a touch of cold resembling decay, desolation. The ice covers the landscape and the bark of birches “as the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. Some icicles break down, reflecting like the broken pieces of glass. The picture is as if “the inner dome of heaven had fallen.” As we proceed, the mention of the birches bending is shown but also lingers a sense of endurance and resilience. Transcending all the barriers, the tree still stands, without breaking down.

The boy then embraces solitude and captivated himself amidst this own companionship. Moving forward and climbing high, the boy who once was a “swinger of birches”, now overcoming all difficulties finds solace. He climbs high branches, after conquering every tree beneath “And not one but hung limp, not one was left/ for him to conquer.” His actions now include precision and careful observation, a trait of experience gained after pain. The temporary escape which he once relished in nature, now changed into a sense of chained responsibility. His wish of returning is full, averse to total escapism as he says:


“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.”

These instances aptly portrays how Birches shows the cycle of life, beginning from the innocence of the boy, ultimately leading to his gain of experience and realization of the strong forces of nature that controls life and being.

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