FC: The Poetry Portfolio By Claire H
1: Table of Contents Poetry Terms..............2, 3 Poem Birches..............4-6 TPCASTT Analysis.........7-9 Original Poetry............10, 11
2: Poetry Terms Caesura: A strong pause within a line of verse; indicated by a dash, comma, or period. Used to contrast ideas. Example: "To err is human; to forgive, divine." —Alexander Pope | Open Form: Complete freedom from regularity in a poem's structure. Example: "there are so many tictoc clocks everywhere telling people what toctic time it is for tictic instance five toc minutes toc past six tic Spring is not regulated and does not get out of order nor do its hands a little jerking move over numbers slowly we do not wind it up it has no weights springs wheels inside of its slender self no indeed dear nothing of the kind. (So, when kiss Spring comes we'll kiss each kiss other on kiss the kiss lips because tic clocks toc don't make a toctic difference to kisskiss you and to kiss me)" —E.E. Cummings
3: End-Stopped: a line of poetry that contains one complete thought Enjambment: a run-on line of poery that begins an idea on one line and carries into another Example (of both): "That's my duchess painted on the wall, (endstopped) Looking as if she were alive. I call (enjambment) That piece a wonder, now..." —Robert Browsing Closed Form: When a poem's structure and rhyme are regular and consistant. Example: "Whose woods these are I think I know His house is in the vilage though He will not see me standing here To watch his woods fill up with snow" —Robert Frost
4: “Birches” – Robert Frost WHEN I see birches bend to left and right Across the line 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 (5) Loaded with ice 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 (10) Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, | You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.” And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed (15) 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. (20) But I was going to say when Truth broke in With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm (Now am I free to be poetical?) I should prefer to have some boy bend them As he went out and in to fetch the cows— (25) Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, Whose only play was what he found himself,
5: Summer or winter, and could play alone. One by one he subdued his father's trees By riding them down over and over again (30) 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 th tree away (35) 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, (40) 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 (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. I'd like to get away from earth awhile And then come back to it and begin over. (50) 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.
6: I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, (55) 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. (60) TPCASTT Analysis T: This poem could be about the life cycle of a grove of trees P: The narrator is looking at a grove of trees and imagining that a boy has been swinging in them, then contemplates how ice storms permanently bend down the birches, sometimes for so long that they stay that way. He also describes how the boy would go about swinging birches, and then tells how he was once a “swinger of birches.” He states that “life is like a pathless wood” and the narrator wishes that he could escape to the birches, although he loves Earth as well. “One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” C: Lines 5-9 tell of ice on the birches. The ice could symbolize the hardships and sorrows in life. The birches represent life, so the “ice” sometimes weighs them down. Sometimes the rough times in life are over-bearing. We just succumb to them.
7: However, lines 10-13 tell of the sun melting away the ice. The sun represents the dawn after the darkest time, or the cloud’s silver lining. The good-tidings in life that allow us to bounce back and be resilient that always come eventually. If we allow the “sun” to shake off the “ice,” we’ll be better off. When we allow the “ice” to completely bear us down, though, it can damage us for the worse, forever. Lines 33-41 tell how the boy carefully and skillfully climbs each and every one of the birches. If the birches symbolize life, this could symbolize how, after time, you learn to enjoy every experience to the fullest. You don’t end them too soon or rush ahead. You execute all of your decisions carefully and wisely. You also accept the consequences. Then, when all is said and done, you bask in the memory and enjoy that it happened. Lines 45-48 compare life to a pathless wood. I think this also ties in to the connection that the birches symbolize life, or the experiences in life. It means that sometimes in life, the way ahead isn’t always paved for you. You have to forge it, and that isn’t always easy. You may make some mistakes or get lost. You may get banged up and bruised. But you keep plunging ever onward, knowing that it is the only way to get to the other side.
8: In lines 49-59, the narrator depicts how he would like to escape to the birches (i.e. his memories,) for a while. He would like to have again the innocence that the boy symbolizes. He wants to escape the harsh reality of life and begin anew. To come down from the birches and have a whole new forest to discover, new memories to be had. He wants to have a fresh slate. He does not, however want to cease living and not come down from the birches. He enjoys life. The last line, line 60, “One could do worse than be a swinger of birches,” could have many interpretations. If “one could do worse” than swing birches, it is a good thing. So what exactly is a birch-swinger? It could be one who stands out in a crowd, possibly for their happy-go-lucky, optimistic outlook. It could be one who is innocent and carefree. It could be one who enjoys the splendor in life and allows the sorrows to roll off like water on a duck’s back. It could be one who doesn’t allow the misfortune in life to bear him down, and instead learns from the experience to apply it later in life. It could be one who enjoys life to the fullest. It could be one who reminisces in their memories when there are no further memories to be had. It could also be one who can go back to the utterly blissful mindset of those who are lighthearted and untroubled. I believe it could very well be a combination of all of these options.
9: A: The attitude of this poem is contemplative and wistful, because of the fact that the narrator is simply thinking all of this while looking onto birch trees and because the narrator, “was I once myself a swinger of birches; and so I dream of going back to be.” S: There is a shift between lines 22 and 24. The mood shifts from factual and heavyhearted (because the ice is bending the trees) to imaginative and slightly oblivious (because a fictional boy is swinging the birches.) There is also a shift between lines 40 and 42. From descriptive and imaginative to reflective and longing, for now the boy has taken shape as the narrator, or who the narrator longs to be. T: Enjoy life while it’s happening. T: The narrator compares birches to the happenings in life.
10: Original Poetry | Ode to My Sketchbook An Original Ode By Claire H Ode to my sketchbook as each new line forms new ideas blossom yet never alike never the norm Ode to my Sketchbook few permitted to glimpse The fury of strokes A story worth 1,000 words That flows from my fingertips Ode to my sketchbook each page a clean slate A dawn of new beginnings becoming picture perfect Endless possibilities await Ode to my sketchbook Filled to your brim With doodles and do-dads an illustration of my life Your beauty within
11: A Normal Treasure An Original Narrative by Claire H 'Twas one fine summer’s evening I happened upon a magical place Coming from a town I was leaving For its light-hearted lure was deceiving I found it ghastly and thieving Of one’s inner beauty and grace I staggered across into this land The wondrous place was strange All was made of shocking white sand My first impression was marvelous and grand Every type of beauty, hand-in-hand I found that my plans had changed This mystical place I was set to stay My iron grip made crumble For my decision none could sway Had made the place grey Its magesty began to fade So away from the place I stumbled