FC: Peter's Poetry Portfolio by Peter C.
1: Table of Contents | Page 2+3 .................................. Poetry Terms Page 4-10 ................................. Poetry Analysis Page xx-yy ................................ Original Poems
2: Poetry Terms | paradox: a statement or phrase that contradicts itself | tanka: a Japanese poem consisting of 31 syllables in 5 lines, with 5 syllables in the first and third lines and 7 in the other lines | Beautiful mountains Rivers with cold, cold water. White cold snow on rocks Trees over the place with frost White sparkly snow everywhere (anonymous) | "War is peace." "Freedom is slavery." "Ignorance is strength." (George Orwell, 1984)
3: Know then thyself II, presume not God to scan; The proper study of Mankind II is Man. Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise, and rudely great: (Alexander Pope) | caesura: a pause in a line of verse indicated by sense or speech rhythm
4: 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 5 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 10 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 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 | Birches - Robert Frost
5: But I was going to say when Truth broke in (Now am I free to be poetical?) 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-- 25 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 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 the 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.
6: 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. 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
7: T: trees, life of nature P: The poem is about a man walking by birch trees and wanting to swing on them again. C: imagery- Ice-storms do that...trailing their leaves on the ground; with all her matter-of-fact...kicking his way through the air to the ground; where your face burns and tickles with cobwebs. All of those are examples of imagery which help readers picture the author's ideas. The general part of the story is a metaphor for aging. Lines 5-21 are about the author seeing the reality, the truth of why the birch trees are bent. He sees that ice storms have forcefully bent the trees over; naturally, and it was bound to happen in time.
8: Lines 22-41 are about the author's fantasy; he imagines that the trees were bent down by a kid, just living his carefree life with nothing better to do. This was preferred by the narrator because it would meen that there was enjoyment, freedom of youth behind the bending of those trees. The kid was doing what he wanted, and the bent trees would have been a sign that someone was happy there. Lines 42-60 are aobut the narrator's relation to being a kid swinging in the birches as he dreamed about in the last portion of the story. He mentions that "...[he is] weary of considerations and life is too much like a pathless wood where your face burns and tickles with cobwebs". This is saying that life can be too complicated and stressful to enjoy
9: at the later stages. Lines 49-54 are specifically about how he doesn't want to die, but get away from the world for a while and have a taste of youth's enjoyment and freedom in life. The last line, "one could do worse than be a swinger of birches" is ultimately about the innocence of youth. Being a "swinger of birches" in this case means just plain having fun without complications, as kids can easily enjoy swing on a tree for enjoyment. This line helps sum up the poem by simply saying that youth is free of struggles and happiness is much easier to come by at those early times in life. A: The attitude is more melancholy than not, with a sense of nostalgia in the middle portion about the kid swinging in trees.
10: S: There is a shift after line 41, where the author's fantasy of the kid ends and goes on to talking about feeling old and dealing with reality. T: Birch trees being bent symbolizes the reality of humans aging. T: Childhood is carefree and enjoyable, while in adulthood life gets too complicated to feel good about.
11: Ode to Track O New Trier Track, in your 400 meters of greatness, how you stretch around an open field of green grass, your tough rubber surface never seems to give in to the countless gym shoes that have pummeled you. Your lanes are perfectly measured for competition among runners from near and afar willing to do what it takes to be the first to cross the finish and take home the blue ribon of first place. O what you have done over the years, you have bestowed upon us the blessing of a perfect plane of running, for us who put our efforts into this sport of many events of many lengths; from the speedy sprints to the devastating distances you help one and all of us in our contests of speed. Your presence is percieved as a field of battle or a stand of glory to the victors. May you stand strong for many track meets to come.
12: The Greatness of GIlson It was mid-morning on a summer's day, in the suburban villege of Wilmette. I was out for a morning stroll through the park, known as Gilson. With its fields of fresh grass glittering in the sunlight, the children enjoying their games, it was quite the sight to see. Many a day have I seen this, and never have I frowned upon these sights. Gilson is a place of happiness and freedom, where the kids can enjoy themselves to their heart's content. In my past I belonged to this place, playing games of my own with the others on the fields. The great Lake Michigan shows no bounds from the beach of glittering sand. It was here that I also spent my time, with seemingly no care in the world. Sometimes I revisit my memories, taking in the past. I still do see the Great place known as Gilson, and forever will it be a part of me.