term paper analysis symbols in Robert Frost’s After-Apple Picking and Birches. The paper also analyses the connection
between nature and man in Frost’s poetry, not to categorise him as a nature
poet but to analyse the peculiarities of his symbols and their connection with
man. Also the paper comparing both poems
in terms of themes.
Robert Frost was born in California and
was identified with New England. He
moved to New England after the death of his father, and helped his mother by
teaching in her own school. He had tried many fields like a teacher, farmer and
later as a visiting professor in many universities including Harvard. His fortune changed from 1912 onwards, the
time when he moved to England with his family.
His first book, A Boy’s Will (1913),
get published there “with a phrase borrowed from Longfellow’s poem My Lost Youth” (Thomas 97). After the publication and the wide reception of
North of Boston both in America and
England, he went back to America.
The success he enjoyed for the rest of his life as a poet, however came
to cancel the bitterness left by
his earlier struggles. Moreover, he
personal tragedy: a son
committed suicide and a daughter had a complete
mental collapse. ( Baym 727)
He was a poet of simplicity. Simple
themes, mostly related to life were presented in his poems.
the context of Frost’s diction, the colloquial rhythms, the simplicity of
his images and above
all the folky speaker- these are intended to make the poems look natural,
unplanned. In the context of the
modernist movement, however they can be seen as a thoughtful reply to high
modernism’s fondness for obscurity and difficulty. (Baym 727)
of regionalism was there in his poems.
Regional writers of American literature tried to bring more realism, and
this was “resulted from the desire both to preserve a record of distinctive
ways of life and to come to terms with the new world that seemed to be
replacing these early and allegedly happier times” (Baym 12). There were some
“local colorists” dedicated to capturing its natural, social and linguistic
features” (Baym 13)
Nature is “symbolic of
spirit” quoting Robert D. Richardson in ‘Analysis on Nature in Robert Frost’s
Poetry’, Frost says that “”I am not a nature poet,” he once declared “There is
almost always a person in my poems”” ( Yuanli 26).
Human psyche in any natural elements
becomes the focal point, rather than a mere “background”. It is also quoted that “some people called me
poet of nature setting but I am not a poet for nature, there is also something
else in my poems” (Yuanli 26). “Confusion and dilemma” are one of the common
themes in his poems like in The Road Not
Taken and in Mending Wall. He sings “And Sorry I could not
travel both” in former and “Why do they make good neighbours” in latter. Also; we can see an element of “delight and pleasure”
in his woods, trees, grass, apple etc.