Briefly examine the form and language of the poem- Birches.
The poem is written in three stanzas of sixteen lines. While the first two stanzas have five lines each, the third and last stanza has six lines. The lines are relatively longer than normal poetic lines. There are no regular rhyming patterns in the poem but there exist one or two instances of end rhyme in the first stanza, “them” “stay” 1st stanza and “away” 3rd stanza, “themselves” – 2 and 3 stanzas respectively. Most of the lines are continuous, constituting run-on lines. These enhance the flow of poetic ideas.
The diction/language is very descriptive and highly imaginative. The description of the birches is so picturesque that one can imagine the picture that is painted. The speaker takes the first person singular point of view – “I” to tell his story. Thus, he draws the reader’s attention to see from his imaginative perspective. The choice of words is apt as every word matches its purpose. These include “birches” – slender tress, “enamel” – a glassy coating or the hard outer covering of the tooth, “avalanche” – a mass of ice or snow pouring down etc. The language is indeed simple, descriptive and this makes comprehension possible.