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Meter in Birches

Meter Examples in Birches:

Text of the Poem

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"But dipped its top and set me down again. ..."   (Text of the Poem)

As the poem arrives at its conclusion, the purpose of Frost’s use of blank verse becomes more clear. Just as the speaker cannot dwell in transcendence, just as the birches he hopes to climb would eventually “set [him] down again,” the meter allows readers no space for pause or revelation. With its refusal to stop for stanza breaks, the blank verse shuttles readers through the poem at a relentless pace. We can glimpse the heaven Frost points out, but we are carried forward nonetheless, just as the speaker is carried forever forward through his terrestrial existence.

"When I see birches bend to left and right ..."   (Text of the Poem)

Frost wrote “Birches” in blank verse—unrhymed iambic pentameter. The poem has no stanza breaks or other such ordering schema, only sixty lines of unobstructedly flowing pentameter. The uninterrupted, often enjambed blank verse gives the poem a flowing quality that imitates the speaker’s stream of consciousness as it moves organically from thought to thought.

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