Robert Frost's "Birches" uses a number of poetic devices. Alliteration and assonance are particularly in evidence. The alliteration often occurs in succinct, expressive phrases such as "cracks and crazes," "shed crystal shells / Shattering," and "So low for long" (the last of which also employs assonance with "bowed" in the previous line).
Truth is personified as a woman who distracts the speaker from his primary point, intruding with her "matter-of-fact" about the ice-storm. This allows the poet to digress and then ostentatiously return to his principal theme, highlighting the element of ring composition in this long poem, which keeps returning to the image of the "swinger of birches."
There are also several striking similes and metaphors in the poem. The trees trailing their leaves on the ground are like girls drying their hair in the sun. Life, in a powerful extended simile , is like a pathless wood. Ice from the storms is described as shattering crystal shells and also as falling in a...
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