What is significant about the speaker’s desire “to get away from earth awhile”?
cneukam1379 | Certified Educator
In Frost's poem "Birches," the speaker makes the comment about getting away from earth awhile after these lines:
It's when I'm weary of considerations,And life is too much like a pathless woodWhere your face burns and tickles with the cobwebsBroken across it, and one eye is weepingFrom a twig's having lashed across it open. (ll. 43-47)
From these lines, the reader can interpret that life has become too much for the speaker. He states that life is a "pathless wood" (perhaps a reference to Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken"), where he feels that his life is without direction. Also, his "one eye is weeping," indicating that some tragedy has occurred. Personally, Frost dealt with much tragedy in his life, with several of his children dying (one by suicide) and another with mental illness.
But while the speaker talks about getting away from earth awile, he also states that he would like "to come back to it and begin over" ( l. 49) for "Earth's the right place for love: / I don't know where it's likely to go better" (ll. 52-53). These lines indicate that the speaker is not lost emotionally, for he wants to continue with life and perhaps find love again. The nostalgic quality to this poem resonates with all readers--we sometimes look back on our childhood and wish for those simpler days when we swung on birches. Frost concludes with this sentiment: "One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."