Monday, July 20, 2009

a swinger of birches

Last night at approximately 10:30, I was sitting at my desk trying to memorize the last half of one of my favorite poems. I have adored it since I first heard part of it in a movie and always wanted to memorize it but never really got around to it. Also, I figure if I'm going to expect my students to memorize and recite things next year, I should be able to do the same. I've always wanted to be one of those cool people who can throw bits of memorized poetry and quotes into casual conversation, but this segment of "Birches" by Robert Frost will have to do for now.

And so was I once myself a swinger of birches;
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
and then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love;
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

--Robert Frost

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