"And life is too much like a pathless wood"

July 14, 2012
By demipaddington PLATINUM, Hong Kong, Other
demipaddington PLATINUM, Hong Kong, Other
40 articles 0 photos 5 comments

In Birches, Robert Frost wrote,

I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.

Because of his weariness of considerations, and that he feels lost in life - And life is too much like a pathless wood, he wants to leave this place for a little while - not permanently, though - so that he can leave all his obligations and responsibilities behind, and before long, he would like to come back and face them. It is marked that his will of returning is based on the appreciation he shows towards life - and that is what he finds on earth: Love. His escapism is only temporary. In his poem, it strongly suggests that Love is one of the reasons that gives him the urge to run away, but it is also the reason why he chooses to return to earth instead of escaping to other places. The experience of love torments him as much as it strengthens him -

Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.

There is no other place that he'd rather be than on earth, where love exists.

Frost writes about his childhood of swinging on the birches, of being flung up and down from the ground to the air, then from the air back to the ground. He parallels this motion with his wish of temporary escape, illustrating the escapism is as though swinging up toward heaven and then down, returning to the ground.

I would like to be a swinger of birches, too; for I don't have the courage to leave this place for ever, and because even though a specific element in life has hurt and crushed me, it somehow has been what keeps me motivated at certain times. Undoubtedly, life is tiring, for we have to bear our responsibilities and duties on our shoulders at any time, but still, the million years of time (including BC) where human-beings have existed through, most have lived by bearing heavy loads of obligations until the end of their lives.

Extracting another poem by Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening - we live, because we have obligations and responsibilities that we are under. Even if we encounter the temptation of escapism, or perhaps a death wish, we have to carry on with our journey. At least for me, this is what I will always do. Life is tiring,

But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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