In Robert Frost's poem "Birches" there are three distinct movements which decscribe the way things can be, the way things should be, and they way you wish things could be once more. Each of these movements is also exemplified by the use of a great deal of imagery, writing style, and usage.
The first movement (between lines 1 and 20) is what I spoke of as "the way things can be." Frost uses sayings such as, "They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed So low for long, they never right themselves." This quote is saying that the weather beaten or "forced" limbs find themselves weakened. They are not broken, but forever changed by the battering of a nature that seems to be so beautifully cruel to them. They seem to have been loved not by a human's touch, but by a colder source. The imagery Frost uses to show the stress and strain put on the branches by the force of nature allows the reader to picture something being forever altered by the span of time. He compares the ice metaphorically to "heaps of broken glass." Broken glass tends to be an image of chaos, disorder, or unhappiness. His tone in this passage speaks to me as if the situation is beautiful, yet at the same time somewhat of a waste of a birch branch yearning for human touch.
These birch branches receive a different treatment in the second movement (lines 21 to 40), which I've deemed "the way things should be." The initial lines personify truth. Truth and reality are what the first movement is bent upon. Yet, Frost points out that he wishes the "birch", which I've come to understand symbolizes the human capability of life and learning, could have such a different fate than one laden with ice and burdon bent branches. The human spirit comes to live and learn in many different situations. The boy is able to take on his tree, and learn from it. Starting from the bottom and reaching the top, learning "all there was to learn about not launching out too soon.