Study Guide

Birches Lines 48-53

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Lines 48-53

Lines 48-49

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

  • The speaker transitions to the idea that going back to his childhood is an escape. He wants to take a vacation from life.
  • Whether it's a vacation from adult life with responsibilities or a vacation from the world of the living, we don't know.
  • The idea to take away is that he wants a new beginning. He still enjoys life's pleasures, and he doesn't want to die. But he doesn't want to be where he is now.

Lines 50-53

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.

  • The speaker seems to make the following disclaimer: "If any deity, higher power, etc. heard me wish for a break from life, please don't take away my life without ensuring the safe return after an agreed upon time."
  • Just in case his dreary outlook on life is a phase, the speaker says to himself that he has no desire to make his vacation from life permanent.
  • His reason is that he is a lover of life. Anyone who appreciates the sway of trees in the chilling wind loves life.
  • For the speaker, love is a worldly idea.
  • "It's" (meaning love) worldly to him, because the world is all he knows.
  • He recognizes that the world you know is better than an imagined one.

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