The Oven Bird : by Robert Frost || Analysis

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The Oven Bird

There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past,
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;

And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

There is a singer everyone has heard, Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird, Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again. He says that leaves are old and that for flowers Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten. He says the early petal-fall is past, When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers On sunny days a moment overcast;
The Oven Bird

Introduction:

      Robert Frost 'The Oven Bird' is very well known poem from Mountain Interval blends abstract and concrete elements while treating Nature. It is a sonnet, echoes the remembering call of a bird for the Spring.

Development of Thought:

      Whenever Frost writes of Nature, he implies an ironical parallel to human experience. The song of the ovenbird has a tone of human regret. The question raised is: "What to make of a diminished thing". The bird sings sadly of summer, remembering spring just as man sees reality with discontent, judging it by the ideal. The implied issue is what does the artist do with a world largely devoid of the purpose and meaning that Wordsworth, Spenser, or Dante knew? The modern world seems empty and meaningless as compared with the largeness and significance of life in the older times. The first three lines describe the bird's singing echoed by the trees. The next seven lines tell us about what the bird sings. He sings of the passage of spring and the poverty or mid-summer and the approach of autumn. In the last four lines we get the poet's comment - he, like the bird, would like to know what to make of "a diminished thing".

Critical Remarks:

      Frost has adopted the structure of the Petrarchan sonnet but has freely experimented with it. There is a melancholy feeling in the poem as Frost discovers analogies between man and the bird-song. The moral implications, however, are not imposed. In middle of the summer, conscious flowing through taking toward the season of spring.

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