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The poem “The Oven Bird” was first published in Mountain Interval in 1916 by poet Robert Frost. The poem was written in sonnet form and is describing the song of the aforementioned bird. The oven bird is a metaphorical poem, as Frost often wrote using this technique. The poem in its entirety clearly represents something more than just a bird’s call or a mere natural setting. Frost is eluding toward life and death, the realization that we all must face with the passage of time.
From using nature to represent change, to even the “bird” itself, Frost uses these subtle commentaries to give greater meaning to the piece. In the oven bird, the writer is speaking of his distaste of growing older and the realization of death. A realization we will all face in time.
The reader begins the poem noting the title and references to flowers and spring, after reading just a few lines begins to realize the sad underlying theme of the poet.
Frost begins the poem saying the oven bird “is a singer everyone has heard/Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird (1-2),” in that through the bird’s song, everyone must face the imminent passing of life. His voice is loud, because no matter who or where you are in life, you cannot escape mortality. The poet also writes of his dislike for mid-summer in contrast to the bright, new birth of spring, stating “leaves are old” and “for flowers mid-summer is to spring as one to ten (4-5).
” Frost is alluding to the fact that he clearly misses being young but has moved onto a more mature self. Again, this is something everyone living must come to terms with, age is undeniable and certain.
The Oven Bird presents as a poem written in sonnet form. This form and natural setting is largely representative of the typical Robert Frost style. Frost often writes of nature and concepts set therein. The poem even in the title uses a “bird” to represent the speaker in his attempt to justify maturity and the typical thought processes that accompany the aging process.
The Oven Bird is a realization that every individual must face when dealing with mortality. As we age, most people fear the passage of time and the loss of youth. Robert Frost writes of this phenomenon in his own unique way. Frost has an uncanny skill of grabbing the reader’s attention usually within the first few lines using rhyme and metaphor. Each metaphor has the reader questioning what a particular reference could mean and of the importance toward the overall theme. Frost is no different than any other human being. . I don’t know of a single person alive that has not contemplated death. Most people have a natural fear of growing old, Robert Frost is no exception.
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