Poem 4 – On Killing A Tree. 9 th Grade, English. POEM - 4 ON KILLING A TREE.
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9th Grade, English
It takes much time to kill a tree,Not a simple jabof the knifeWill do it. It has grownSlowly consuming the earth,Rising out of it, feedingUpon its crust, absorbingYears of sunlight, air, water,And out of its leprous hideSprouting leaves.
So hack and chopBut this alone won’t do it.Not so much pain will do it.The bleeding bark will healAnd from close to the groundWill rise curled green twigs,Miniature boughsWhich if unchecked will expand againTo former size.No,The root is to be pulled out -Out of the anchoring earth; It is to be roped, tied,And pulled out - snapped outOr pulled out entirely,
And the strength of the tree exposed,The source, white and wet,The most sensitive, hiddenFor years inside the earth.
Then the matterOf scorching and chokingIn sun and air,Browning, hardening,Twisting, withering,And then it is done.
GievePatel was born in Mumbai in 1940, and was educated at St. Xavier’s High School and Grant Medical College.
He lives in Mumbai and practices Medicine.
He also writes poems and plays in English. His poems appeared in the Illustrated Weekly of India, New Writings in India, and Young Commonwealth Poets ’65. His plays are staged, but not published.
His poems are based mostly on Indian themes.
a) Pleasant b) Nostalgic c) Sad
Answer: list of words: a) Jab (stab or blow), b) hack and chop (Repeated severe chopping), c) pulling out, d) roped, tied and snapped-out, e) scorching, f) choking, g) Browning, h) Hardening, i) Twisting and j) Withering (devastate or destroy)
Answer: The poet feels that tree gets wounded with every hack and chop. By saying “bleeding bark will heal”, the poet affirms that the wounds of the tree will get cured.
Answer: Bleeding bark will take few weeks to heal.
Answer: The strength of the tree is revealed by exposing its white and wet root, hidden inside the earth for years by anchoring the earth.
But this alone won’t do it ?’
Answer: The word ‘it’ refers to ‘On Killing a tree’
Answer: The stem and root of the tree has to be roped, tied and pulled out entirely from the earth-cave till the root of the tree is exposed.
Answer: The poet himself is the speaker
Will rise curled green twigs”
Answer: The poet himself is the speaker
Answer: Green twigs rise from the close to the ground because the tree wants to grow and expand further back again.
Answer: The tree has grown slowly consuming the resources of earth and rising out of the earth, feeding upon the crust of the earth, absorbing innumerable years of sunlight, air , water, out of the trees' leprous like skin. Like a ship anchored in the sea, the roots of the tree were anchored and fastened to the earth. The stem and root of the tree has to be roped, tied and pulled out entirely from the earth-cave till the root of the tree is exposed. Therefore, it takes much time to kill the tree because the tree.
Answer: Instead of using the words, ‘felling’ or ‘cutting’ for removal of tree, the poet calls it as ‘On killing a tree’. Also he describes the process in detail by saying, not a single jab will do the job and that requires several repeated hacks and chops. And the poet writes that the stem and root of the tree has to be roped, tied and pulled out entirely from the earth-cave till the softest end of the root of the tree is exposed. Though the process suggested for killing the tree appear to be cruel and barbaric, we should not fail to notice the poet’s humane side while crying for “bleeding barks”, the wounds created by repeated chops. Either the poet writes this poem in a nostalgic mood, reminiscence of his observations, or he symbolizes something in place of the tree.
Answer: Yes. The successful accomplishment of the job was described as “And then it is done”. While killing a tree, one has to confront many obstacles posed by the tree. It has grown very strong over the years consuming all earth’s resources and anchoring to the earth with deep grown roots. In order to overcome such obstacles, several tools like axes and knives, several actions like chopping, tying, and pulling-out and several techniques like hardening, scorching, twisting etc. were used in the process of killing the tree. Therefore, the process was laborious.
Answer: First and foremost, the title itself is cruel. Instead of using the words, ‘felling’ or ‘cutting’ for removal of tree, the poet calls it as ‘On killing a tree’. While describing the process, it is said that, not a simple jab will do the job and it required several hacks and chops. Further descriptions like, pulling out, to be roped, tied and snapped-out, scorching, choking, Browning, Hardening, Twisting and Withering are also signal cruelty and violence. At the same time, the poet equates the cuts of the tree to the wounds and describes it as “bleeding bark”. Either the poet writes this poem in a nostalgic mood, remembering his childhood observations, or he symbolizes some evils of society, in place of the tree and how it should be eradicated.
Answer: The words are, Scorching and choking, Browning, Hardening, Twisting and withering. The process of killing tree given in the stanzas other than the last are to jab, hack, chop, tie and pull are all sequential and one follows other. And these are done over one tree in sequence. But the words in last stanza, Scorching and choking, Browning, Hardening, Twisting and withering are done to wooden logs, not to a particular tree and not in a particular sequence and may be overlapping too. These words describe the seasoning of wood which is a continuous process.