How does Gieve Patel present contradictory images of life and death in the poem?

The growth of a tree is slow. It absorbs air, water, sunlight and, minerals from the soil as its food. Its roots gives it strength and help it in its development. But when it is fully grown, people cut it for their short term benefits without thinking of the consequences. Humans give it much pain by chopping it and uprooting it. They kill trees mercilessly without considering the fact that the trees also have lives. Therefore a tree’s efforts to survive go in vain when it is uprooted. Nature gives beautiful lives to the trees and the trees give us everything we need to survive and in return we kill them. The poet mocks human beings for killing the trees.

The poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ seems to be a protest. Who does the poem protest against and why?

The poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ seems to be a protest. Apparently, the poem looks like a detailed instruction on how to destroy a tree completely. But if we venture deeper into the poem we will realise that Gieve Patel, actually mocks the entire urban civilization. He protests against the cruel act of cutting down a tree. The poet also protests against the mindless reaction of mankind who fail to realise the importance of trees and how they help in maintaining the ecological balance. In this poem, Gieve Patel describes how man encourages deforestation. Though he narrates the steps to kill a tree but in actual fact he gives voice to his anger and frustration.

“Modern man, out of his indiscriminate greed and selfishness uproot nature and its very soul.”-Evaluate this statement with reference to the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’.

Mother Nature decorated the earth with beautiful trees. Trees give us oxygen to live and provide us with food and shelter. But people kill these trees for their own immediate needs without even thinking about society and the environment. In ‘On Killing a Tree’ Gieve Patel ironically represents the tree as a huge, evil creature and so it must be killed. The poet says that a swift blow of the knife is not enough to kill a tree as the stem of a tree is very strong. So, people must hack and chop and uproot its root to kill it. If people carry on this practice, then in future, not a single tree would remain and our existence would be in danger. The poet in ‘On Killing a Tree’ proves the fact that a tree is not an enemy of man but it is man who is the enemy of trees. Man kills trees for their own greed and for some material gain.

Give the substance of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

Justify the title of the poem “Asleep in the Valley.”

Write the theme of the poem Asleep in the Valley’.

“.they fill the hollow full of light.”- What is the ‘hollow’ referred to in the line? How does the hollow look? Who is lying in the hollow? How is he lying there?

“A soldier, very young, lies open-mouthed,”—Where was the soldier found lying and how? How does the poet describe the soldier’s face? Why, according to you, was he lying open-mouthed?

“His feet among the flowers, he sleeps.”—Where does this line occur? Who is the person referred to here? Where is the person sleeping? Describe the nature of his sleep.

“His smile… without guile.” -Mention the figure of speech used here. What does the poet want to mean here?

“His smile / Is like an infant’s”—Whose smile is referred to here? Why is his smile compared with that of an infant? How does nature treat him?

“Ah, Nature, keep him warm; he may catch cold.”—Who is ‘he’? Why may he catch cold? Why does the poet ask Nature to keep him warm?

“The humming insects don’t disturb his rest;”-Who rests and where? What put him to rest? Why can’t the insects disturb his rest?

“He sleeps in sunlight …”-Who is the person referred to here? Where does he sleep and how? What does the word sleep’ indicate in this poem?

“In his side there are two red holes.”-Who is the person referred to here? What do the ‘two red holes’ signify? What attitude of the poet to war is reflected here?

Give a description of the valley as found in Rimbaud’s poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

The word “sun’ is repeatedly used in the poem-explain the significance of it.

How does the poet express the futility of war through his poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’? What message does he want to convey?

How does the soldier lie in Asleep in the Valley’?

How does this picture of the soldier describe the tragedy of war? Explain.

Bring out the irony of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

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