‘On Killing a Tree’ Is this poem a commentary on major environmental issues?

‘On Killing a Tree’ portrays man’s cruelty towards nature. Here the tree symbolizes nature. The poet gives a vivid description of the complete destruction of the tree which symbolizes modern man’s greed and selfishness to kill the very spirit of nature. Unfortunately, that leads man to his own destruction as life on earth is impossible without trees. The tree which grows slowly, consuming the earth, cannot be killed easily. The tree overcomes the hacking and chopping by branching off small stems. Being aware of this healing power of the tree, man decides to pull out the root entirely. The unkindness and butchery of man are highlighted here, whereas nature has truly played the role of a mother by nourishing and protecting the tree. The tree in return saves the world from drought and erosion and maintains the ecological balance. But foolish men, to serve their immediate needs, after uprooting it, subjects it to various processes and thus fulfils their commercial purposes. This poem addresses one of the major environmental issues, that is deforestation which causes a very vital problem named ‘global warming’. It is a commentary on man’s inability to understand that they are actually calling their own doom by destroying trees extensively.

How is the life-force of the tree described in the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’?

A tree is man’s best friend as it maintains the ecological balance. But man forgets this and invents new ways to eras the existence of trees. So in this poem, the poet talks about the struggle of a tree for its survival. However hard man tries to injure the tree, the tree with its healing power tires to cure the wounds and gives rise to miniature boughs. Thus the tree not only withstands a simple jab of the knife but also the mighty blows of an axe. However difficult it might be, it tries to resist these attacks. The tree finally has to give up when man uproots it and exposes its strength. All the efforts of the tree to survive ends with scorching, choking, browning, hardening, twisting and withering.

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

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

“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’.

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.

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