What is an image? Comment on the use of imagery in the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’.

An image is a word or phrase that is used with a different meaning in order to describe something so that it produces a strong picture in mind.

The poet has used the image of a feeding tree. A baby after birth draws nourishment from its mother. In the same manner, the image of a tree slowly growing up is portrayed here. The tree draws nourishment from the earth and the earth provides food in the form of sunlight, air and water. Next, the readers come across the image of a healing tree. The images of violence that Gieve Patel uses in the poem shows his true love for trees. He describes the killing of a tree in such a detailed manner by using different imageries that the readers very easily understand the actual message that the poet wants to convey to his readers.

What do you think is the purpose of the poet in the poem? Is it fulfilled?

The poet talks about one of the major concerns of modern-day life, which is the destruction of the environment. The poet is sympathetic towards the trees and treats them as living organisms which feel pain and pleasure like human beings. So the trees should not be deprived of their right to live. Trees help people in a number of ways but people destroy the trees indiscriminately, disregarding the benefits that they get from them. Thus he uses the images of violence like cutting, jabbing, bleeding to show man’s ruthlessness. On the other hand, the poet uses contrasting images of spreading of leaves and boughs to show the endless life of a tree. Thus the poet describes the killing of a tree in such graphic detail to evoke sympathy towards trees. He wants to convey to his readers that to hurt a tree is similar to hurt a human being as trees are also living organisms who can feel.

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

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

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?

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