The phrase ‘a simple jab of the knife’ means a swift blow of the knife.

The stem of a full-grown tree is very strong and the bark of it is very rough and hard. A knife is a weak object compared to the stem of a mature tree. If a knife is used to kill a tree, it can only leave some marks on the bark of it but cannot kill it. Therefore, ‘a simple jab of the knife’ will not be able to serve man’s purpose of killing a tree.

“It has grown/Slowly consuming the earth,”—Bring out the significance of this line.

The line mentioned above is taken from the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ where the irony regarding the killing of a tree is expressed by the poet. The growth of a tree is like the growth of a child. It slowly consumes the earth, eats and drinks from it, rises out of the soil, feeds upon the earth’s crust and absorbs innumerable years of sunlight, air and water. As a human being, it takes several years to grow and mature. Therefore the line mentioned above marks the growth and development of a tree that takes a long span of time. Insensitive human beings cut trees deliberately without thinking of its consequences.

“But this alone won’t do it.” What is ‘it’? What alone won’t do it? Why?

“And out of its leprous hide/ Sprouting leaves.”—What does the expression ‘leprous hide refer to? What does ‘its leprous hide’ bear? Bring out the irony suggested here.

“And the strength of the tree exposed.”—Where does this line occur? What is described as the strength of the tree’? How is it exposed?

“No, The root is to be pulled out.” – Why has the word ‘No’ been used? How is the pulling out of the root related to the killing of the tree?

“And then it is done.”-Explain how it is done.

“The source, white and wet,/The most sensitive, hidden/ For years inside the earth.”—How does the poet describe the source and its functions?

“Why it is not quite easy to kill a tree?

How does a tree grow? What are the different stages to kill it?

Describe in detail the growth of the tree in the first stanza.

How does the tree heal itself?

What does the killing of a tree symbolise?

Why does it take “much time to kill a tree”? How is the tree finally killed?

“It takes much time to kill a tree, “—Why doe it take much time to kill a tree? According to the poet, how is the tree finally killed?

How does a tree offer resistance to its destruction? How does its resistance fail?

The poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ describes man’s cruelty and violence to nature. Discuss.

How does the poet criticise the action of human beings in the poem?

How does the poet evoke lyricism in nature’s resilience in the first two stanzas?

is the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ a study of ‘environment and tree”?

Rate this post