The word “killing” means the complete destruction of an object’s existence or wiping out something from the earth. In this poem, the poet describes how man encourages deforestation, defying the eternal bond shared by the earth and the tree. While hacking and chopping, trees do not die but bleed. This signifies that they are living beings. But man ignores their usefulness and to fulfil their immediate needs involve themselves in cutting down the trees, which according to the poet is, akin to murder. The poet gives vent to his protest against this disgusting crime through a unique ironical criticism, wherein he instructs the murderers to be more harsh and vigorous in their act of killing a tree. The title appropriately indicates the very essence of the poem and thus the title is appropriate.

Give the central idea of the poem ‘On Killing a Tree.’

On Killing a Tree’ is a poem with a hard-hitting approach to the destruction of nature. It deals with the cutting of a tree which is deliberately mentioned as “killing” by the poet. The tree, the poet says, refuses to give in to man’s intention of killing it. The central idea is to make the reader realise the pain, agony and crisis that a tree undergoes when it is chopped. Another purpose of the poet is to remind man about the destruction which they are calling upon themselves by cutting trees-the primary support of life. A tree contributes to the earth in various ways. It provides food, oxygen and shelter. By abolishing trees, man is actually preparing themselves for their evil days. The tree stands as the metaphor of strength and persistence as it does not give in to man easily. Life has to be completely extricated from the dying tree by uprooting it from the ‘cave’ of earth. No scope to let the tree regenerate with new leaves or ‘miniature boughs’ can be given. So, the central idea or the theme is the revelation of the intensity of the perverse act of cutting a tree and the greed of mankind for some material gain.

Rate this post