How is the lifeforce of the tree described in the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’?

Write after Gieve Patel a note on the power and strength of a tree to withstand man’s cruelty.

The poet shows how a tree is tortured for complete destruction. Killing a tree is a difficult task. It takes much time and effort. Neither a simple jab of the knife nor hacking and chopping can kill a tree. It is not so easy a task because the tree has grown slowly, consuming the earth and absorbing sunlight, air and water. It is firmly fixed with its roots anchored in the earth. After hacking and chopping, new twigs sprout and grow to former size. So, in order to kill a tree, it has to be uprooted. It has to be roped, tied and snapped out. It has to be pulled out entirely from the earth-cave. After uprooting, the root has to be exposed to sunlight and air so that it scorchers, chokes, browns, hardens, twists and finally withers. Thus man has to take up and more and more violent steps to complete the process of killing a tree.

Why does the poet describe the killing of a tree in such graphie detail?


What is the message of the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ according to you? Explain.


‘On Killing a Tree’ is an ironical poem.- Justify.


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


Justify the appropriateness of the title of the poem, ‘On Killing a Tree’.


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


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


The substance of the Poem ‘On Killing a Tree’


Justify the title of the poem “On Killing a Tree.”

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


“Not a simple jab of the knife/Will do it.”—What does the phrase ‘a simple jab of the knife’ mean? Why can’t a simple jab of the knife ‘do it’?

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


“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?


Rate this post