Lesson 2.2 On Killing a Tree
Lesson 2.2> On Killing a Tree
- jab (v) – to poke, or thrust abruptly or sharply with a short, quick blow
- crust (n) – the brown, hard outer portion or surface
- leprous (adj) – covered with scales
- hide (n) – the strong thick outer skin
miniature (adj.) – very small
A. Read the following lines from the poem and answer the questions in a sentence or two
1. It takes much time to kill a tree,
Not a simple jab of the knife
Will do it
a) Can a ‘simple jab of the knife’ kill a tree?
No, a ‘simple jab of the knife’ cannot kill a tree.
b) Why does it take much time to kill a tree?
The tree is fully grown after absorbing sunshine, air and water for years. It is very strong. So it takes much time to kill a tree.
2. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
a) How has the tree grown?
The tree has grown slowly consuming the earth it is rooted to.
b) What does the tree feed from the crust?
The tree feeds upon water and nutrients from the crust.
3. And put of tis leprous hide
a) What does the phrase ‘leprous hide’ mean?
It means the rough exterior of the trunk with bark, scales and cracks.
b) What comes out of the leprous hide?
Tender leaves come out of the leprous hide.
4. The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground’
Will rise curled green twigs,
a) What will happen in the bleeding bark?
The bleeding bark will heal in course of time.
b) What will rise from close to the ground?
Curled green twigs and small boughs will rise from close to the ground.
5. The root is to be pulled out –
One of the anchoring earth;
a) Why should the root be pulled out?
The root should be pulled out to kill the tree completely.
b) What does ‘anchoring earth’ mean?
It means the roof fixed to the earth firmly like an anchor.
B. Based on the understanding of the poem, write down the summary of the poem by filling in the blanks.
The poet explains the process of killing a tree. A lot of work has to be done in order to kill it completely. It cannot be accomplished by merely cutting it with a knife. The tree has grown strong with the help of sunlight, air and water for a countless number of years. Even the bleeding bark of the tree gives rise to twigs and boughs. The bottom of the tree sprouts new twigs and leaves. In a short period, they grow into a new tree. So, to kill the tree completely one should take out its roots completely from the soul. Then they should be exposed to the sun and air. Only then the tree will be completely killed.
C. Based on the understanding of the poem, answer the following questions in a sentence or two.
1. What is the poem about?
The poem is about killing a tree.
2. What are the lessons to be learnt from the poem?
It is not easy to kill a grown up tree. One has to take great pains to do it. The tree can be killed completely only if the root is pulled out in full.
3. What are the life sources needed for a tree to grow?
In order to grow, a tree needs sunlight, air and water.
4. What does the poet mean by ‘bleeding bark’?
It means the plant sap that oozes out from the bark when a tree is cut.
5. Why does the poet say ‘No’ in the beginning of the third stanza?
The poet implies that it is not enough to cut the trunk and branches of the tree. You have to pull out the root in full.
6. How should the root be pulled out?
The root has to be tied with a rope firmly. It should be snapped out forcefully and entirely.
7. What is hidden inside the earth for years?
The white and wet, sensitive part of the root is hidden inside the earth for years.
8. What finally happens to the tree in this poem?
Finally the tree becomes brown and hard. It is twisted and dried up. At last the tree is killed completely.
D. Complete the table by identifiying lines, against the poetic devices from the poem
|Poetic lines||Poetic Devices/Figures of Speech|
|It takes much time to kill a tree||Alliteration : takes – time – tree|
|The bleeding bark will heal||Alliteration : bleeding, bark Personification (the tree is spoken of as a bleeding human being|
|One of the anchoring earth||*Oxymoron : (anchoring is related to the sea and the ship; here it is used with earth|
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