Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 8 The Trees | Class 10
Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 8 The Trees
|unbind, release, unfetter
|exertion, voltage, tightness
|sprig, stick, stem
|toil, fatigue, exercise
|confined, compact, minimal
|influx, prong, department
|blend, combination, amalgam
|dismissed, castaway, expelled
|perturb, stun, stupefy
|disengaged, blank, clear
|dross, dor, sediment
|to hide the thing in the sand etc
|bury, inter, immerse
|shelter, phantom, reflex
|the extension of plants buried under the earth
|radicle, tuber, rootstock
|rigid, stringent, tough
|moving about changing their position
|cleave, crack, shatter
|lock hospital, lazaret, lazaretto
|heavily, scarce, hard
|mention, description, article
|start, going, waygoing
|a very small grey plant that spreads over trees
|कवक और शैवाल
|bog, morass, swamp
|brain, cerebrum, paste
|low soft voice
|ज़बान दबाकर कहना
|maunder, sough, gabble
|still, noiseless, peaceful
|struggle to walk
|kick, wallop, thwack
|blow, breeze, breath
|तेज़ी से दौड़ाना
|race, dart, hurry
|glow, glare, glitter
|tile upper branches and leaves
|crown, lord, diadem
|a huge tree
|एक विशाल पेड़
|oaken, chestnut, oaky
About The Poet | Chapter 8 The Trees
Written in 1963 and published in her book, Necessities of Life, 1966, this poem appeared at an important point in Adrienne Rich’s development as a poet. The Trees is a short symbolic poem that focuses on the movement of trees that are initially indoors but seeking to escape to freedom in the forest. The trees represent nature. They can also be symbolic of human beings who are freeing themselves to be their true selves.
Short Summary Of Chapter 7 Animals In English
This poem “The Trees” narrates the struggle of a population of trees to escape the confines of a greenhouse. The speaker is a witness to the trees’ exodus towards the forest. Even though the speaker addresses an audience, her own “head is full of whispers”-she is an audience as well. The readers are compelled by the command: “Listen” The speaker says that the trees, “long-cramped… under the roof’ are trying to get out while the speaker remains in the space the trees long to escape. An open door makes the “night” and the “whole moon” and the “sky” available to the speaker. At the same time, through this door “the smell of leaves…/still reaches” back. The speaker’s “head” is another interior, entered by “whispers.”
The poetess is intrigued by her image of the trees “like newly discharged patients / half-dazed”. The Trees is an extended metaphor as they can be interpreted as people, who are in need of healing or having been healed, are now ready for their true purpose.
The title of the poem ‘The Trees’, by Adrienne Rich is about how trees are breaking the interiors which are not their natural habitat and moving towards the forests which is their natural home. In this sense the poem describes the trees returning to nature and finding their true space and purpose. Adrienne Rich has been known to use trees as a metaphor for human beings. In this sense, the trees can also be seen as being symbolic of people who are freeing themselves from imposed customs and behaviors and finally reaching out to express their true selves and purpose.
The poem explores the theme of conflict between man and nature. The poet suggests that man must live in harmony with nature and not in conflict with it. It expresses the poet’s concern for trees and people to be in their natural surroundings, and being in sync with their true habitat and purpose. The unnatural ways of living that are imposed upon man by the various forces of modern times are removing man from their natural life. Thus trees need to be in the forests and not inside homes and green houses. Likewise man needs to be closer to nature and not far from it.
The poet gives the message that man must live in sync with nature and not in a war with it. It expresses the poet’s concern for trees and people to be in their natural surroundings, and living in harmony with their true habitat and purpose. The unnatural ways of living that are imposed upon man by the various forces of modern times are removing man from their natural life. Thus trees need to be in the forests and not inside homes and green houses. Likewise man needs to be closer to nature and not far from it.
RHYME SCHEME OF THE POEM
RHYME SCHEME OF THE POEM
The poem does not rhyme like a traditional poem. Thus it is written in ‘free verse’. It is a verse composed of variable, usually unrhymed lines having no fixed metrical pattern.
The poet employs a variety of poetic devices in order to make the poem effective.
Personification is to be found in the first stanza
- no sun bury its feet in shadow… and the second
- small twigs stiff with exertion/long
- cramped boughs shuffling…. and the fourth stanza
- The trees are stumbling forward
Similes, in the second, third and final stanza involve both human and domestic elements
- like newly discharged patients/like a voice/like a mirror.
Repetition (anaphora) occurs in the first
- stanza…the forest that was empty’ reinforces the idea that previously there was no life outside. where no bird/no insect/no sun.
- Syntax and structure
The Trees is a free verse poem of four stanzas, making a total of thirty-two lines. There is no set rhyme scheme and no regular metric beat pattern – each line is different rhythmically- and the lines vary from short to long. Syntax is the way the sentences, clauses and grammar work together and in this poem there is an uncertainty as the poem progresses. Some lines end without punctuation, the first stanza for example is a single sentence with just one comma at the end of the first line and a full stop at the of the seventh. In between is chaos, a quite deliberate ploy by the poet to instill a free line if disturbing flow line to line.
The second stanza is two complete sentences, one short, the other long. The first three lines use enjambment (sense is continued on into the next line) but the next several are a mix.
The third stanza is made up of three sentences and is the only stanza with the true personal voice of the speaker. Finally the fourth stanza urges the reader to listen as the trees break out of their prison. Five sentences of varying length are contained, which means more pausing for the reader, and also increasing the drama.
Bough- branch of a tree;
Lichen-crusty patches or bushy growth on tree trunks formed by association of fungus and alga:
Twigs- a small thin branch of a tree or bush, especially one removed from the tree;
Crack-to break something so that it does not separate, but very thin lines appear on its surface, or to become broken:
Shuffling-walk without lifting one’s feet.
TYPE I: REFERENCE TO CONTEXT (VERY SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS)
TYPE 1: REFERENCE TO CONTEXT (VERY SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS)
Read the extracts and answer the following questions:
- I sit inside, doors open to the veranda
writing long letters
in which I scarcely mention the departure
of the forest from the house.
(i) What does the speaker scarcely mention in the letter?
(ii) What is the speaker doing?
(iii) Where are the trees in the poem?
(iv) Why didn’t the speaker mention the departure of the forest in the letter?
(i) The speaker scarcely mentions in the letter that the trees are leaving the house.
(ii) The speaker is writing long letters.
(iii) The trees are inside the house in the poem.
(iv) The speaker does not mention the departure of the forest probably because it was disconcerting and embarrassing to her.
- Like newly discharged patients
to the clinic doors.
(i) Who is being talked about in the above lines?
(ii) What is the poetic device used in the above lines?
(iii) Why are trees described as newly discharged patients?
(iv) why are the trees still half dazed?
(i) Trees are being talked about in the above lines
(ii) In the above lines the poetic device used is simile, in the first line.
(iii) Trees have been ill living in the house. Now, when they have disengaged from the confines of the house, they have been healed and look like a patient discharged after treatment of their ailment.
(iv) The trees are in the process of being treated so they appear ‘half dazed as they are still recovering
- The night is fresh, the whole moon shines
in a sky still open
the smell of leaves and lichen
still reaches like a voice into the rooms.
(i) What is being described here?
(ii) Which rooms are referred to bere?
(iii) What is the night like?
(iv) Identify a poetic device in the lines.
(i) The night is being described here.
(ii) The rooms refers to the rooms of the house in which the trees had been confined.
(iii) The night is fresh and the full moon shines The sky is full of stars.
(iv) Simile has been used in the last line, comparing the smells to a voice
- The moon is broken like a mirror,
Its piece flash now in the crown
Of the tallest oak
(i) Why is the moon broken?
(ii) What has the poet been observing?
(iii) Where was the oak tree earlier?
(iv) What is the poetic device used in the above lines?
(i) The moon appears to be broken to the poet when is viewed through the crown of the trees.
(ii) The poet has been observing the departure of the forest.
(iii) The oak tree was earlier in the house and now it is moving to the forest.
(iv) Simile has been used to compare the moon to a broken mirror.
- My head is full of whispers
which tomorrow will be silent.
Listen. The glass is breaking.
(i) Who is referred to as ” my”?
(ii) Who does the speaker command to listen?
(iii) What does she think is worth listening?
(iv) Why is the glass breaking?
(i) The speaker refers to herself as “my”.
(ii) She urges the reader to listen.
(iii) She wants the reader to listen to the glass breaking.
(iv) The glass of the house is being broken by the trees who are moving out to the forest.
TYPE II: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS 30-40 WORDS EACH)
Answer the following questions:
- What picture do these words create in your mind: sun bury its feet in shadow…”? What could the
poet mean by the sun’s feet’?
Ans. The sun radiates heat and the given words create a picture of the hot, radiating sun cooling its feet in the cool shadow of the forest. The sun’s feet’ refers to its rays that reach the earth
- Where are the trees in the poem? What do their roots, their leaves and their twigs do?
Ans. In the poem, the trees are in the poet’s house. Their roots work all night to disengage themselves from the cracks in the veranda floor. The leaves make efforts to move towards the glass, while the small twigs get stiff with exertion.
- What does the poet compare their branches to?
Ans. The poet compares the long-cramped’ branches that have been shuffling under the roof to newly discharged patients who look half-dazed as they move towards the hospital doors after long illnesses and wait to get out of the hospital. The branches also have cramped under the roof and want to get out into the open to spread themselves in fresh air.
- How does the poet describe the moon: (a) at the beginning of the third stanza, and (b) at its end? What causes this change?
Ans. In the beginning of the third stanza, the poet says that the whole moon is shining in the open sky in the fresh night. However, at the end of the stanza, she describes the moon as broken into many pieces such as a shattered mirror. This change is caused by the trees that have made their way from her home to outside. Their branches have risen into the sky, blocking the moon, which is why the moon seems to be broken into many pieces. These pieces can be seen flashing at the top of the tallest oak tree.
- What happens to the house when the trees move out of it?
Ans. When the trees move out of the house, the glass gets broken and the smell of the leaves and lichens still reaches the rooms of the house.
- What are the roots and the boughs busy doing?
Ans. In the poem the roots work all night to disengage themselves from the cracks in the veranda floor. The leaves make efforts to move towards the glass, while the small twigs get stiff with exertion.
- What does the poet compare the branches to?
Ans. The poet compares the long-cramped branches that have been shuffling under the roof to newly discharged patients who look half-dazed as they move towards the hospital doors after long illnesses and wait to get out of the hospital. The branches also have cramped under the roof and want to get out into the open to spread themselves in fresh air.
- How does the poet describe the plight of the trees?
Ans. The poet describes the plight of the trees in the second stanza, The trees are kept confined during the night, where they try to escape through the cracks of the veranda floor. Every morning they are moved to the artificial forest. The forest where no bird can sit, no insect can hide and where the sun cannot hide behind a tree. It is like putting an animal away from its natural surroundings.
- How does the poet make effective use of imagery in the poem?
Ans. The poet uses imagery effectively in the poem. For example, outside the house the night is full of freshness and the moon is shining. The smell of leaves and lichen is reaching those inside the captivity like a voice coming from far away. The trees block the view and make the moon appears like a broken mirror on the crown of the oak.
- How is the night described?
Ans. The night is described as ‘fresh, and the whole moon’s shining. The sky is still open and there is the smell of leaves and lichen in the air which is wafting into the rooms of the house like a voice calling out.
TYPE III: LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS (100-120 WORDS EACH)
Answer the following questions:
- Does the poem present a conflict between man and nature? Compare it with A Tiger in the Zoo. Is the poet suggesting that plants and trees, used for ‘interior decoration’ in cities while forests are cut down, are ‘imprisoned’, and need to break out’?
Ans. Yes, the poem presents a conflict between man and nature. While nature is more free and unbounded, man prefers to live in bounded spaces and also wants to curb nature. He uses plants for interior decoration of houses, cuts trees to make a house for himself, kills animals for food or other purposes and cages them in zoos. In all these ways, man curbs nature and denies plants and animals the freedom in which they should live. The poem shows that trees and plants are rebelling against man as they strive to work their way out into the open. For instance, in the poem A Tiger in the Zoo, the poet presents the fact that animals feel bounded by cages. They can only take a few steps inside the cage, whereas they really want to run and leap into the open. This signifies the fact that plants and animals feel caged by humans and want to break out from the imprisonment at the hands of humans.
- The poem is a strong criticism of man’s nature and activities. Discuss
Ans. Though the poem is apparently about animals, it seems to have been inspired equally by the poet’s criticism of man’s nature and activities. In the modem civilised world, human beings have achieved a lot of material values but lost the real virtues. The more developed and modern human beings became the more they lost the essence of their characters. Whereas, animals, never adapted to any material goods and always remained natural. This natural aspect of animals has helped them maintain their values. Humans, in order to possess more and more have forgotten kindness and innocence. Human beings probably had these virtues in them once but along the course of civilization, they have left them behind and become greedy and cunning. They need to relearn from the animals, how to be self-contained and live naturally as God intended us to live: Only then they will attain true peace and happiness.
- The poem The Trees’, seeks to promote peaceful coexistence of man and nature. Comment
Ans. The poem presents a conflict between man and nature. While nature is more free and unbounded, man prefers to live in bounded spaces and also wants to curb nature. He uses plants for interior decoration of houses, cuts trees to make a house for himself, kills animals for food or other purposes and cages them in zoos. In all these ways, man curbs nature and denies plants and animals the freedom in which they should live. The poem shows that trees and plants are rebelling against man as they strive to work their way out into the open. For instance, in the poem A Tiger in the Zoo, the poet presents the fact that animals feel bounded by cages. They can only take a few steps inside the cage, whereas they really want to run and leap into the open. This signifies the fact that plants and animals feel caged by humans and want to break out from the imprisonment at the hands of humans.
QUESTIONS FOR PRACTICE
- How is the moon describe in the poem?
- What is special about the branches of trees?
- What are trees a metaphor of?
- It is strange that departure of trees finds no mention in the long letters of the speaker. Discuss.
- How does the poet use imagery to describe the night?