On Killing a Tree Class 9 English, Beehive Poem
Detailed summary and explanation of “On Killing a Tree” Poem along with meanings for difficult words is provided here. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Poem and do well in their exams.
The poem On Killing a Tree is like an instruction manual of killing a tree. It tells its reader that trees are like living beings. They are not cut but killed properly by uprooting the roots that are stuck deeply in the soil. Through the poem, the poet teaches us many lesson. Firstly, it depicts the courage and strength of trees, through which it teaches us to be strong and determined. Then, it point out that evils are just like roots. They exist deep within us and even we feel we had gotten rid of it, it suddenly appears. Therefore, to kill an evil we must put on best efforts and uproot it. Thirdly, it teaches us that we must bring all our Work to a proper end. Lastly, it appeals us to not kill/cut trees that sustain our lives.
The poet states how a tree is to cut. The poem starts by pointing out that it takes a lot of time to cut a tree. The simple act of stabbing it with a knife is not enough to kill a tree. It is not easy to cut down a tree because the tree has grown slowly consuming the Earth. It is not an easy job to kill a tree as it has grown strong by absorbing many elements for many years. Years of absorption of sunlight , air and water from which the Earth has made its growth so perfect that a jab can’t kill it. The leaves shall sprout again after its leprous hide and jab won’t do any harm to it.
So hack and chop
But this alone wont do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.
In this stanza poet continues with its ironic tone as to how a tree is to be killed completely. Here in the poet states that we need to do a lot of efforts to kill a tree. According to him a simple stab and chop wont kill the tree completely. It would only injure the tree which would suffer the pain with its strength. The bark that oozes out its sap like blood shall soon heal and from close to the ground the curling twigs shall sprout again. With time, the injury (bleeding bark) will also heal and the tree would grow again. The fighting spirit of the tree shall soon revive its full strength and tree shall assume its own original form with new leaves and small boughs. Consequently, the tree will grow its full size and strength.
The root is to be pulled out
Out of the anchoring earth
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out-snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.
In this stanza, the poet points out the exact manner through which a tree can be killed. He states that to kill a tree completely, its roots needs to be taken out of the deep soil where it is hiding inside the Earth. This root is the strength of the tree. The roots needs to be roped , tied and pulled out. It gives support to the free and its most vulnerable as well as sensitive part. If needs to be shaped out entirely from deep inside the Earth. Doing so will finish the complete strength of the tree and it will start decaying. Exposed to the Sun and air , the white root shall not survive and start decaying.
Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
And then it is done.
In this stanza the poet describing the final processes of the killing of a tree. Once the roots are uprooted, it will get exposed to the sun and the air. As a result, the roots start dying due to the heat. The roots starts getting chocked and dying. The roots become brown and the soft surface becomes hard and dry. After some time, it loses its own shape and starts twisting. Finally, the tree will die.
(1) Why does it take much time to kill a tree ?
(2) How has the tree grown to its present size?
(3) What has been compared with Leprous hide?
(4) What will be the effect of hacking and chopping on the tree?
(5) How can the tree get back to its former size?
(6) Why did the poet want the tree to be snapped out?
(7) Explain the usage of anchoring Earth?
(8) How is the tree finally killed?
(9) The poet has used irony in the poem to give a message? Explain?
(10) How has the tree grown as given in the beginning of the poem?
(11) What shall happen to the tree when it is jabbed with a knife?
(12) What will happen to the tree after its bark will heal?
(13) What happened when a tree is hacked but not uprooted?
(14) What does the poet say to do to a tree to kill it?
(15) How does the roots of the tree look when it is pulled out of the Earth?
(16) What message does the poet convey to the readers through the poem?
(17) What are the two important stages of killing a tree completely?
(18) What happens after a tree is entirely uprooted?
(19) What is the theme of the poem “On Killing a tree”?
(20) What will a simple jab of the knife not do to a tree?
(21) What did the tree need to grow?
(22) How does a bark look? What will happen after the bark bleeds?
(23) What should one have to do to kill the tree?
(24) How is Earth seen in relation to the tree?
(25) How does the Sun and air contributes to its killing?
|jab||stab or to hit someone forcefully|
|leprous hide||discoloured bark of the tree|
|hack||cutting with heavy blows|
|bleeding bark||the secretion of the liquid from the bark when it is cut with a sharp object|
|earth cave||inside of the earth|
|scorching and choking||the drying up of the tree after being uprooted|
|withering||the process of decaying|