Thinking about the Poem
1. Find, in the first stanza, three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest.
2. What picture do these words create in your mind: “….. sun bury its feet in shadow…..1′? What could the poet mean by the sun’s ‘feet’?
1. The three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest are – the sitting of a bird on trees, the hiding of insects and the sun burying its feet in the shadow of the forest.
2. The sun’s ‘feet’ refers to the rays of the sun that fall on the earth. When there is no shadow on the ground, because there are no trees, the rays fall directly on the ground. In a forest with trees, the shadow hides the sun rays and it seems that the sun is burying its feet in the shadow that fall from the trees.
1. Where are the trees in the poem? What do their roots, their leaves and their twigs do?
2. What does the poet compare their branches to?
1. In the poem, the trees are trapped in the poet’s house. Their roots work all night to disengage themselves from the cracks in the veranda floor. The leaves try very hard to move towards the glass and put a lot of pressure on it so that it breaks, while the small twigs get stiff with exertion.
2. The poet compares the branches to newly discharged patients of a hospital. The large branches of the trees become cramped due to the roof above them, and when they get free they rush stumblingly to the outside world. While doing so, they look half-shocked like the patients, who wait for a long time to get out of the hospital.
1. How does the poet describe the moon:
(a) at the beginning of the third stanza, and
(b) at its end? What causes this change?
2.What happens to the house when the trees move out of it?
3. Why do you think the poet does not mention “the departure of the forest from the house” in her letters? (Could it be that we are often silent about important happenings that are so unexpected that they embarrass us? Think about this again when you answer the next set of questions.)
1. At the beginning of the third stanza, the poet says that the full moon is shining in the open sky in the fresh night. At the end of the stanza, she describes that the moon breaks into pieces like a broken mirror and shines on the heads of the tallest oak trees. As the trees move outside, they cover some of the shine of the moon and it can be seen only in parts. This is why, it seems that the moon has broken into pieces.
2. When the trees move out of the house, the glasses break and the whispers of the trees vanish, leaving the house silent.
3. The poet hardly mentions about “the departure of the forest from the house” in her letters because it is humans, who did not care for nature in the first place. So, maybe, the poet now thinks that nobody would be interested in knowing about the efforts that the trees are making in order to set themselves free. If other men cared about the trees, they would not have destroyed them. It seems that this whole beauty of trees moving back to forests can be seen and felt only by the poet.
Now that you have read the poem in detail, we can begin to ask what the poem might mean. Here are two suggestions. Can you think of others?
1. 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 ‘imprisoned1, and need to ‘break out’?
2. On the other hand, Adrienne Rich has been known to use trees as a metaphor for human beings: this is a recurrent image in her poetry. What new meanings emerge from the poem if you take its trees to be symbolic of this particular meaning?
Since a poem can have different meaning for different
readers and the poet can mean two different things using the same imagery, both these meanings can be justified in . context of the poem:
1. Yes, the poem presents a conflict between man and nature. Man has always caused much harm to nature, without realizing that it actually is a harm to the human race. Humans cut down forests for forest goods, which has destroyed a lot of natural beauty. By keeping trees inside walls and denying them their natural home, they are denying them their freedom. That is why, the trees want to move out. Similarly, in the poem A Tiger in the Zoo, the poet shows that animals feel bounded by cages and they want to get free and run wild in the open.
2. If trees have been used as a metaphor for human beings, then the poem would mean that like the trees, humans too want to break free of the boundaries that life puts on them. Modern life with all kinds of physical comfort has also brought a lot of moral downfall. Our lives have become busy and we have become selfish and greedy. Man would also want to enjoy the beauty of nature and go out in the open and be free, just like trees.
The Trees Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English First Flight
Extract Based Questions [3 Marks each]
Read the following extracts carefully and answer the questions that follow.
The trees inside are moving out into the Ans’ forest, the forest that was empty all these days where no bird could sit no insect hide no sun bury its feet in shadow the forest that was empty all these nights will be full of trees by morning.
(a) What does the poet mean by empty forest? Why is it empty?
(b) ‘No sun bury its feet in the shadow’, explain this line.
(c) Which word in the stanza means “unoccupied”?
(d) How will the empty forest be full of trees by morning?
(a) Empty forest means forest with no trees and Ans. it is so because humans have destroyed the forests for building cities and other uses.
(b) Since the forests were empty, sunlight could reach the grounds directly and could ever hide under the shadows of the trees.
(c) The word is ‘Empty’.
(d) The poet imagines that the trees are moving to the empty forest to settle there forever. This will enable the forest to be full of trees.
All night the roots work to disengage themselves from the cracks in the veranda floor. The leaves strain toward the glass small twigs stiff with exertion long-cramped boughs shuffling under the roof like newly discharged patients half-dazed, moving to the clinic doors.
(a) Why do the roots work all night?
(b) Why do the twigs get stiff?
(c) Which word mean “to get free” in the stanza?
(d) Which poetic device has been used in the last line of the passage?
(a) The roots work all night so that they can free themselves from the walls put around them by humans.
(b) The twigs get stiff due to the pressure they apply on the glasses.
(c) The word is ‘Disengage’.
(d) ‘Simile’ has been used here using ‘like’ for comparison.
I sit inside, doors open to the veranda writing long letters in which I scarcely mention the departure of the forest from the house.
(a) Find the word from the passage which means ‘hardly’.
(b) What is she doing?
(c) Where are the trees in the poem?
(d) What do you mean by veranda?
(a) The word is scarcely.
(b) She was writing long letters.
(c) The trees are inside the house in the poem.
(d) Veranda means a platform with an open front built on the ground floor of a home.
My head is full of whispers which tomorrow will be silent. Listen. The glass is breaking. The trees are stumbling fofward into the night. Winds rush to meet them. The moon is broken like a mirror, its pieces flash now in the crown of the tallest oak. [CBSE 2016]
(a) Why would the whispers be silent tomorrow?
(b) Why are the trees stumbling?
(c) Which word in the stanza means the same as ‘Quiet’?
(d) Which poetic device has been used in the sixth line of the stanza?
(a) The whispers will be silent because the trees will move outside to the forest.
(b) The trees are stumbling because they hurry to move outside after breaking the glass.
(c) The word is ‘Silent’.
(d) Simile has been used using ‘like’ for comparison.
MCQ Questions for Class 10 English First Flight Poem 8 The Trees with Answers
What rushes out to meet the trees?
Answer: (a) Wind
What does the poetess compare the tree branches to?
(a) An old patient.
(b) A newly discharged patient.
(c) A Doctor
(d) None of the above
Answer: (b) A newly discharged patient.
Where are the decorative plants kept?
(a) in open areas.
(b) in play areas.
(c) in houses
(d) none of the above
Answer: (c) in houses
What type of trees are described in the poem ‘The ‘Frees’?
(a) Tall Trees
(b) Short Plants
(c) Decorative trees
(d) All of the above
Answer: (c) Decorative trees
By morning, the forest will be full of _____
Answer: (c) trees
What is the poetess doing?
(a) writing long letters
(d) watching television
Answer: (a) writing long letters
The pieces of the moon can be seen in the crown of which tree?
(a) Apple tree
(b) Hemlock tree
(c) oak tree
(d) walnut tree
Answer: (c) oak tree
What reaches like a voice into the rooms?
(a) Noise of the roots
(b) shuffling of the branches
(c) smell of leaves and lichens
(d) light of the moon
Answer: (c) smell of leaves and lichens
Who has been personified in the line “no sun bury its feet in shadow”
(d) none of the above
Answer: (a) sun
Name the literary device used in “The moon is broken like a mirror,”
Answer: (b) simile