NCERT Questions and Answers for Class 10 English Amanda (Poem) are available here. All the solutions of The Trees are prepared by expert teachers. These questions and answers help you to understand the poem easily. You can also access extra questions for The Trees to Score good marks in the exams.
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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English The Trees
Thinking about the Poem
Question 1. (i) Find, in the first stanza, three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest.
(ii) 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’?
Answer 1: (i) Three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest are:
a. no bird can sit on them,
b. no insect can hide in them
c. there can be no shadow of the sun
(ii) 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 falls from the trees.
Question 2. (i) Where are the trees in the poem? What do their roots, their leaves and their twigs do?
(ii) What does the poet compare their branches to?
Answer 2: (i) The trees in the poem are decorative and they are inside the house. They are in the pots and pans. Their roots try to free themselves from the cracks in the veranda door. Their leaves go toward the glass and small twigs become stiff.
(ii) 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.
Question 3.(i) How does the poet describe the moon: (a) at the beginning of the third stanza, and (b) at its end? What causes this change?
(ii) What happens to the house when the trees move out of it?
(iii) 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.)
Answer 3: (i) 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.
(ii) When the trees move out of the house, the glasses break and the whispers of the trees vanish, leaving the house silent.
(iii) 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.
Question 4. 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?
(i) 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’?
(ii) 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?
Answer 4: 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:
(i) Yes, the poem presents a conflict between man and nature. The man has harmed nature much. He has cut forests. Now he is content to have decorative plants in his house. But these decorative plants cannot afford shelter to birds or insects. Here, like the zoo animals, the plants are imprisoned. They get fresh air only when they move out.
(ii) 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. Manwould also want to enjoy the beauty of nature and go out in the open and be free, just like trees.