1. Can a "simple
jab of the knife" kill a
tree? Why not?
2. How has the tree grow to its full size? List the words
suggestive of its life and activity.
3. What is the meaning of
bark"? What makes it
4. The poet says
in the beginning of the third stanza. What does he mean by this?
5. What is the meaning of
6. What does he mean by
"the strength of
the tree exposed"?
7. What finally kills the tree?
1. No, a simple jab of a knife cannot kill a
tree because it takes many years for a tree to grow and rise out
of the earth. Moreover, only a chop cannot kill it because it
will slowly rise again and grow to its original size.
2. The unchecked growth of the tree has led it
mature to its full size. It has consumed the earth and rose above
it by absorbing years of sunlight, air and water from its crust.
The words suggestive of its life and activity are as follows:
bark" refers to the area
on the tree trunk where it has been hit with the axe. It bleeds
because the wood cutter has wounded the tree by cutting and
4. In the beginning of the third stanza, the
poet has said
to lay emphasis on the fact that mere chopping of the tree would
not kill it. The tree would grow again and retain its original
earth" refers to the earth
under which the roots of a tree are held firmly, thereby
providing strength and nourishment to it.
cave" again refers to the
earth. The poet calls it so, as the roots, which are the most
sensitive part of the tree, stay hidden securely under the earth.
6. The strength of the tree lies in its roots,
which the poet asks to snap out in order to kill the tree. Thus,
the phrase "the
strength of the tree
exposed" refers to the
roots of the tree being exposed to sunlight and air.
7. The tree is finally killed when its roots are
uprooted and it scorches and chokes in sunlight and air. This
process leads to the browning, hardening, twisting and thereby,
withering of the roots.
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