Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Solutions Poem 3 On Killing a Tree
Poem 3 – On Killing a Tree
Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Solutions Poem 3 On Killing a Tree Textbook Questions and Answers
B. Read the following lines from the poem and answer the questions in a sentence or two.
1. It takes much time to kill a tree,
Not a simple jab of the knife Will do it.
Can a ‘simple jab of the knife’ kill a tree?
No, a simple jab of the knife cannot kill a tree.
Why does it take much time to kill a tree?
It is because the tree is very strong and its root is deep in the earth.
2. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding Upon its crust, absorbing
How has the tree grown?
The tree has grown slowly consuming the earth, rising out of it, feeding upon its crust.
What does the tree feed on the crust?
The tree feeds water from the crust.
3. And out of its leprous hide
What does the phrase ‘leprous hide’ mean?
‘Leprous hide’ means the bark of the tree. It has rough skin with scales.
What comes out of the leprous hide?
Tiny leaves come out of the leprous hide.
4. The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
What will happen to the bleeding bark?
The bleeding bark will heal.
What will rise from close to the ground?
The curled green twigs and miniature boughs will rise from close to the ground.
5. The root is to be pulled out
One of the anchoring earth;
Why should the root be pulled out?
The root should be pulled out to dry it and kill the tree.
What does ‘anchoring earth’ mean?
‘Anchoring earth’ means fixing the tree firmly inside the earth (like a ship in the sea).
Additional Questions and Answers
1. It takes much time to kill a tree,
Not a simple jab of the knife.
How long does it take to kill a tree?
It takes much time to kill a tree.
What is “a jab of the knife”?
It means “a poke or thrust with a sharp tool”.
2. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
What is tree consuming?
The tree is consuming the earth.
What is rushing out of the earth?
The tree is rushing out of the earth.
What is the tree feeding?
The tree is feeding upon the earth’s crust.
Years of sunlight, air, water
And out of its leprous hide
What is the tree absorbing?
The tree is absorbing sunlight, air, and water.
How long is it absorbing them?
It is absorbing them for many years.
What is it doing out of its leprous hide?
It is sprouting leaves out of its leprous hide?
What is meant by ‘leprous’ and ‘hide’?
‘Leprous’ means covered with scales,
‘Hide’ means the strong thick outer skin.
4. So hack and chop
But this alone won’t do it.
Explain the phrase: “hack and chop”
‘Hack’ means cut something with heavy blows,
‘chop’ means cut into pieces with a tool like a knife.
Will this do the work?
No, this alone won’t do it.
5. And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs
What will rise from close to the ground?
Curled green twigs will rise
What will become miniature boughs?
The curled green twigs will become miniature boughs.
Explain the phrase: “Miniature boughs”
Miniature means very small. So the phrase “miniature boughs” means a very small size of the large branches of the tree.
6. Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again.
To former size
What will expand if unchecked?
The miniature boughs will expand if unchecked.
How will the unchecked bough expand?
The unchecked bough will expand to the former size.
7. 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.
From where the strength of the tree exposed.
The strength of the tree exposed from the earth-cave.
What did the strength of the tree expose?
The strength of the tree exposed the source.
How long is the tree hidden inside the earth?
The tree is hidden for years inside the earth.
8. Then the matter
Of scorching and chocking
In sun and air,
And then it is done,
What is the matter?
The tree that is felled down is the matter.
What happens to the matter?
It is scorching and chocking in the sun and air.
What takes place at the end?
The tree turns brown and hardens, twists and withers
What is done in the end?
In the end, the tree is killed.
9. “ Which if unchecked will expand again To former size”
What does ‘which’ refer to? ,
Which refers to the bleeding bark.
10. “The root is to be pulled out-One of the anchoring earth”
What has to be pulled out?
The root has to be pulled out.
What is anchoring earth?
The root is anchoring earth.
11. “Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave”
From where should the root be pulled out?
The root should be out of the earth-cave.
What is an earth-cave?
Earth-cave is the surface of the earth where the root is hidden.
12. “The source, white and wet.”
What is the source referred to?
The source is referred as ‘white and wet’.
What does ‘white and wet’ indicate?
White and wet indicates life.
13. “Of scorching and choking In sun and air”
How is the source scorched and choked?
The source is scorched and choked in sun and air.
Why is it scorched and choked?
It is scorched and choked to kill.
14. “And then it is done”
Explain ‘it is done’.
It is done implies that the tree is dead and that there is no chance of regrowth since its root has been completely pulled out.
C. Based on the understanding of the poem, write down the summary of the poem by filling in the blanks.
The poet explains the process of (1) ……….. A lot of work has to be done in order to (2)……….. completely. It cannot be accomplished by merely cutting it with (3)……….. The tree has grown strong with the help (4)………… of for a countless of years. Even the (5)………… of the tree gives rise to (6)………. The (7)………… sprouts new twigs and leaves. In a short period, they grow into a new tree. So, to (8)……….. completely, one should take out its roots completely from the soil. Then they should be exposed to (9)……….. Only then the tree will be completely killed.
- killing a tree
- kill it
- a knife
- the earth
- kill a tree
- the sun and air
D. Based on the understanding of the poem, answer the following questions in a sentence or two.
What is the poem about?
The poem is about killing a tree.
What are the lessons to be learned from the poem?
We must grow trees and protect them. We must not kill the trees. We must be eco-friendly.
What are the life sources needed for a tree to grow?
Soil, Water, Oxygen, and Sunlight.
What does the poet mean by ‘bleeding bark’?
By bleeding bark, the poet means that the bark bleeds when it is cut with a knife.
Why the poet says ‘No’ at the beginning of the third stanza?
He wants to emphasize that it is not so easy to kill a tree.
How should the root be pulled out?
The root should be pulled out of the anchoring earth.
What is hidden inside the earth for years?
Life and legacy are hidden inside the earth.
What finally happens to the tree in this poem?
The tree is totally exposed to the sunlight and air. Thus it is killed completely.
E. Answer the following questions in about 80-100 words.
How well does the poet bring out the pain of the tree?
Title: On killing a tree
Poet/Author: Dr. Gieve Patel
Character: Tree, the woodcutter
Theme: “Thou shall not kill” (even a tree)
The poet compares the killing of a tree with the killing of a man. As humans feel the pain, the poet imagines the feeling of the pain by the tree. A tree has a life so it must have sensitively. Every poke or thrust with a sharp knife must give some severe pain to the tree. It is hard to cut the crust of the tree. It is like leprous hide. The bark of the tree bleeds when the cut is deep. The tree endures pain but still, it has life.
It is not killed until its root of a tree is cut off and taken away from the earth. The root of the tree is like the heart of man. A man dies only when the heart is damaged. Likewise, a tree struggles to hold its life until it is uprooted. The root has anchored in the earth and stands straight and firm on the earth. The tree undergoes all unspeakable pain’ when it is felled. Though it does not cry but mankind my try to feel and be kind to it.
“killing a tree is like killing a man”
“On killing a tree” speaks about the felling of a tree. A woodcutter cuts a tree with his sharp tool. It takes’ a lot of time to cut a tree. As the tree has life, it will definitely have a sense of feeling. So doubtlessly a tree must feel the pain at every poke or thrust with a sharp tool or knife. Though the pain is severe, the tree is unable to make its cry audible. We are unable to hear though we stand near the tree.
Slowly the parts of the tree start losing its life. But it is killed completely only when its root is brought out of the earth. The root is dried in the sun and air. Thus it undergoes all the pain as it is murdered by man. The killing of a tree may be compared to the killing of a man. A man dies when his heart is attacked. In the same way, a tree is killed when the root is detached from the earth.
“Save trees to pave the way to life”
‘A tree doesn’t grow in a day/ Explain it with reference to the poem.
Tree-a big plant-takes years to grow-some grow quickly-some grow slowly-no tree grows over a night-as grows slowly lives longer-some trees live more than 100 years.
Trees and shrubs are not all grown the same same. Some species grow rapidly, putting their energy into getting established quickly and putting on fast growth. Some are fast-growing trees with lower density and weaker woods. They are popular willow and box elders. Longer lived trees associate more resources into developing dense wood fiber rather than rapid growth. When planted, these trees typically take a longer time to get established and often one wonders if they will ever start growing.
Eventually, they do, and often of the saying goes, “It’s worth the wait”. Trees such as oaks and Ginko’s are prime examples of slower-growing trees that have longevity. It is rare to see these trees failing storms and they are largely resistant to decay and insect damage. There are trees which take 10 to 15 years to grow and even some other trees take 20 to 30 years. So it is certain the trees do not grow in a day.
“One cannot become a millionaire overnight”
Trees are the bigger plants. They live long. According to its longevity, the trees have a long span of life. Any plant that grows overnight may not live long. The trees with lower density grow faster than the trees with greater density. Insects cannot easily damage the latter ones. Some trees are slow growers which take 20-30 years. Some are fast growers and they take 10-15 years.
As the saying goes, “It’s worth, the wait”, they do eventually. Trees grow slowly but steadily. Their roots go very deep anchoring the earth. The trunk of it is very strong with many branches and leaves. Their uses are many but many fail to know. Certain trees take a few decades to grow and its yield is enjoyed only by the next generation. Thus it is clear that a tree cannot grow in a day.
“Rome was not built in a day”
Why do you think the poet describes the act of cutting a tree? What effect does it have on you as a reader?
The killing of a tree – a cruel act – tree intends to live-even plants expand its species-man is a killer-very unkind towards trees-too selfish-destroys nature – a murder eventually-similar to killing a man-tree dies with its root cut-man dies with his heart attack.
The poet is a physician. He considers the act of killing of a tree as an evil act. He is of the view that it is nothing but murder. The woodcutter tries to cut down the tree. He cuts the trunk of the tree. Even after felling the tree, it can sprout from the bottom-most part of the trunk. Thus the effort is to be made to uproot it. Unless the anchored root is cut off and removed from the earth, killing is not complete.
The root is brought out to dry it in the sun and the air. The poet compares it to the killing of a man. The root is compared to the heart of a man. Every life is finished when the heart stops functioning. As the heart circulates the blood in the body, the root does the work of supplying water to every part of the tree. The reader is getting an awareness that he or
she should not indulge in the evil or cruel act of killing a tree that can live for a long time. It gives the realization that the killing of a tree and a man are one and the same. So every reader will stand against this cruelty and join hands for planting and growing trees.
The killing of a tree is a cruel act. The poet has made us realize that the felling of a tree is killing it. The word “Killing” is very effectively and earnestly used in this poem. Being a physician, the poet has dealt with life and death of the tree. A man dies when the heart is affected. Similarly, a tree becomes lifeless only when its root is removed from the earth. The root of a tree is compared to the heart of a man.
The poem teaches a lesson to the readers that we must not be cruel towards any living thing, either a tree or man. Killing a tree is synonymous with murdering a man. Thus it is clear that the poet wants the readers to be kind to mankind. As readers, we must feel the pain inflicted on others by every one of our cruel act through our word and deed.
“Let us not fell the trees before they fall”
F. Complete the table by identifying lines, against the poetic devices from the poem.
Poetic lines Poetic Devices / Figures of Speech
- It takes much time to kill a tree. Personification
- The bleeding bark will heal. Personification
- One of the anchoring earth Imagery
G. Listen to the passage about Nammazhwar, an environmental crusader from Tamil Nadu. As you listen, answer the following questions. The listening activities can be repeated if required.
Nammazhwar was born in 1938 in Elangadu, Thanjavur District, and he graduated from Annamalai University with a B.Sc. degree in Agriculture. In 1963, he began working for the Agricultural Regional Research Station, a government organisation in Kovilpatti, as a scientist, conducting trials on spacing and use of various chemical fertilizers in cotton and millet crops. During his tenure there, the government had conducted various experiments in rain-fed land, he left the institute in 1969. should rely only minimally on external inputs.
All inputs using expensive inputs like hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides which Nammazhwar considered futile as the farmers were resourced poor. Based on his experience, he felt very strongly that it was imperative to totally reorient the research work being undertaken. But his peers at the institute paid little attention to his advice. Frustrated, he left the institute in 1969. For the next 10 years, he was an agronomist for the Island of Peace, an organisation founded by the Nobel Laureate Dominique Pire. His focus was on improving the standard of living through agricultural development in the Kalakad block of Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu.
It was at this time that he realised that to get optimal results in farming, farmers should rely only on minimally on external inputs. All inputs should come from within the farm. So-called waste should be recycled and used as input. This revelation was a turning point in his life. He completely lost trust in conventional farming practices and began experimenting with sustainable agricultural methods. Vegetables have a short lifespan compared to fruit crops.
By making use of modem technologies and inputs, their lifespan can perhaps be extended to say about a year. But if there is a simple method of growing vegetables throughout the year, without any costly gadgets, modem technologies, or costly inputs, it is definitely worth a try for the farmers. He advocated the ‘Bread sandwich’ method. In this method, once the soil is made ready and the suggested practices followed, one need not work on the soil for the second time. They can go on sowing and reaping, all throughout the year.
He always said it was no use trying to teach a farmer. Instead, one should make the farmer understand the issue. He never stopped learning from them himself and had become a vast repository of farming practices and knowledge that he shared with whoever was interested. He never pushed ideas down anyone’s throat. Each farm is unique according to the farmers’ understanding and the conditions, Nammazhwar would say. He would keep experimenting with what he learned from the farmers, refined this knowledge, and then gave it back to them.
He often said “Farming is not a way of producing crops to make money. It is a way of living, and a way of living that is possible even in the 21st century.” He trained hundreds of farm youths as trainers and helped any farmers to be master trainers-all this without the support of the government.
Who is Nammazhwar? What is his contribution to farmers and farming?
Nammazhwar was an agricultural scientist. He conducted trials on the spacing and use of various fertilizers in cotton and millet crops.
In 1963 he worked for the ______ as _______.
Agricultural Regional Research Station in Kovilpatti as a scientist.
What was the turning point in the life of Nammazhwar?
During his period as an agronomist, he realised that farmers should rely minimally on external inputs. All inputs should come from within the farm. Waste should be recycled and used as input. This revelation was a turning point in his life.
How is the “Bread sandwich method” a boon to the farmers?
In this method, once the soil is made ready and the suggested practices followed,
one need not work for the second time. They can go on sowing and reaping all through the year.
Pick out ideas from the passage to show that he learned first and then shared with farmers.
He never stopped learning from the farmers. He became a vast repository of farming practices and knowledge. He never pushed ideas down anyone’s throat. According to the farmer’s understanding and conditions, each farm is unique.
Explain in your own words the meaning of “Farming ……….. even in the 21st Century”
He said that it was no use trying to teach a farmer. He never stopped learning from them and had become a vast repository of farming practices and knowledge that he shared with whoever was interested.
Give the synonyms of ‘rely’ and ‘sustainable’.
Synonyms of ‘rely’ is depending
Synonyms of sustainable is maintainable
“He never pushed ideas down anyone’s throat” means
H. Based on the reading of the poem complete the web chart given below.
- Cutting a tree is an act of murder.
- Failure to preserve the forest.
- To create a new awareness in the minds of the people
- Lack of eco-friendly attitude.
- Disapproval of mankind is a failure to care for the earth
- deforestation and destruction of nature
I. Look at the two trees. One is a green flourishing tree and the other, a brown withering tree.
The class will now be divided into two groups. Group A will list down the agents that support a tree’s growth. Group B will list down those that prevent it. Once the groups are ready with their lists, a feu unto lives from each group will go to the board and write down the lists.
Taking clues from the lists on the board, complete the following chart.
. Work in pairs. Create three slogans on ‘Saving Trees’
- Use catchy, meaningful phrases.
- Do not write complete sentences.
- Ensure that the words at the end rhyme.
- “Save the tree and have the air fresh”.
- “Make not trees rare; keep them with care”.
- “Trees on; Global warming has gone”.
K. Deliver a short speech for about five minutes on the following.
Imagine what will happen if all the trees in the earth disappear. Discuss with your friends and share it with your classmates.
Life will not exist on Earth if trees disappear. Trees produce most of the oxygen that humans and wildlife need to live. Trees absorb Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen using the process of photosynthesis. Lack of rain will be a major concern. If there is no rain, there will be no forests. Forests act as giant air filters in the world. They also prevent soil erosion. They break the force of wind and rain on soil helping their roots bind the soil. The decayed leaves absorbed by the earth to enrich the soil.
Think of a situation where all the trees can speak. What will they talk about?
It is quite interesting and awesome to think of a situation like this. If all trees start speaking, we may have to be spellbound.
The trees may speak about their goodness and benefits to us. They do a great deal to us. They will tell us that they help us breathe fresh air and lead a healthy life. They may be proudly telling us that they provide us shade to save us from the scorching sun. They may ask us to water them regularly.
They may tell others or fellow trees if they are not taken care of. They may tell us not to harm them if we tend to cut the branches or the tree itself, They may lead us not to kill them. They may start advising us to take care of the trees. They may tell us to plant more and more trees and make domestic and civilized forests. They may tell us to have more rain to increase water resources.
Moreover, they will try to be human friendly and make us trees friendly. We need not search for anything in the tree. They would tell us if they have anything to give us. The antisocial elements cannot use the forest as their hideout. The trees will propagate all about the movements of the wild animals in the forest. It would be very thrilling and amazing when the trees can speak the human tongue. Let us talk to the trees and listen to what they want to tell us.
Let US laugh together
How do trees access the internet?
They simply Login
What will the tree do, if the banks are closed?
It will start its own branches
What types of tree fits in your hand?
A Palm tree.
On Killing a Tree by Gieve Patel About The Poet:
Dr. Gieve Patel is one of the prominent Indian poets. His famous works include Evening, Forensic Medicine, and From Bombay Central. He has also penned three plays. He belongs to the group of writers who have subscribed themselves to the ‘Green Movement’ involving in an effort to protect the environment. His poems address deep concerns for nature and expose man’s cruelty to it. He has been conducting a poetry workshop in Rishi Valley School for more than a decade. This poem is taken from his poetry collection ‘Poems’ published in 1966.
On Killing a Tree Summary:
The poet observes how much time is required to kill a tree. A simple cut with a knife cannot kill a huge tree. A tree has roots deep down the earth, absorbing nutrients and using the sunlight, water, and air around for years, sprouting out leaves from it’s disfigured bark. Although the tree is hacked and chopped, it isn’t enough for killing a tree. The tree can withstand the pain. These injuries will heal and once again the new green twig will rise from the ground which will grow to bigger branches.
If this growth is unchecked, the tree will regain its original size. So in order to kill a tree, the roots which are anchored inside the ground have to be pulled out. To pull out the roots, it has to be roped and forced out of the earth with all the might. This leads to the exposure of the most sensitive region of the tree, which had been hidden and supporting the tree since its birth. Then when the roots are exposed to sunlight and air, it dies slowly by browning, hardening, twisting, and withering. Only then the tree is said to have perished.
On Killing a Tree Glossary:
crust – the brown, hard outer portion or surface
jab – to poke, or thrust abruptly or sharply with a short, quick blow
hide – the strong thick outer skin
leprous – covered with scales
miniature – very small
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