Friday, June 19, 2020


On Killing a Tree
Gieve Patel

1. When was this poem published?

Answer: This poem was published in 1966 in “Poems” published by Nissim Ezekiel.

2. What type of poem is it?

Answer: On Killing a Tree is an ironical as well as satirical poem.

3. In what verse form was this poem written?

Answer: This poem was written in free verse.

4. How much time does it take to kill a tree?

Answer: It takes much time to kill a tree.

5. Why does it take much time to kill a tree?

Answer: As not a simple jab of knife can kill a tree, it takes much time to kill it.

6. What does a tree consume while growing?

Answer: While growing, a tree consumes air, water and sunlight.

7. Where do leaves sprout?

Answer: Leaves sprout out of tree’s leprous bark.

8. What sprouts out of ‘leprous hide’?

Answer: Leaves sprout out of tree’s leprous hide.

9. What is referred to ‘leprous hide’?

Answer: Tree’s rough bark is referred to leprous hide.

10. What is crust?

Answer: Top layer of earth is called crust.

11. How does a tree grow?

Answer: A tree grows slowly absorbing earth’s water, air and sunlight.

12. “So hack and chop”—Why should trees be hacked and chopped?

Answer: Poet Gieve Patel satirically presents trees as villain and mentions that trees absorb air, water, sunlight without any return. So trees have not right to live. So trees should be hacked and chopped.

13. “But this alone won’t do it”—What are meant by ‘this’ and ‘it’?

Answer: Here ‘this’ refers to hacking and chopping. And ‘it’ refers to killing of trees.

14. What will not give much pain to the tree?

Answer: Hacking and chopping will not cause much pain to the tree.

15. When does the bark of a tree bleed?

Answer: When the bark of a tree is hacked and chopped, it bleeds.

16. What will rise from close to the ground?

Answer: Curled green twigs and miniature boughs will rise from close to the ground.

17. What are meant by miniature boughs?

Answer: Miniature boughs means very small branches of trees.

18. What will happen if twigs and miniature boughs are unchecked?

Answer: If miniature boughs and twigs are unchecked, they will expand again to former size.

19. How is root uprooted and from where?

Answer: The root needs to be roped and pulled out to uproot it out of the anchoring earth.

20. What is meant by anchoring earth?

Answer: Anchoring earth refers to the soil where root has sunk firmly and securely.

21. When will the strength of the tree be exposed?

Answer: When the root as well as the wet and white part of it are uprooted from the earth, the strength of the tree will be exposed.

22. Which part of the tree is the source of its life?

Answer: The tip of the root which is wet and white is the source of life.

23. What is the most sensitive part of a tree?

Answer: The tip of the root which is wet and white is the most sensitive part of the tree.

24. “The source, white and wet”—Why is the source white and wet?

Answer: As the source of tree remains under wet soil, it does not get sunlight. So it is white and wet.

25. What remains hidden for long and where?

Answer: The tip of the root which is wet, white and sensitive remains hidden in earth-cave for long.

26. What is referred to ‘earth cave’?

Answer: When a root of a tree is pulled out, the earth becomes hollow. Here this hollow is called ‘earth cave’.

27. What are the final steps with the root to complete the murder of tree?
Answer: To complete the murder of the tree, its root needs to be scorched, chocked, browned, hardened, twisted, withered.

28. What type of act is the killing of tree?
Answer: Killing of tree is a deliberate, ceremonial act performed by human beings.

29. Does the poet incite us to cut tree?

Answer: No, actually through this poem, the poet has satirically and ironically presented the fact that we should be against deforestation.