The Axe in the Wood Poem Summary

“The Axe in the Wood” is a thought-provoking poem by Rainer Maria Rilke that delves into the symbolism of an axe left in the forest. It explores the intricate relationship between nature, human activity, and the passage of time. Read MoreĀ Class 8 English Summaries.

The Axe in the Wood Poem Summary

The Axe in the Wood Poem Summary in English

The Axe in the Wood images

This poem is written by Clifford Henry Dyment. The poem is about the harmful effects of poaching and the indiscriminate cutting of trees.

In this poem, Henry says that when once he was walking, he stopped to watch a man cutĀ¬ting a tree. The tree was very old and it seemed to be a century old. As he was cutting it, the sharp axe appeared to be glittering and it struck deep inside the bark and the yellow wooden chips (which usually comes when we chop any wooden material) flew in the air.

The poet liked the sight. As the person was cutting the tree, a melodious sound was heard as he struck the axe and paused as he took it off.

The poet says that people have many reasons to cut trees. It might fall as it was very old but it had more good in it than a growing tree. Then Henry compares the death of the tree to the death of thousands of men.

The poem conveys the message that the beauty of nature should be preserved and en-joyed. Thus the poet condemns the onslaught on nature in an ironic way.


In conclusion, “The Axe in the Wood” by Rainer Maria Rilke offers a profound meditation on the lasting impact of human presence in the natural world. The poem’s eloquent verses evoke a sense of melancholy and contemplation, inviting readers to ponder the traces of human existence in the unspoiled beauty of the forest.