Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree

Tamilnadu State Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree

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.

Question (i).
Can a ‘simple jab of the knife’ kill a tree?
Answer:
No.

Question (ii).
Why does it take much time to kill a tree?
Answer:
It takes much time to kill a tree as it has grown strong all through the years.

2. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing

Question (i).
How has the tree grown?
Answer:
The tree has grown slowly consuming the earth, rising out of it, feeding upon its crust.

Question (ii).
What does the tree feed from the crust?
Answer:
The tree feeds sunlight, air, water from the crust.

3. And out of its leprous hide
Sprouting leaves.

Question (i).
What does the phrase ‘leprous hide’ mean?
Answer:
‘Leprous hide’ means the discoloured bark of the tree.

Question (ii).
What comes out of the leprous hide?
Answer:
Sprouting leaves come out of the leprous hide.

4. The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Miniature boughs

Question (i).
What will happen to the bleeding bark?
Answer:
The bleeding bark will heal.

Question (ii).
What will rise from close to the ground?
Answer:
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;

Question (i).
Why should the root be pulled out?
Answer:
The root should be pulled out to kill the tree.

Question (ii).
What does ‘anchoring earth’ mean?
Answer:
Anchoring earth means that the roots fixed to the earth strongly like an anchor.

Poem Comprehension and Poetic Devices Additional Questions

There is no particular rhyme scheme followed in this poem. The poem is divided into 4 stanzas. Each stanza comprises varying lines. The poem is then written in free verse.

1. So hack and chop
But this alone won’t do it.
Not so much pain will do it.

Question (a).
Does hacking and chopping enough to bring a tree down?
Answer:
No, hacking and chopping off a bough is not enough to bring a tree down.

Question (b).
What happens to a tree when it’s hacked and chopped?
Answer:
Hacking and chopping inflicts pain on the tree.

2. The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,

Question (a).
What is a bleeding bark?
Answer:
It is a part of a tree, where it has been wounded or where a bough is chopped off.

Question (b).
What will grow again close to the ground?
Answer:
New green twigs will grow again.

Question (c).
Name the figure of speech used here?
Answer:

  • Personification. The tree is portrayed as a human being.
  • Alliteration is also used here in bleeding bark.

3. It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out — snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,

Question (a).
What must be pulled out?
Answer:
The root must be pulled out of its earth cave.

Question (b).
How should the tree be pulled out?
Answer:
It should be roped, tied and pulled out.

Question (c).
What does the tree symbolizes?
Answer:
It symbolizes the human being and spiritual death.

4. The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.

Question (a).
What is the ‘source’ mentioned here?
Answer:
The source mentioned here is the life source – the root of the tree.

Question (b).
Why is it white and wet?
Answer:
The root of the tree contains sap, which is a white liquid and is made up of all the important nutrients and chemicals necessary to sustain it.

5. Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,

Question (a).
What do you mean by ‘scorching’?
Answer:
‘Scorching’ means burning at a high intensity.

Question (b).
Name the Alliterated words In the first line.
Answer:
Then – the are the alliterated words.

6. And out of its leprous hide
Sprouting leaves.

Question (a).
What is the figure of speech employed here?
Answer:
Metaphor: Hidden comparison. ‘Bark of the tree’ is compared to ‘leprous hide’.

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 of ______(4)______for a countless 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.
Answers:

  1. killing a tree
  2. root it out
  3. a knife
  4. sunlight, water and nutrients of the soil
  5. bark
  6. leaves
  7. boughs
  8. kill it
  9. sunlight and heat

D. Based on the understanding of the poem, answer the following questions in a sentence or two.

Question 1.
What is the poem about?
Answer:
The poem is about killing a tree.

Question 2.
What are the lessons to be learnt from the poem?
Answer:
The poet teaches us about nature and the sturdiness and longevity of the tree. To kill the tree or anything else, the heart of the thing has to be destroyed.

Question 3.
What are the life sources needed for a tree to grow?
Answer:
Soil, Water, Oxygen and Sunlight.

Question 4.
What does the poet mean by ‘bleeding bark’?
Answer:
The cut in the bark oozes sap. The poet compares the fluid to blood.

Question 5.
Why the poet says ‘No’ in the beginning of the third stanza?
Answer:
He wants to emphasize that it is not so easy to kill a tree.

Question 6.
How should the root be pulled out?
Answer:
The root must be roped, tied, pulled out, snapped out, and exposed.

Question 7.
What is hidden inside the earth for years?
Answer:
Life and legacy is hidden inside the earth.

Question 8.
What finally happens to the tree in this poem?
Answer:
The tree is killed.

Short Questions and Answers: Additional

Question 1.
Is it easy to kill a tree? Why?
Answer:
No, it is not easy to kill a tree, as it is time consuming.

Question 2.
How does the bark of a tree look?
Answer:
The bark of a tree looks irregular and scaly.

Question 3.
What will replace the chopped boughs?
Answer:
Chopped boughs will be replaced by new boughs, which will grow into their former size.

Question 4.
What does the poet mean by ‘earth-cave’?
Answer: The poet means by the word ‘earth-cave’, the point, deep inside the earth, where the root is attached.

Question 5.
What happens to the root when exposed to the sun and air?
Answer:
The root will be scorched due to the heat, becomes brown, withers, dries and bent out of shape, leaving a corpse, where a tree used to be.

Question 6.
What does the poet mean by the word ‘hide’?
Answer:
Hide means skin. Here, it means the bark of a tree.

E. Answer the following questions in about 80-100 words.

Question 1.
How well does the post bring out the pain of the tree?
Answer:
Gieve Patel spins a very visual tale of pain where the reader can almost feel the hacks made at a tree. The ‘bleeding bark’ is the visual representation of the pain, Patel envisions the tree going through. The tone of the poem is sarcastic and filled with caustic remarks. The poet, Gieve Patel, takes this ironic stance to propose his actual view on cutting down trees, which is according to him, not short of committing an act of murder. The cutting down of trees is equated with death. Every time Patel talks of cutting down a tree, he portrays it as killing it. The death the poet incorporates in this poem is both natural and spiritual.

Question 2.
‘A tree doesn’t grow in a day.’ Explain it with reference to the poem.
Answer:
Gieve Patel tells us that killing a tree is not easy. It is very time-consuming. Ajab of a knife is not enough. A tree grows straight out the earth, nourishing itself on the nutrients found in the earth, along with years of sunlight, water, and air. And even though the bark looks irregular and scaly, leaves and branches sprout of it. The lines

“It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
Years of sunlight, air, water”

justify the longevity of the tree.

Question 3.
Why do you think the poet describes the act of cutting a tree? What effect does it have on you as a reader?
Answer:
The poet wants to highlight the harmful effects of deforestation in a sarcastic style. Therefore, Deforestation is another major theme of this poem. Deforestation has become a problem, especially in the modem times, where forests are cleared to make roads, or for furniture or for fossil fuel. It is incredibly harmful to the ecosystem and the imminent danger is felt throughout the poem. I feel we should grow more trees.

Paragraph Questions and Answers : Additional

Question 1.
What is the theme of the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’?
Answer:
Death is the fore most theme in this poem. The cutting down of trees is equated with death. Everytime Patel talks of cutting down a tree, he portrays it as killing it. The death that the poet incorporates in this poem is both natural and spiritual.

Deforestation is another major theme. Deforestation has become a problem, especially in the modem times, where forests are cleared to make roads, furniture or fossil fuel. It is incredibly harmful to the eco-system and the imminent danger is felt throughtout the poem. The tone of the poem is scarcastic and filled with caustic remarks. The poet spins a thought provoking poem and through his imaginative description, makes us aware of the vulnerability of human lives, physical of spiritual. He insists that the proper care of our inner spirituality can keep us safe from harm.

F. Complete the table by identifying lines, against the poetic devices from the poem.
Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree - 1

Listening

G. Listen to the passage about Nammazhwar, an environmental crusader from Tamil Nadu. As you listen, answer the following questions. The listening act can be repeated if required.

Question 1.
Who is Nammazhwar? What is his contribution to farmers and farming?
Answer:
Nammazhwar was an agricultural scientist. He conducted trials on spacing and use of various fertilizers in cotton and millet crops.

Question 2.
In 1963 he worked for ______ as _______.
Ans :
Agricultural Regional Research Station in Kovilpatti as a scientist.

Question 3.
What was the turning point in the life of Nammazhwar?
Answer: During his period as 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.

Question 4.
How is the “Bread sandwich method” a boon to the farmers?
Answer:
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.

Question 5.
Pick out ideas from the passage to show that he learnt first and then shared with farmers.
Answer:
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.

Question 6.
Explain in your own words the meaning of “Farming __________ even in the 21st Century”.
Answer:
Farming is not only for making money. It is necessary to do farming to live even in the 21st century.

Question 7.
Give the synonyms of ‘rely’ and ‘sustainable’.
Answer:
Rely – depend
Sustainable – maintainable

Question 8.
“He never pushed ideas down anyone’s throat” means
(a) favoured
(b) compelled
(c) opposed
Answer:
(b) compelled

Writing

H. Based on the iding of the poem, complete the web chart given below.
Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree - 2
Answer:

  • A deep rooted evil.
  • The social evil can’t be put out just by criticising them. The society should root them up to die forever.
  • Man has devastated another part of nature.

I. Look at the two trees. One is a green flourishing tree and the other, a brown withering tree.
Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree - 3

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 few representatives from each group will write down the lists on the black board.
Answer:
(To be done by the students)

Taking clues from the lists on the board, complete the following chart.
Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree - 4

J. Work in par Create three slogans on ‘Saving Trees’
Answer:
Trees On !! Global Warming Gone !!
Don’t make Trees Rare, Protect them with Care !!
Plant a tree a day, Keep Erosion and Floods away.

Speaking

K. Deliver a short speech for about five minutes on the following.

Question 1.
Imagine what will happen if ail the trees in the earth disappear. Discuss with your friends and share it with your classmates.
Answer:
My dear friends,

I am Harsha from IX A. I am going to speak on what will happen if trees in the earth disappear.

Have you ever wondered what a world without trees would look like? Close your eyes, and try to imagine a desolate Earth.

There’d be no more paper, and everyone would have to resort to technological use—that is, if anyone was left. Trees are a crucial factor to our existence not only because they produce paper, lumber and chewing gum, but because they serve an important role in the carbon cycle. Life could not exist on Earth without trees because they produce most of the oxygen that humans and wildlife breathe.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen using the process of photosynthesis. There would also be no rain without trees since trees absorb water from the soil and release it through evapo-transpiration. Water vapour released through evapo-transpiration is the major mechanism by which air is remoistened.

Without trees, humans would not be able to survive because the air would be unsuitable for breathing. If anything, people would have to develop gas masks that filter the little oxygen that would be left in the air. Trees are a crucial part of the carbon cycle, a global process in which carbon dioxide constantly circulates through the atmosphere into organism and back again.

Carbon is the second most valuable element to life, after water. Anyway, trees take carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis in order to make energy. This carbon is then either transferred into oxygen and released into the air by respiration or is stored inside the trees until they decompose into the soil. Therefore, the absence of trees would result in significantly HIGHER amounts of carbon dioxide in the air and LOWER amounts of oxygen.

If the air hadn’t already wiped out everybody, the next disastrous consequence of deforestation is its damaging effect on soil. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. If deforestation gets its way, those people won’t be the only ones affected. The soil would become full of dangerous chemicals and pollutants that are usually filtered by trees. In addition, soil erosion is currently prevented by trees because they protect the land.

However, soil would be unprotected, and vulnerable to reduction in soil quality and top soil nutrients. Soil erosion would become more prevalent, and eventually all the soil will lose its arability and agriculture will fall…leaving us people to starve.

Arid conditions will surface not only because of dangerous unfiltered substances, but also because at one point it will rarely rain. Sounds crazy, right? During the ’ “dry season,” trees regulate and anchor the dirt by releasing water. Deforested areas, however, are liable to chronic droughts that obstruct river navigation, disrupt industrial operations and kill crop production. Storm water runoff (if it rains) not reduced, but increased which’ll contribute to small floods and topsoil erosion. Furthermore, trees add humidity into the air through transpiration—but the lack of trees results in the lack of moisture in the air.

Of course, if there aren’t trees, there won’t be any products you can get from them. We use waste paper every day without realizing we’re helping to kill four billion trees cut down every year. Due to global deforestation, there’d be no paper, baseball bats, barrels, books, guitars, furniture, etc.

Food harvested from trees like fruits, nuts, berries would be non-existent as well. Other causes of deforestation today include agricultural expansion, infrastructure expansion, conversion to cropland/pasture and the construction of roads. Moreover, countries are forced to increase the rate of forest loss by population pressures, profits, and internal social/ political influences.

‘ So, Let’s not dream of a earth without trees. It sounds terrific !!

Thank you.

Question 2.
Think of a situation where all the trees can speak. What will they talk about?
Answer:
If Trees Speak ?

J.C. Bose, the great Indian scientist, has proved that trees have life, as do the animals and humans. They feel and react but have no language or tongue to express their feelings. Only if they had the power of speech, they would express themselves in much the same way as we do.

Leaves would say how they hate winter that heralds their impending death. Tree trunks would boast to one another of their advanced age and experience. Fruits would tell stories about their childhood. Branches would talk about the visits they have had from their insect, bird and animal friends. The spring would have sweet songs of welcome from them.

The trees would also react to express their pain. They would say ‘ouch’, if the leaves on their branches were pricked. They would be found screaming with pain, if we were cruel enough to break their twigs or branches.

Their flowers would cry piteously, when they were plucked off, and so would every leaf on each tree, if smoke from a nearby chemical factory were to blow continuously across it.

There is no doubt that after being blessed with the power of speech, the trees would talk of the joys of summer and the thrill they feel as the cool breeze blows through them.

They would speak of the wonder of being alive and the multiple uses they provide to all living creatures, including men and women; birds and animals. They would be too copious to boast of their utility to living-beings.

But most of all, trees would complain about their bitter enemy, man. “Isn’t he involved in the countless murders of our kith and kin?” they would angrily complain. They would discuss disdainfully his thoughtlessness in cutting them down for more and more houses. They would never forgive him for refusing to treat them with due consideration and regard.

Even if trees cannot speak, their agony and bitterness has been forcefully expressed by a number of poets and environmentalists. Botanists too have repeatedly reminded us what the trees need and how great their usefulness is for us. It is for us to give them their due and by saving them save the very survival of the earth. If trees are gone, our Mother Planet would not have any trace of life, whatsoever.

Let us laugh together

Question.
How do trees access the internet?
Answer:
They simply log in.

Question.
What will the tree do, if the banks are closed?
Answer:
It will start its own Branch

Question.
What type of tree fits in your hand?
Answer:
A Palm tree.

On Killing a Tree Textual Activities

Warm up

Question 1.
What is a tree?
Answer:
A tree is a woody perennial plant, typically having a single stem or trunk growing to a considerable height, and bearing lateral branches at some distance from the ground.

Question 2.
Why trees are important for our survival?
Answer:
Trees give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. So they are important for our survival.

Question 3.
How long does it take a tree to grow to its full size?
Answer:
Trees take 20 to 30 years to grow to its full size.

Question 4.
How much time does it take to cut down a tree?
Answer:
A tree may take a couple of hours to be cut down.

On Killing a Tree About the Author

(born 18 August 1940) is an Indian poet, playwright, painter, as well as a practicing physician/doctor based in Mumbai. Patel belongs to a group of writers who have subscribed themselves to the ‘Green Movement’ which is involved in an effort to protect the environment. His poems speak of deep concerns for nature and expose man’s cruelty to it. Patel’s works include ‘Poems’ (1966), How Do You Withstand Body (1976) and Mirrored Mirroring (1991). He has also written three plays titled Princes, Savaska, and Mr Behram.

Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree - 5

On Killing a Tree Summary

“On Killing a Tree” written by Gieve Patel literally describes the difficulty of cutting down a tree. On another level, the poet writes about nature and the sturdiness and longevity of the tree. Only man would want to fell the tree.

The third person narration describes the tree graphically comparing the bark to a leper’s skin and sores. Because it has lived for so long, the tree has deep roots which enable it to recoup from attacks by the axe. The attitude of the poet seems neutral, but on closer examination of his vocabulary choice, he casts a sardonic look on the cutting down of an important part of nature.

The tree has grown slowly consuming the earth, rising out of it, feeding upon its crust, absorbing Years of sunlight, air, water. When the tree is small, it takes only a little area to live. After time passes, the tree takes more room through its feeding from the earth, the sun, the oxygen, and water. To the environmentalist, the man who cuts the tree hacks at and chops it, irritating the tree on the surface; however, this will not bring down the tree. The watcher feels the pain of the tree as the bark gives off the sap which produces little trees that will sprout if nothing stops their growth.

To kill the tree or anything else, the heart of the thing has to be destroyed. The root of the tree has to be cut away from the earth that holds it down. How is that done? With these harsh words to fit the task—roped, tied, pulled out, snapped out, and exposed—the white, sensitive roots that have been protected by the earth will die. Man extinguishes a tree that has taken hundreds of years to propagate and grow.

After the root is exposed to the elements, it will brown, harden, wither, and die. Then, the work is completed. Man has devastated another part of nature. Hopefully, one of the sprouts will keep its life and renew the cycle of the tree. Of course, that will take many years of care by nature to bring another of the great trees to its glory.

On a figurative level, the poem may also speak to the destruction of a man. It is not so easy to kill a human being. To kill a person, it is only through his heart (or root) that the deed can be done. When the heart stops, the man will die. A human being can recover from injuries: a cut, an amputation, a brain injury. It is the heart that provides the life blood to keep the man alive.

On Killing a Tree Main Character is :  A Tree

On Killing a Tree Poem Overview

Stanza 1.

Poem Line
It takes much time to kill a tree, Not a simple jab of the knife Will do it. It has grown Slowly consuming the earth, Rising out of it, feeding Upon its crust, absorbing Years of sunlight, air, water, And out of its leprous hide Sprouting leaves.

Explanation:
The stanza tells us that killing a tree is not easy. It is very time-consuming. A jab of a knife is not enough. A tree grows straight out the earth, nourishing itself on the nutrients found in the earth, along with years of sunlight, water, and air. And even though the bark looks irregular and scaly, leaves and branches sprout of it.
(‘leprous hide’- bark of the tree. Leprous because the surface of a bark is disfigured and irregular.
‘hide’ means skin. Here it means the bark of the tree.)

Stanza 2.

Poem Line
So /JOCA: and chop But this alone won’t do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal And from close to the ground Will rise curled green twigs, Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again To former size.

Explanation:
The hack of a knife or an axe, or chopping off a bough is not enough to bring a tree down. These jabs may inflict pain on the tree but the pain is not enough to kill it. The ‘bleeding bark’, the part where it has been wounded or where a bough is chopped off, will heal with time. New green twigs will grow again; boughs chopped off will be replaced by new boughs, which w’ill grow into their former size.
(‘hack and chop’- hacking or chopping means cutting off something, usually with a sharp instrument/weapon.) . ‘unchecked’- unwatched; unstopped; uncontrolled

Stanza 3.

Poem Line
No,
The root is to be pulled out –
One of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out – snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
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.

Explanation:
In this stanza, the poet explains how a tree could be killed. He says to kill a tree its root has to be pulled out. The root, which is the source of a tree’s life, must be pulled out of its cave, in order to mortally harm the tree. By ‘earthcave’ the poet means the point, deep inside the earth, where the root is attached. Once the center, the life source- the root is exposed, the tree becomes vulnerable. The source is described as white and wet, probably alluding to tree sap which is a white liquid.

‘earthcave’- the earthbed, underground, where the root was firmly attached
‘source, white and wet’- the root of the tree containing sap, which is a white liquid and is made up of all the important nutrients and chemicals necessary to sustain it.

Stanza 4.

Poem Line
Then the matter
‘Of scorching and choking In sun and air,
Browning, hardening, Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.

Explanation:
The exposed life source, which when left open to the sun and air, will be scorched due to the heat and the air won’t be able to reach the scorched places to relieve it of the heat. Slowly, it will start to become brown, with all the softness fading out leaving a hard, lifeless remainder behind. With time, it will start to wither, become dry and bent out of shape, leaving a corpse where a tree used to be. In short, the exposure will leave the root vulnerable to all vagaries of weather, which will ultimately weaken the tree and kill it.
‘scorching’- burning at a high intensity ‘withering’- waning; fading from life

On Killing a Tree Mind Map

Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree - 6

On Killing a Tree Glossary

Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions Poem Chapter 3 On Killing a Tree - 7

Tamilnadu Board Class 9 English Solutions