Cat the poem ‘The Trees’ written by Adrienne Rich, is a poem about decorative plants. These plants are grown in houses in small pots and pans. They are not useful for birds and insects. Birds can’t sit on the branches. Insects can’t hide in them. They don’t give any shade. Their twigs are stiff. Their boughs are like a newly discharged patient. They are devoid of light. Their leaves rush towards the glass window for light because they feel suffocated in their small pots and pans. The poetess is sitting inside her room. She is writing long letters. It is night time. She feels the smell of leaves and lichen reaching inside her room. The poetess longs that these trees should strive to get light and air.
DETAILED SUMMARY (2)
1. Trees Moving Out: The trees inside are coming out. They are coming out of those artificial glasshouses where humans have so far confined them. The trees are freeing themselves from human bondage. They are moving out into the forest. The forest has been and will ever be, the natural habitat of trees. `The trees’ are metaphors for nature itself.
2. Empty Forests: Human civilization and progress have led to the cutting of trees on a large scale. Without trees, forests have become empty. There are no trees left now where birds can perch themselves on their tops. Even Insects have lost the places where they could hide inside them. There are no trees left in the forest where the red hot sun could find some cooling by burying itself in their shadows. However, the poetess is hopeful. The forest which remained ’empty all these nights’ will be full of trees.
3. Roots Work All Night to Free Themselves: The roots continue struggling all night. They want to free themselves. They try to come out from the cracks in the veranda floor. The leaves strain themselves moving towards the glass. Small twigs have become tough and hard. The long-cramped and crushed branches move repeatedly from one position to the other under the roof. These moving branches look like the patients who run out of the hospital in a hurry. Almost half-dazed, they move to the doors of the hospital to escape from it.
4. Poetess Sitting Inside: The poetess is sitting inside. Doors open to the veranda. She is writing long letters. But in those letters, she is not describing how trees are struggling to come out of their artificial habitat. They are going to their real and natural habitat. The trees are moving towards the forest. It is their real habitat. The night is fresh. The full moon is shining brightly in the sky. The smell of leaves and lichen is spreading out into the rooms. It comes inside like a voice from outside.
5. Head Full of Whispers: The poetess is sitting inside. The struggle of the roots, leaves and branches to free themselves from their artificial habitat continues. Her head is full of whispers. These are whispers of the struggling trees. Then, she asks us to listen to those struggling sounds. We will notice that the struggling trees have come out breaking the glasshouse. They are still stumbling but marching forward victoriously towards the forest. Winds rush forward to welcome the victorious trees. The trees have grown up to such dimensions that have even covered the full moon. Covered by the leaves and branches of the trees, the full moon looks like a broken mirror into many pieces. These broken pieces of the moon can be seen through the holes of the tallest oak at the top.
Main Points of the Poem
|1. What are some examples of trees?|
|2. How do trees help the environment?|
|3. What is the importance of trees in our daily lives?|
|4. How do trees contribute to the economy?|
|5. How can we take care of trees?|