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NCERT Textbook: Poem - On Killing a Tree Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

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 Page 1


You must have observed people cutting down trees. But can
they kill a tree? Is it easy to do so? Let’s read the poem and
find out what the poet says on killing a tree.
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.
So hack and chop
But this alone wont 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.
No,
The root is to be pulled out —
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out — snapped out
On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a Tree ree ree ree ree
2020-21
Page 2


You must have observed people cutting down trees. But can
they kill a tree? Is it easy to do so? Let’s read the poem and
find out what the poet says on killing a tree.
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.
So hack and chop
But this alone wont 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.
No,
The root is to be pulled out —
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out — snapped out
On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a Tree ree ree ree ree
2020-21
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.
Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.
GIEVE PATEL
GLOSSARY
jab: sudden rough blow
leprous hide: discoloured bark
hack: cut roughly by striking heavy blows
anchoring earth: Trees are held securely with the help of the roots in the earth.
snapped out: chopped out
scorching and choking: the drying up of the tree after being uprooted
Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem
I. 1.Can a “simple jab of the knife” kill a tree? Why not?
2. How has the tree grown to its full size? List the words suggestive of its life
and activity.
3. What is the meaning of “bleeding bark”? What makes it bleed?
4. The poet says “No” in the beginning of the third stanza. What does he mean
by this?
5. What is the meaning of “anchoring earth” and “earth cave”?
6. What does he mean by “the strength of the tree exposed”?
7. What finally kills the tree?
On Killing a Tree / 111
2020-21
Page 3


You must have observed people cutting down trees. But can
they kill a tree? Is it easy to do so? Let’s read the poem and
find out what the poet says on killing a tree.
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.
So hack and chop
But this alone wont 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.
No,
The root is to be pulled out —
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out — snapped out
On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a T On Killing a Tree ree ree ree ree
2020-21
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.
Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.
GIEVE PATEL
GLOSSARY
jab: sudden rough blow
leprous hide: discoloured bark
hack: cut roughly by striking heavy blows
anchoring earth: Trees are held securely with the help of the roots in the earth.
snapped out: chopped out
scorching and choking: the drying up of the tree after being uprooted
Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem Thinking about the Poem
I. 1.Can a “simple jab of the knife” kill a tree? Why not?
2. How has the tree grown to its full size? List the words suggestive of its life
and activity.
3. What is the meaning of “bleeding bark”? What makes it bleed?
4. The poet says “No” in the beginning of the third stanza. What does he mean
by this?
5. What is the meaning of “anchoring earth” and “earth cave”?
6. What does he mean by “the strength of the tree exposed”?
7. What finally kills the tree?
On Killing a Tree / 111
2020-21
112 / Beehive
Read and Enjoy Read and Enjoy Read and Enjoy Read and Enjoy Read and Enjoy
T T T T Trees rees rees rees rees
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
JOYCE KILMER
When eating fruit, think of the person who
planted the tree.
VOLTAIRE
2020-21
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