NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English The Trees Poem

NCERT Solutions for CBSE Class 10 English Poem The Trees are provided here. This poem is written by Adrienne Rich and includes many questions that are important for exams. We have solved all the NCERT questions of the lesson with a detailed explanation that help students to complete their assignments & homework. We have provided NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Poem The Trees in PDF format so that you can download them for offline use.

Class 10 English Poem The Trees NCERT Questions and Answers

Thinking about the Poem

Question 1. (i) Find, in the first stanza, three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest.

(ii) What picture do these words create in your mind: “… sun bury its feet in shadow…”? What could the poet mean by the sun’s ‘feet’?

Answer: (i) The three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest are listed below:

  1. the sitting of a bird on trees,
  2. the hiding of insects on the trees,
  3. the sun burying its feet in the shadow of the forest.

(ii) The sun’s ‘feet’ refers to the rays of the sun that fall on the earth. When there is no shadow on the ground, because there are no trees, the rays fall directly on the ground. In a forest with trees, the shadow hides the sun rays and it seems that the sun is burying its feet in the shadow that fall from the trees.

Question 2. (i) Where are the trees in the poem? What do their roots, their leaves, and their twigs do?
(ii) What does the poet compare their branches to?

Answer: (i) In the poem, the trees are confined within the limits of the poet’s house. Their roots work all night to separate themselves from the cracks in the veranda floor. The leaves make attempts to move towards the glass and exert pressure to break it, while the small twigs get stiff and tight with exertion.

(ii) The poet compares the branches to newly discharged patients of a hospital. The large branches of the trees become cramped due to the roof above them, and when they get free they rush stumblingly to the outside world. While doing so, they look half-shocked like the patients, who wait for a long time to get out of the hospital.

Question 3. (i) How does the poet describe the moon: (a) at the beginning of the third stanza, and (b) at its end? What causes this change?

(ii) What happens to the house when the trees move out of it?

(iii) Why do you think the poet does not mention “the departure of the forest from the house” in her letters? (Could it be that we are often silent about important happenings that are so unexpected that they embarrass us? Think about this again when you answer the next set of questions.)

Answer: (i) At the beginning of the third stanza, the poet says that the full moon is shining in the open sky in the fresh night. At the end of the stanza, she describes that the moon breaks into pieces like a broken mirror and shines on the heads of the tallest oak trees. As the trees move outside, they cover some of the shine of the moon and it can be seen only in parts. This is why, it seems that the moon has broken into pieces.

(ii) When the trees move out of the house, the glasses break and the smell of leaves and lichen still reach the rooms of the house like a voice.

(iii) The poet hardly mentions about “the departure of the forest from the house” in her letters because it is humans, who did not care for nature in the first place. So, maybe, the poet now thinks that nobody would be interested in knowing about the efforts that the trees are making in order to set themselves free. If other men cared about the trees, they would not have destroyed them. It seems that this whole beauty of trees moving back to forests can be seen and felt only by the poet.

Question 4. Now that you have read the poem in detail, we can begin to ask what the poem might mean. Here are two suggestions. Can you think of others?

(i) Does the poem present a conflict between man and nature? Compare it with A Tiger in the Zoo. Is the poet suggesting that plants and trees, used for ‘interior decoration’ in cities while forests are cut down, are ‘imprisoned1, and need to ‘break out’?

(ii) On the other hand, Adrienne Rich has been known to use trees as a metaphor for human beings: this is a recurrent image in her poetry. What new meanings emerge from the poem if you take its trees to be symbolic of this particular meaning?

Answer: Since a poem can have different meaning for different readers and the poet can mean two different things using the same imagery, both these meanings can be justified in . context of the poem:

(i)  Yes, the poem presents a conflict between man and nature. While nature is more free and unbounded, man prefers to live in bounded spaces and also wants to curb nature. He uses plants for interior decoration of houses, cuts trees to make a house for himself, kills animals for food or other purposes and cages them in zoos. In all these ways, man curbs nature and denies plants and animals the freedom in which they should live. The poem shows that trees and plants are rebelling against man as they strive to work their way out into the open. For instance, in the poem A Tiger in the Zoo, the poet presents the fact that animals feel bounded by cages. They can only take a few steps inside the cage, whereas they really want to run and leap into the open. This signifies the fact that plants and animals feel caged by humans and want to break out from the imprisonment at the hands of humans.

(ii) If trees are symbolic of human beings, then it could be said that humans too want to break away from the shackles of the busy and selfish lives they lead. They also want to go out into the nature and be free. They work all day and sometimes all night to try and achieve something though they do not have the time to enjoy it. They keep striving hard in their routines as they feel cramped under the roofs of their homes and offices. Even they want to break free and go out into the peaceful nature.