What do you notice about the beginning and the ending of the poem ?
The beginning and the ending of the poem present the same scene. The laburnum top is all silent and still at the beginning. Towards the end too, there is no movement in the tree.
What is the bird’s movement compared to? What is the basis for the comparison ?
The bird’s movement has been compared to that of a lizard. A lizard moves in a sleek manner. Its movement is alert and abrupt. The bird’s movement has been shown to be exactly the same.
Why is the image of the ‘engine’ evoked by the poet ?
The engine is a source of energy to run a machine. The goldfinch is also a source of energy for her family. She feeds her young ones to the fill. The poet has evoked the image of the engine to draw the comparison.
What do you like most about the poem ?
The poem creates a beautiful image of an autumn afternoon. As we read the poem, the whole picture comes alive before our mind. We see the laburnum top bathed in the bright yellow light of the sun. The different movements of the goldfinch have also been described in a pictorial manner. While we are reading the poem, we feel as if we are watching a movie.
What does the phrase ‘her barred face identity mask’ mean ?
The goldfinch's face is partially covered with the laburnum flowers hanging from its branches. It looks like a mask for her identity as she has become a part of the laburnum tree.