NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Poem 8 - The Trees

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“The Trees” is a poem written by Adrienne Rich wherein she expresses her thoughts about trees. She tells everyone that human beings have cut down the forest to fulfill their needs. Trees are meant to live in the forest and not inside the four walls of the house. So, she wants everyone to follow the rules of nature and let plants and trees live in their natural habitat.

Question 1:

Find in the first stanza three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest.


There can be no birds, insects or sun’s shadows in a treeless forest.

Question 2:

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’ ?


These words create the picture of a hot burning sand in desert. By ‘sun’s feet’, the poet perhaps means the hot and tired feet of a worker who has to toil all day long.

Question 3:

Where are the trees in the poem ? What do their roots and their leaves, and their twigs do ?


The trees are in the house. Their roots try to disengage themselves from the cracks in the veranda floor. Their leaves strain towards the glass. Their twigs have become stiff with exertion.

Question 4:

What does the poet compare their branches to ?


The poet compares their branches to newly discharged patients from a clinic.

Question 5:

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


It is a full moon in the beginning, but in the end it looks broken like a mirror. It is because the moon has gone behind the crown of the tallest oak.

Question 6:

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


The glass of the window breaks and winds rush to greet the trees.

Question 7:

Why do you think the poet does not mention ‘the departure of the forest from the house’ in her letters ?


The poet doesn’t mention the departure of trees as she feels that humans beings would not be interested to know the struggle of the trees to gain independence. They don’t want to accept the fact that they are causing trouble to the trees.