NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Poem Chapter 8 The Trees

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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Poem Chapter 8 The Trees


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Can there be a forest without trees ? Where are the trees in this poem, and where do they go ?

There can’t be a forest without trees because trees are actually the forest itself. The trees in the poem are merely decorative plants and bushes. These are grown in the houses for decoration and beautification. They grow in small pots and pans. These are kept in verandas or drawing rooms as decoration pieces only.

Thinking About the Poem

Question 1. Find, in the first stanza, three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest.
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’ ?


(a) Trees can’t move out into the forest (b) no birds can sit on them (c) no insects can hide in them.
The picture is that of the sun. It is burying itself in the shadow. This is caused by the clouds. By the sun’s ‘feet’ the poet means the edge.

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


The trees in the poem are in the pots and pans. Their roots spread to free themselves from the cracks in the veranda door. Their leaves go toward the glass. Small twigs stiffen the long-cramped boughs.
The poet compares their branches to the newly discharged patients. Those patients are going towards the clinic doors. They have been discharged.

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 ? (V. Imp.)
(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.)


(i) (i) The whole moon shines in the open sky. ,(ii) In the end it is broken like a mirror. The growth of trees in the pots and pans causes this.
(ii) The house undergoes a change. Its glass is broken. The smell of leaves is felt inside the rdoms. Winds rush inside the house.
(iii) The poet deliberately does not mention this because it is like the unexpected happening. It is common and is known to all.

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 ‘imprisoned’, 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 ?


(i) The poem does present a conflict between man and nature. In fact, man has harmed nature much. He has cut forests and killed wild animals. He keeps wild animals in zoos as given in ‘A Tiger in the Zoo’. Yes, the plants and trees are really imprisoned. We must grow them naturally, not inside the houses.

(ii) The new meanings are : men will multiply. They grow like the trees. These are kept in pots in houses. These trees break the house. So the human beings shall disturb the ecological balance of nature. At present this is the situation. Environmental pollution is its effect, Human survival is threatened. Global warming is there. Soon it will threaten human and other life. The danger, therefore, is real.

Question 5. You may read the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ by Gieve Patel (Beehive—Textbook in English for Class IX, NCERT). Compare and contrast it with the poem you have just read.

‘The Trees’ deals with ‘trees’ that are nowhere in a physical sense. They exist only in a picture. ‘On Killing a Tree’ deals with the subject of how to kill a tree. Both the poems narrate a world which is connected with trees. In ‘On Killing a Tree’, the poet satirizes man’s action in killing a tree. He says that man should ‘kill’ a tree ‘totally’. The tree will grow again if it is partially ‘injured’. In ‘The Trees’, the poet satirizes the ‘world’ that is without the trees. It hides the fact that man has ‘killed’ all the trees. So both the poems underline man’s attitude towards trees and nature. They also satirize it.

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