The Heart of the Tree by Henry Bunner
I. What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants a home to heaven anigh;
Qs1. Who is the poet asking question in the first line of the extract? List any two things, according to the extract, that man will do by planting trees.
Ans. In the first line of the extract the poet asks a question in general, “What does he plant who plants a tree”?
According to the extract the man will plant a friend of sky and heaven by planting trees. He will also enhance the beauty of nature by planting trees.
Qs. 2. Give the meaning of the following lines:
He planta a friend of sun and sky;
He plants a home to heaven anigh;
Ans. The poet suggests the tree to be a friend of the sun and the sky. The transpiration from trees is responsible for cloud formation in the sky before it rains. The tree like a flag flutter freely in the breeze and provide soothing cool breeze for us. The tree grows high and looks like a beautiful tower. It appears that the tree has made a home closer to heaven.
Qs. 3. In what way are the trees friends of sun and sky? How can a man plant the flag of breezes free?
Ans. The poet suggests the tree to be a friend of the sun and the sky. This is because the tree is dependent on sunlight to carry out the process of photosynthesis and make its food. The tree is also said to be the friend of the sky because it takes in carbon di oxide from the air and thus purifies the air. The transpiration from trees is responsible for cloud formation in the sky before it rains. The tree like flag flutters freely in the breeze and provide soothing cool breeze for us.
Qs. 4. What is meant by “the shaft of beauty”? What is compared to the shaft?
Ans. “The shaft of beauty” means the beam of beauty. A full grown tree is compared to the shaft. The tree grows high with its long narrow stem and looks like a beautiful tower.
Qs. 5. What is the impact of beginning the poem with a question? What is the figure of speech used here?
Ans. The poet begins the poem “The heart of the Tree” with the question, “What does he plant who plants a tree?” The same question is repeated at the beginning of each stanza. This is done intentionally to create curiosity or anxiety in the readers to know more about the poem.
The figure of speech used here is Hypophora or Antipophora. In this figure of speech, a question is asked and then immediately an answer is provided to the question.
II. For song and mother-croon of bird
These things he plants who plants a tree.
Qs.1. What is known as mother-croon of bird? Why is the song sung in a hushed voice?
Ans. The soft song of the mother bird that she sings to her young ones is known as mother-croon of bird.
Mother bird returns to her young ones in the nest in the evening when there is twilight in the sky after the sunset. The atmosphere looks very happy and the mother bird sings to her young chicks in a hushed voice as if she is singing a lullaby to them to make full asleep.
Qs. 2. What is twilight? Why is it a happy twilight?
Ans. The faint light seen in the sky after the sunset is called a twilight.
The twilight is said to be happy because the mother bird returns to her chicks and sings softly to them. It is like a happy family who live together in their sweet home (nest).
Qs. 3. What is meant by (a) treble (b) heaven’s harmony? What role does the treble play in heaven’s harmony?
Ans. The word ‘treble’ means a high tone in music. Here it refers to the chirping of birds.
The word harmony means combination of different musical notes to make a pleasant sound. And heaven’s harmony means heavenly song or heavenly music.
The treble or the chirping of birds in the evening sounds like heavenly music and makes the atmosphere happy.
Qs. 4. Give two examples of metonymy from the extract. How is it used in the context?
Ans. Metonymy is a figure of speech in which something associated in meaning of a thing or concept is substituted by the original thing or concept. Through out the poem, the poet has used a series of metonymic expressions. In this extract also we find two such examples of metonymy – mother-croon and treble.
Qs.5. Give four functions which a tree performs on this earth.
Ans. A tree cools the atmosphere and causes rainfall through transpiration.
Absorbs carbon di oxide and release life giving oxygen for us to inhale.
A tree provides shelter to many birds and animals.
A tree provides us with wood, leaves, roots, fruits or in other words supplies all required minerals and nutrients to maintain the eco-system on the earth.\
III. He plants cool shade and tender rain.
And seed and bud of days to be,
And years that fade and flush again,
He plants the forest’s heritage;
The harvest of a coming age;
The joy that unborn eyes shall see-
Q 1 – Enumerate any three benefits of plantingtrees as suggested by the poet in this extract. What do the plants do to providecool shade in a place?
Ans – In this extract the poet has suggested some benefits of planting trees. There such benefits suggested in this extract areas follows:
Firstly, plant in course of time will grow tall and provide cool shade and tenderrain.Secondly, it will bearseeds and buds forthe future progeny.Thirdly, these seeds will grow into newtrees and into a dense forest.The plants in course of time will grow talland with its spread-out branches and leaves will provide cool shade in a place.
Q 2 – The water evaporates, condenses and fallsas rain. What role do the trees play in theprocess of producing rain?
Ans. The trees help in bringing rain in an indirect way through the process calledtranspiration. Through transpiration, treesleave the extra water through the stomata on the leaf surfaces. The water evaporatesinto the air and adds to the moisture of theair. So, the air gets saturated faster and brings. During evaporation, trees lose water from the leaves. Thus, they add moisture in air and cause rain.
Q 3 – How do the last two lines of the extractexplain the process of regeneration? Howdoes the man plant the forest’s heritage?
Ans – The last two lines of the extract explainthe process of regeneration.
“The harvest of a coming age;
The joy that unborn eyes shall see___’’
The tree bearsseeds and buds. These seeds will grow into new trees and into a dense forest. Inthis way man plants the forest’s heritage.
Q 4 – How do the trees provide for the harvest of thefollowing years?
Ans – The trees bear seeds and buds. These seeds will grow into new trees and the process will go on for ever. In this way thetrees provide crops for the harvest of thefollowing years.
Q 5 – What do the expression, unborn eyes indicate? What will they see? Why will they rejoice?
Ans – The expression, unborn eyes indicate theupcoming generation, babies who are not born yet.They will see a land covered with beautiful dense forests.They will rejoice because they will reap all the benefits of the present generation.
IV. He plants, in sap and leaf and wood,
In love of home and loyalty
And far-cast thought of civic good-
His blessing on the neighbourhood,
Who in the hollow of His hand?
Holds all the growth of all our land-
A nation’s growth from sea to sea
Stirs in his heart who plants a tree.
Q 1. The poet says: “He plants, in sap and leaf and wood ”.Which figure of speech is use here? Explain its usage with two others examples from the poem.
Ans – The poet says: “He plants, in sap and leafand wood”. He uses Metonymy here. Two other such examples from the poem are: “He plants a friend of sun and sky;
He plants cool shade and tender rain”.
Q 2. What is meant by “far cast thought of civic good”? In what way is the planter’s work a blessing?State far whom it is a blessing.
Ans – The phrase “far cast thought of civic good” means foresees (far-cast) the well-being of the city or its citizens (civic good).The man who plants a tree shower hisblessing on the neighbourhood. He plantstrees, so that human beings can get food from the plants’ sap and leaves. Besides, he can get wood for his use. It is a blessing for the people of the Earth, especially for the future generation.
Q 3. Give the meaning of the following lines:Who in the hollow of His hand?Holds all the growth of all our land.
Ans – The seeds in the hollow of the hand signifies, the future progress of mankind. The man who holds the seeds in the hollow of his hand with the intention ofplanting those not only plants the seedsbut also plants the future progress of theupcoming generation. The poet is anxiousabout saving our earth from the curse of barrenness by planting trees.
Q 4. In what way a nation’s growth depends on planting trees?
Ans – The poem brings forward the poet’s concern about the future of the Earth. Itseems as if the poet could see the impending destruction and thus indirectlyappeals to the readers to plant trees, notonly for themselves but also for the futuregenerations. Without trees the world willbecome a deserted barren land. The entire animal race would face hunger. Thus, it is the tree which is responsiblefor the growth of mankind (nation’s growth).
Q 5. Comment of the appropriateness of the little of the poem “The Heart of the Tree”.
Ans – The heart is one of the most importantorgans in the entire human body. The humanheart pumps the blood, which carries all thevital materials and nutrients.Likewise, a tree has certain qualities,which are as essential as human heart, for survival. Trees absorbcarbon dioxide and give out life-giving oxygen for us to inhale;trees cause rainfall; Areessential for“the harvest of comingage”. Like human heart provides us with “sap and leaf and wood”, i.e., all the requiredminerals, nutrients and material things.According to the poet, the one who plantstrees, plants “seed and but of days to be”, i.e.,the tree, in itself can be compared to a heart.Heart maintains human life; so, does the treemaintain the plant and animal life in the universe. The heart here thus signifies the most important quality of the tree. It can be concludedthat the little is appropriate as the poem is abouttrees and their importance to our survival.