About the Poem :
This magnificent poem was written by the noted Poet Laureate Edward James Ted Hughes. The poem revolves round the hypocrisy of human beings who exploit Mother Nature for their own selfish gain and never try to repair her wounds.
Critical Analysis of the Poem
This poem is a warning to the mankind that if humans do not restraint their greed and continue to chop down trees and don’t plant trees back to fill up the absence then this will surely lead to the destruction of all the living creatures on earth. The poem focuses strongly on the need to protect our natural environment for the welfare of mankind before it is too late. it also preaches that humans and trees should thrive as a single family.
Questions & Answers
What does the poem describe ?
Answer: The poem describes the magical experience of a young child in an oakwood, and indicates that human beings and trees should drive as a single family.
What does the poet focus in the poem ?
Answer: The poet ( Ted Hughes ) focuses strongly on the need to protect our environment for the welfare of mankind.
Why did the narrator go to oakwood ?
Answer: The narrator went to the oakwood looking for a male deer.
What would happen if the speaker does not make a promise ?
Answer: The poet will die if he doesn’t make a promise.
What does the word ‘knobbly’ mean?
Answer: The word “knobbly” means unsteady.
When did the poet come twice awake? What did twice awake mean ?
Answer: When the old woman opened up her little bag the poet awoke twice. Twice awake means first a moral awakening, and then a transmission from ignorance to knowledge.
What was it that altered the poet ?
Answer: The dream of a true family in the oakwood altered the poet.
What is the significance of the title ?
Answer: The title signifies a relationship between trees and mankind as single family.
What does the word ‘family’ signify?
Answer:Here the word “family” signifies a bounding trees and human beings as a single family.
What would the narrator have to promise?
Or, What had the poet to swear?
Answer: The narrator have to promise (swear) that he would plant two trees against felling of an oak tree.
How was the walk of the poet described at the end of the poem ?
Answer: The walk of the poet was described as “the walk of human child”.
“The dream that altered me.” – who altered and how?
Answer: The narrator was altered by the dream.
The dream altered the narrator in a significant way that he has undergone a change and become an another self of trees. ( This mean has understood the importance of trees in human life . )
Why did the narrator consider “my heart was a tree” ?
Answer: The narrator considered “my heart was a tree” because he has undergone a change and become an another self of trees.
What was the secret in her little bag ?
Answer: The secret in her little bag was that trees are human’s true friend and family but people do not care for them.
What did the poet mean by ‘altered’ ?
Answer: By ‘altered’ the poet meant the changes happen in the mind of the narrator due to the experiences of a dream in oakwood. The dream that altered the child is a symbol of spiritual reawakening.
What does the poet mean by “where you’re born but never grew” ?
Here the poet means the physical growth of a person but the mental development is limited.