Give Patel is not only a poet but also a painter and an environmentalist. He was born in a well-educated family. His father is a dentist and he is a general practitioner having completed his medical degree from Great Medical College, Mumbai. He has various poetical work and has conducted poetic workshops in the different educational institution. His poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ speaks about deep concerns about nature and man’s evil habits of cutting trees for selfish motives. 

Give Patel

The poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ is like an instruction manual for killing a tree. It tells the reader that trees are living beings. They are not cut but killed properly by uprooting the roots that are inserted deeply in the soil. Through the poem, the poet teaches us many lessons. Firstly, the poem illustrates the courage and strength of trees, through which it teaches us to be strong and determined. Then, it points out that evils are just like roots. They are deeply rooted within us and even if we feel we have vanquished them, it suddenly appears. Therefore, to kill an evil we must put in our best efforts and uproot it. Thirdly, it teaches us that we must bring all our work to a proper end. Lastly, it requests us not to cut trees that sustain our lives. 

On killing a tree
On killing a tree 2

It takes much time to kill a tree,

Not a simple jab of the knife

Will do it. It has grown

Slowly consuming the earth,

Rising out of it, feeding

Upon its crust, absorbing

Years of sunlight, air, water,

And out of its leprous hide

Sprouting leaves.

So hack and chop

But this alone wont do it.

Not so much pain will do it.

The bleeding bark will heal

And from close to the ground

Will rise curled green twigs,

Miniature boughs

Which if unchecked will expand again

To former size.

No, The root is to be pulled out —

Out of the anchoring earth;

It is to be roped, tied,

And pulled out — snapped out

Or pulled out entirely,

Out from the earth-cave,

And the strength of the tree exposed

The source, white and wet,

The most sensitive, hidden

For years inside the earth.

Then the matter

Of scorching and choking

In sun and air,

Browning, hardening,

Twisting, withering,

And then it is done.

On killing a tree 3
NCERT Poems

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