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MP Board Class 12th English A Voyage Solutions Chapter 5 Our Casuarina Tree
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Our Casuarina Tree Textbook Exercises
A. In the poem the word ‘lay’ is used in the sense of a ‘short narrative poem’. It is used in other contexts as verb and as noun. Given below are some words which in the poem are used in the sense given against them. Find their other uses:
rest — feel soothed
spring — grow
hail — welcome, greet
break on — strike, touch
trunk — body of a tree
consecrate — sanctify
- The other uses of the given words are as follows:
- Rest — remaining substance
- Hail — a shower of frozen rain
- Trunk — a big box
- Spring — a season
- Break on — to interrupt
- Consecrate — dedicate to the service of God.
B. Find the words for the following expressions in the poem:
1. Highest point of a tree, mountain, etc.
2. Associated with the place and circumstances of one’s place of birth.
3. A state of fainting or sub-consciousness.
4. Related to long and highest tradition in history.
5. A song or poem expressing grief over something sad.
6. A song sung at the burial of a dead person.
7. Time when it is growing dark.
8. A bodily state of hypnotism or magic-spell.
- native clime
- eerie speech
C. Match the words in column A with their meanings in column B.
‘A’ – ‘B’
(i) gallant – (a) top of a slope or hill
(ii) clusters – (b) splendour
(iii) casement – (c) young ones of animals and human beings
(iv) crest – (d) rounded pebbles on sea-shore
(v) offspring – (e) state of being quite forgotten
(vi) enmassed – (f) congealed
(vii) magnificence – (g) brave
(viii) shingle – (h) window
(ix) sublime – (i) shake involuntarily for fear or cold.
(X) tremble – (j) of the highest kind
(xi) oblivion – (k) bunches
(i) (g), (ii) (k),(iii) (h), (iv) (a),(v) (c),(vi) (f), (vii) (b),(viii) (d),(ix) (j),(x) (i),(xi) (e).
A. in the poem, there occur words or phrases that have a contextual meaning, other than their literal meaning. Far example the term ‘Oblivion s curse’ which in the present context means: ‘All things in the world are cursed to be forgotten with the passage of time, hut the memory of something may be eternalized in the works of art, like poetry sculpture, architecture, painting and music. Given below are some phrases from the poem. Explain in what sense they occur here:
Our Casuarina Tree Poem Questions Answers MP Board 12th English Question 1.
The giant wears the scarf.
The huge tree keeps up its glory and dignity.
Our Casuarina Tree Questions Answers MP Board 12th English Question 2.
The water-lilies spring, link snow enmassed.
The white coloured tiny lily flowers appear Like congealed snow.
Our Casuarina Tree Class 12 MP Board Question 3.
It signifies that the tree shares sad moments of the poetess and mourn along with her.
Our Casuarina Tree Summary In Hindi MP Board 12th English Question 4.
sea breaking on a shingle beach.
It signifies that the tree is also in deep grief over the sad demise of the poet’s brother.
Our Casuarina Tree Question And Answer MP Board 12th English Question 5.
earth lay tranced in adreamless swoon.
The earth is in a state of magic spell quite unaffected by the dreams of human beings.
Our Casuarina Tree Rhyme Scheme MP Board 12th English Question 6.
numbered with deathless trees.
The poetess wishes for the long life of the tree.
B. Answer the following questions in 60 words each:
How is the creeper climbing up the tree?
The poetess describes the trees in a very realistic manner. The creeper is compared with a python winding round and round, On its rugged trunk, there are deep sears up to the summit.
How does the giant-tree wear the scarf?
The giant-tree is standing in the house garden of the poetess. It stands like a giant. It grows very high up in the sky Its branches appear to be like scarfs at the top sitting in a gallant way. With its scarfs the poet means to say that it keeps up its dignity and high position because no other tree is as high as this one.
What does the poetess see when she opens her window in winter-morn?
The tree gives delight to the poetess in many ways. When she opens her window in the winter she finds a gray baboon sitting like a statue over the crest of the tree. It watches the sunrise. On its lower boughs the little creatures leap and play while the cuckoos sing a welcome note for the day. The day becomes joyous for her.
Who exhales a dirge-like murmur and for what reason?
The poetess personifies the big tree. She says that the tree was very much attached with the happenings in her family. When the poetess loses her brother and sister, she feels the tree is in a long mournful dirge-like murmur. The tree seems to share her sorrow.
Explain ‘Unknown, yet well known to the eye of faith’ with reference to the poem. (M.P. Board 2012)
Here the poetess says that it is quite unreal to see a tree mourning or weeping. No one has ever seen it crying or wailing, but she says that it is still well-known fact for one’s faith. If one can believe, one can feel it to be real.
How does the poetess propose to sanctify her association with the tree and why?
The poetess proposes to sanctify her association with the tree by composing songs in its honour. She wants to write sacred verses for it. The tree has become a very important part of her life. She feels herself closely associated and attached with the tree for it has been beloved to her brother and sister who are no more.
How does the poetess bless the tree?
The poetess feels sad when she thinks that the tree would die one day. It would be a great loss for her and also for a number of other creatures who were comforted under its shrfde. So, she makes a wish for its long life. She wishes that her verses may change the destiny of the tree, though she knows that it is a faint hope. No one can change the cycle of nature, still she hopes for the long life of the tree. She wants that tree’s memory should never fade.
C. Answer the following questions in about 75 words each:
How does the poetess compare the creeper to a huge python? What characteristic of the tree has been highlighted by it?
‘Our Casuarina Tree’ is a fine specimen of an ode in which the poetess highlights a tree and her emotional attachment with it. Humanising the tree, the poetess bestows all sorts of magnificence and grandeur to the tree. She compares it with a python-a big species of snake known for its huge size and dazzling spotted body. She says that the tree bears all similarities of the python. A creeper grows around its trunk, making deep scars over it and goes to its summit. It seems to be embracing the sky.
What does the poetess see when she opens her casement at dawn?
The poetess describes the tree very minutely. The tree is magnificent and gives comfort to a lot of living beings. The poetess whenever in the dawn opens her casement, she feels great delight to see the tree cool and restive. During winter, she usually finds a gray baboon sitting like a statue alone at the top of the tree. It watches the sunrise with great concentration. In the lower boughs, she finds little creatures leaping and playing while far and near the songs of the cuckoos make a welcome note for the rising day.
For what reasons is the Casuarina tree dear to the poetess? (M.P. Board 2011)
The Casuarina tree is dear to the poetess for many reasons. The first is its magnificence. It is tall and grand to look at. It is dazzling like a python. Its generosity is unique. It gives something to all-shade, cool breeze, and repose. One feels relaxed here.
The other reason that makes the tree dear to her is that the poetess has spent all her childhood under its shade. She has played there with her brother and sister who are no more alive. So, the tree is an integral part of her life for creating memories of her life. The tree reminds her of the happy time spent by her with her siblings.
How intense and heart-felt is the tree’s mourning for Abju and Aru?
The poetess has humanised the tree. She makes lamentation and it mourns the death of her brother and sister. The tree shares her lamentation with its dirge-like murmur which the poetess seems to hear. She also feels the tree waiting like sea breaking on a shingle- beach. Though such an outburst is quite unnatural but the poetess wants to highlight the human features of the tree which seem to be so connected with the human affection.
The last stanza expresses the affection and kinship of the poetess with the tree. How does she express it?
She is emotional in this stanza. The tree has great significance for the poetess. She says that it is more than her life itself. So, she bears all her high feeling of love, respect and importance. She dignifies it in all the possible ways, for it possesses many of her childhood memories. She used to play under its shade with her brother and sister who are no more alive. She, in the last stanza, reveals all her love and affection for the tree through her wishes for the long life of the tree. She wishes to immortalise the tree through her verses in which she would pen down her emotion.
What according to the poetess are the great curses of mortal existence?
Our Casuarina Tree is a poem which blends all aspects of human life. The poet has humanised the existence of the tree. She has made the tree feel the pains and sufferings also. Through the tree the poetess reveals the realities of human life. Human life feels delights but also suffers pains. ‘Human Curses’ can include fear, hope, death and time are the curses of a mortal existence. No one can escape them. Everyone who is born has to undergo many testing times and situations. Everyone is destined to die and perish. So, no one can be happy for the rest of his life. Any moment can bring pain. We must be ready to meet all these curses.
The theme of the poem is a sense of awe, respect, affection and personal affinity towards the Casuarina tree for the reason that beneath it she had played with her brother and sister who are no more in the world?’ Explain the theme of the poem in the light of the statement.
The theme of the poem ‘Our Casuarina Tree’ is an exposition of the poetess’s love, respect, affection, and personal affinity towards the tree. The reason behind it is that she has spent her childhood around the tree. She has played there with her brother and sister who are no more. She has grown under the tree. Many memories are attached with the tree. She has seen the tree sharing all the family situation. The tree is made to feel the loss of the brother and sister of the poetess. The poetess highlights the tree’s role in her life. She immortalises the tree through her verses. She also wishes for its long life and protection from oblivion’s curse.
Bring out the similes occurring in the poem. Explain them.
Our Casuarina Tree is- an ode. It abounds in the use of similies. The tree has been humanised. The poetess uses a number of live similes in the poem, some of them are given here:
- Like a huge python—highlights the hugeness and grandeur of the tree.
- Like snow enmassed—white lily flowers look like congealed snow.
- Like the sea breaking—the tree’s vastness and gravity compared with that of the sea.
How has the Casuarina tree been personified in the poem? (M.P. Board 2016)
‘Our Casuarina Tree’ is a poem written to express the feeling of the poetess. It is not
merely the description of a tree but it is a tribute to the tree. The poetess presonifies the tree. She bestows all human feelings to the tree. The generous attitude of the tree is great. The tree comforts all. It also shares the joys and sorrows of the human beings. The poetess feels the tree shedding tears and lamenting at the death of her brother and sister. The tree is also destined to die like human being. Thus, it has been personified. It is not – unaffected from human curses as well.
‘The poem is an Ode in form and elegy in spirit and tone.’ Explain with illustrations. Ans. ‘Our Casuarina Tree’ is a poem which highlights the tree’s contribution in the life of the poetess. It is an effort of the poetess to immortalise the tree through her verses. The tree is an inevitable part of her life. So, she is all respectful and highly dedicated to the tree which is more than her life. On the other hand, the poetess also remembers her brother and sister who died at a very early age. Here the poetess laments their death and also makes the tree feel and mourn it. She also talks about death, which is sure to come. Thus, this poem is an ode in form but an elegy in spirit.
D. Explain the following and add critical notes where necessary:
Like a huge python, winding round and round
The rugged trunk, indented deep with sears,
Up to its very summit near the stars,
A treeper climbs.
The given lines describes the big and mighty casuarina tree. This oak-like tree grew in the garden of the poetess. She mentions the might and grandeur of the tree. The ‘rugged trunk’ and ‘deep sears’ shows the life of the tree. The tree shares all the good childhood memories of the poetess. The creeper winding its trunk shows how easily the tree has accepted the creeper. The poetess through her mention ‘summit near the stars’ shows how worthy the tree is to her. The tree has reached the position of stars not only in height but also in worth.
O sweet companions, loved with love intense,
For your sakes shall the tree be ever dear,
Blent with your images, it shall arise
In memory, till the hot tears blind mine eyes!
In these lines, the poetess mentions the other great causes of why the tree is so close to her heart. She remembers her siblings, who are no more. She dedicate her love to the tree as the tree reminds her of happy bygone days that she spent with her brother and sister. The tree not only reminds her of her play-mates but also becomes the part of poetess in paying homage to them.
What is that dirge-like murmur that I hear
Like the sea breaking on a shingle-beach?
It is the tree’s lament, an eerie speech .
That haply to the unknown land may reach.
This stanza humanises the tree and the poetess takes the tree one step further in becoming the part of her family. The stanza focuses on the sorrow that has been fallen ort the poetess due to the death of her siblings, the tree itself jeels the sorrow and laments with a ‘dirge-like murmur’. The poetess makes the tree the medium to express her sadness for the departed souls in the unknown land. The tree .being the intricate part of the household shares the same emotions as that of poetess.
The poem ‘Our Casuarina Tree has an eleven line stanza form in imitation of the one used by John , Keats in ‘To Autumn’. Look at Keats’ ode in the textbook and discuss in groups:
How is the stanza form similar?
Our Casuarina Tree of Toru Dutt and Ode to Autumn by John Keats have 11 line stanzas with a slight difference.
How does the rhyming scheme of the poem differ from Keats’ Ode? Present your views in class after discussion.
The rhyme scheme of both the poems differs a bit. In ‘Our Casuarina Tree’ and Ode to Autumn’ the rhyme scheme is abba while it is abab in Keats’s.
In his short narrative poem, ‘Nutting’, Wordsworth records an experience of his childish act of disturbing the quiet life of a young tree by ‘dragging to earth both branch and bough’. When he turned round he felt a sense of pain’, when he beheld the mute tree. In this mood of thoughtful agony, he advises his sister, Dorothy:
”Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades
In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand
Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods”.
You also must have had an experience to realize that there is a life and spirit in the words.
Convey your impressions in a letter to your younger brother on the following points:
- Trees as best friends and companions to man.
- Trees share our pains and joys and give comfort.
- Aged trees look like our teachers and guides.
- We can learn charity and benevolence from trees.
- You have felt the presence of a Supreme Power in and around trees.
- How can we be intimate with them?
- Our duty towards them—to be kind, compassionate, respectful and affectionate as we are to our kith and kin.
Laxmibai Enclave Gwalior
My Dear Anu
Today is ‘Environment Day’. I would like to draw your attention to some of my feelings. You know trees are our best friends. They have emotions too. They protect us from many dangers. They help us in many ways. They support our life. They keep air cool.
They save us from flood. They help our land in growing more crops. We learn many lessons of our life from trees. Trees are the most generous creations of God. They give us shade, fruits, flowers, medicines, leaves, wood, and many more that are of great value for us. They do not take anything in return from us. I feel we, also have some duties towards them. We must protect them. We must plant more and more trees. We must be active to make efforts for their safety. I hope you will understand my feelings and will also do your best for saving the trees.
B. Discuss and analyze the poem ‘Our Casuarina Tree’ among your classmates and record conclusions in notes-form on the following points:
Whether the poem is an ode or an elegy or a blend of both? How?
The poem is an ode with a touch of elegiac note. The poetess has a very high opinion about the tree. She describes it with all her noble feelings. She bestows all honour and dignity to the tree. The stanza form is regular with a rhyme scheme abba. But the humanization of the tree which laments and share sorrow gives elegy tone.
What human feelings are depicted in the poem?
A feeling of close association with someone very near and dear has been depicted in the poem and forms the central idea.
How has the poetess humanised the Casuarina tree?
The poetess humanises the Casuarina tree by showing it in mourning. When the poetess lost her brother and sister, when they were quite at their early age, the poetess says that she heard dirge-like mourning from the tree.
The poem abounds in charming pictorial quality which beautifies the poem. In the very first stanza, the image of python and the growth of creeper attract one to its beauty. The scene in winter also delights us. In each stanza, we have such images which heighten the quality of poem which adds more emotion to the poem.
How does the poetess blend imagery from eastern and western contexts? Take the help of the information given below:
|An ode is an address to some noble thoughts or ideas or abstraction or deity. It is lyrical and dignified in form and exalted in thought. The stanza form is, generally, regular. Langauge and style are refined.||An elegy is a song of mourning on the death of some relative, friend or benefactor. There is in it scope for philosophical speculations on death and immortality. Dominant emotion is grief.|
The poetess blends the imagery from eastern and western context beautifully. The tree gives delight in both the contexts. While describing the Casuarina tree, the poetess has in her mind the banyan tree which grew in her house garden in Bengal.
Think It Over
After the study of the poem ‘Our Casuarina Tree’ the following points emerge for our consideration:
- Trees have life. They have birth, growth and death as we have.
- They have sensations and feelings. They also have pain and pleasures as we have.
- They are our friends. They laugh, weep and sympathise with us. They give us shelter, fresh
- Air, dry wood, food, oil and medicines. They bring rain and increase the lertility of our fields.
- Since ages, they have been a source of aesthetic and spiritual joy to men, and so have been adored as dwellings of gods. The relation between trees and men is reciprocal. Now think over your duties towards trees’ and share your views with your classmates.
As trees are an integral part of our life, we have a lot in our store to do for them, We should plant more and more trees. We should protect them from cutting for commercial purposes. We should explore new avenues for the growth of trees.
Things to Do
Indo-Anglian literature (popularly known as Indian Writing in English) is the name given to the literature composed in English by Indian writers. The first Indian writers in English were Kashi Prasad Ghose (1809-1873) and Michael Madhusudan Dutta (1827-1873). Since then hundreds of writers have contributed to the enrichment of this branch of literature. Given below are some well-known men of letters, who wrote in English and received universal recognition. Their important prose or poetic works are also given against them.
1. Toru Dutt — A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields
2. Rabindranath Tagore – Gitanjali, for which he was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913
3. Sri Aurobindo – The Life Divine
4. Sarojini Naidu –
- The Golden Threshold
- The Bird of Time
- The Broken Wing (all collections of poems)
5. Mahatma Gandhi – The Story of My Experiments with Truth
6. Jawaharlal Nehru – The Discovery of India
7. Mulk Raj Anand – Untouchable (novel), Coolie (novel)
8. R.K. Narayan –
- Swami and Friends
- The Guide
- Malgudi Days
9. Anita Desai — Voices in the City
10. Khushwant Singh — Train to Pakistan
11. Nirad C. Chaudhan — APassagetoEngland
12. Nissim Ezekiel — A Time to Change
13. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan — Indian Philosophy
Read some of these works to enrich your vision.
Our Casuarina Tree by Toru Dutt Introduction
The poem is anode with a touch of elegiac node. The process humanises the Casuarine tress. She very high opinion for the tree. She describes it with all her noble feelings. She stows all honour and digity to the tree.
Our Casuarina Tree Summary in English
This poem is a description of a Casuarina tree. Here, Casuarina tree is used for a big banyan tree which grew in the house garden of the poet. The creeper grew like a huge python winding round and round the tree. The tree grew very high. No other tree could grow near it. The birds and bees overflew around it with their sweet songs. Men used to repose under its shade. The poet was also delighted to rest here.
It looked very attractive during winter. The cuckoos used to hail the day from its boughs. It was very beautiful and vast. Its magnificence laid in the fact that the poet had several memories of her childhood under the tree. The memory of her dear one is also attached with it. It recalled the death of her brother and sister who died prematurely. The tree had shared all her mourning.
The tree has a classical value. At all times, one feels a trance like situation to her. The poet has hopour and love for the tree and it is for her dearer than life. She feels sad at the thought that the tree may perish one day. She wishes if she could save it. But no one can do it because it is a natural process and the tree will meet its end one day. Nothing is immortal-neither men nor trees. But still the poetess wishes that the tree will overcome all the curse of natural life and be always protected because of poetess’ love. The tree will remain alive in her poem.
Our Casuarina Tree Summary in Hindi
यह कविता एक कैसूरिना पेड़ का वर्णन है। यहाँ कैसूरिना वृक्ष एक विशाल बरगद के बारे में कहा गया है जो कवयित्री के घरेलू बगीचे में उग आया था। इसके साथ लगा हुआ आरोही पौधा एक विशाल अजगर की तरह गोल-गोल घूमते हुए बढ़ा। यह पेड़ काफी बड़ा हो गया। दूसरा कोई पेड़ इसके आसपास नहीं उग सका । पक्षी एवं मधुमक्खियाँ इसके ऊपर मंडराते थे और अपने मधुर गीत गाते थे। लोग इसके नीचे छाया में आराम करते थे। कवयित्री भी यहाँ आराम करके आनन्द महसूस करती थी।
यह जाड़े के दिनों में काफ़ी आकर्षक लगता था। कोयल इसके झुरमुट से दिन का स्वागत करती। यह काफ़ी सुन्दर और विशाल था। इसका सौन्दर्य इस तथ्य में भी था कि कवयित्री के बचपन की बहुत-सी यादें इसके साथ जुड़ी थीं। उसके प्रिय की याद भी इसके साथ जुड़ी थी। यह उसके भाई और बहन के असामयिक मृत्यु की ओर इशारा करती है। पेड़ ने भी उनके दुखों को भोगा था।
इसका पौराणिक महत्त्व भी है। हर बार लोग यहाँ योगमुद्रा को महसूस करते हैं। कवयित्री इसके प्रति इज्ज़त और प्यार की भावना रखती है और यह उसके लिए जीवन से भी अधिक प्रिय है। उसे इस सोच से दुख होता है कि एक दिन यह पेड़ समाप्त हो जाएगा। वह कामना करती है कि वह इसे बचा सके। लेकिन कोई भी इसे बचा नहीं सकता क्योंकि यह एक प्राकृतिक प्रक्रिया है और पेड़ का एक दिन अन्त होना ही है। कुछ भी अमर नहीं है-न मनुष्य न पेड़। परन्तु कवयित्री यह कामना करती है कि यह पेड़ हर तरह के शाप से बचा रहेगा और कवयित्री के असीमित प्यार से और उसकी कविता में हमेशा के लिए अमर हो जाएगा।
Our Casuarina Tree Word Meanings
Our Casuarina Tree Important Pronunciations
Our Casuarina Tree Stanzas for Comprehension
Read the following stanzas carefully and answer the questions that follow them:
1. But gallantly
The giant wears the scarf and flowers are hung
In crimson clusters all the boughs among.
Whereon all day are gathered bird and bee;
And oft at nights the garden over flows
With one sweet song that seems to have no close,
Sung darkling from our tree, while men repose. (Page 30)
(i) Who does the ‘giant’ refer to?
(ii) In ………….. are gathered birds and bee.
(iii) What overflows the garden in nights?
(iv) Find a word which means the same as ‘collected’.
(i) Casuarina tree is referred as the ‘giant’.
(ii) Crimson clusters.
(iii) The sweet songs of the birds and bees overflow the garden at nights.
(iv) Gathered means the same as collected.
2. But not because of its magnificence
Dear is the Casuarina to my soul;
Beneath it we have played; though years may roll,
O sweet companions, loved with love intense.
For your sakes, shall the tree be ever dear.
Blent with your images, it shall arise
In memory, till the hot tears blind mine eyes! (Page 31)
(i) Why is the Casuarina tree dear to the poetess?
(ii) What did the poetess do under the tree?
(iii) Which memory is attached with the tree?
(iv) Find a word similar in meaning to ‘friends’.
(i) Casuarina tree is very dear to the poetess because it is magnificent and is attached
with her childhood memories.
(ii) She played with her brother and sister under the tree.
(iii) The memory of her lost brother and sister is attached with the tree.
(iv) ‘Companions’ is similar in meaning to ‘friends’.
3. Therefore, I fain would consecrate a lay
Unto thy honour, Tree, beloved of those
Who now in blessed sleep for aye repose
Dearer than life to me, alas, were they! (Page 32)
(i) What is beloved to the poetess?
(ii) What is dearer than life to the poetess?
(iii) What does the poetess want to do? Why?
(iv) Find a word from the stanza opposite in meaning to ‘dishonour’.
(i) Casuarina tree is beloved to the poetess.
(ii) The brother and sister of the poetess are dearer than life to the poetess.
(iii) The poetess wants to write verses to immortalise the tree as her tribute to it and also pay homage and love to her dead siblings.
(iv) ‘Honour’ has opposite meaning to dishonour.
4. Mayst thou be numbered when my days are
done With deathless trees-like those in Borrowdale,
Under whose awful branches lingered pale
“Fear, trembling Hope, arid Death, the skeleton,
And Time the shadow” and though weak the verse
That would thy beauty fain, oh, fain rehearse,
May Love defend tree from Oblivion’s curse. (Page 32)
(i) worries the poetess.
(ii) What are ‘human curses’?
(iii) What does the poetess wish?
(iv) Give a word opposite in meaning to ‘stable’.
(i) Oblivion’s curse.
(ii) ‘Human Curses’ can include fear, hope, death and time.
(iii) The poetess wishes for the long life of the tree and tree becomes immortal like those in Borrowdale and her verse and love will always protect the tree from the curse.
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