The Heart of The Tree Summary and Important Questions

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Students can refer to the Heart of the Tree Summary Treasure Trove ICSE Class 10 which has been prepared for ICSE Class 10 English Students based on the latest syllabus and examination guidelines issued by ICSE. Students are requested to read and download these study notes for each chapter and topic and use them for understanding each important topic and also practice questions to get better marks in exams. You can also refer to the ICSE Class 10 Engish book for more details and after going through the summary trying solving ICSE Class 10 English Sample Papers

ICSE Class 10 The Heart of The Tree Summary

Students should refer to the summary provided below for The Heart of The Tree, this is an important chapter in ICSE Class 10 English book. You can refer to all Treasure Trove Poem Summary provided on our website. These have been prepared based on the latest books and syllabus issued by ICSE.

Heart of the Tree Summary Treasure Trove and Questions

The Poet…
Henry Cuyler Bunner was born on August 3, 1855 in New York and was educated in New York City. After working for some time as a clerk in an importing house, he turned to Journalism. In 1877, he became an assistant editor of the comic Weekly Puck, and soon assumed it’s editorship.

At that time Puck was struggling for his survival but Bunner’s perseverance and literary skills developed it into a powerful and social media.

Although Bunner started his career as a prose writer, but basically, he was a poet. His verse shows a mastery of the form. His published works include: A woman of honour (1883), Airs from Arcady (1884), The Midge (1886) and In Partnership(1889). As a playwright, he is mainly known for Tower of Babel.

The work upon which his fame mainly rests was all produced within a period of less than 15 years as he died at the early age of 41, in 1896.

The Poem…
The poet explains the importance of planting a tree and explains the fact that planting a tree has ecological, social and economic advantages. It is surprising that the poet in his young age could see the importance of trees what the world could understand after the hundred years and awaken to destruction gradually brought by deforestation. The poem gives the message that trees are not important only for the present but the future of Earth depends on them. He could visualise that our future depends on forests. They not only beautify the surroundings but purify air and provide us with wood, timber, fruits and medicines. Without trees, the earth will be barren, and it will become a deserted barren land.

The Poem in Detail…
The poet puts a question in the beginning What a man plants who plants a tree? He answers the question by describing the things being planted along with planting a tree. According to him, he who plants a tree, plants a friend of sun and sky. Sun and sky are its friends because in growing it needs both and in return when it grows tall, it provides the shade, rains and oxygen, which help humanity and advance the benefits of sun and sky.

The tree is then compared to a flag of free breeze. The leaves of a tree, flutter like a flag and provide cool breeze to us. When the tree grows taller, it looks like an arrow of beauty reaching the skies. The man plants the tree for the mother bird, which makes its nest in the towering high branches of the tree for its young ones and sings to them with a soft gentle voice in the light. The bird’s high-pitched tone adds to the pleasant harmony of the universe.

Again, the poet asks what he plants who plants a tree, then he replies that one who plants a tree, plants cool and tender rain. It is well established fact that for rains, trees are needed. Lack of trees means lack of rain. It will bear seed and buds in the future. After many years the old trees will wither away, and these seeds will grow into new trees and a dense forest will emerge. This is symbolic of birth, death and rebirth. In this way trees make the surrounding beautiful. The man who plants a tree inherits a forest. It will provide crops to the future generations the benefits of trees will be reaped and enjoyed by posterity.

The same question is put by the poet in the third stanza but in this stanza the poet becomes more philosophical. According to him, a man who plants a plant it with a sense of loyalty and love for his family and the entire universe because the tree is not planted only for his benefit, it is for the benefit of all. There is a civic good in planting a tree. A country’s growth and development depends on the wealth of its trees. He knows that by planting a tree, he is helping his nation’s growth from one corner to another.

Thus, the world’s prosperity and peace is represented in planting a tree.

(i) The general pattern followed in the poem is by raising a question and answering it. This technique is known as Hypophora or Antipophora.

(ii) The poet does not have a particular rhyming scheme but has used rhyme to add to the poem’s effect and this use has added to the poem’s lyrical quality.

(iii) The poet uses alliteration. This figure of speech carries close repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginning of words. E.g. friend of sun and sky. In hushed and helping twilight heard.

(iv) The figure of speech Metonymy is also used in the poem. It is a figure of speech in which a thing or a concept is called not by its name but rather by a metonym, that is, by the name of something associated in meaning with that thing or concept, Ex. Cool shade, tender rain, a friend of sun and sky etc.

(v) The most important aspect of the poem is the poet’s futurist thought regarding ecology and environment as the poem was written at least hundred years before the thought of saving the environment and regarding ecology stirred in the minds of people. It has depicted the tree as the symbol of all that is good in our lives.

Breezes- soft winds, shaft of beauty-arrow or beam of beauty, towering high- growing as tall as a tower, home to heaven-home of god, the sky, anigh- near to, mother croon of bird- the soft song of a mother bird sung for its young ones, hushed-very soft sound, treble- high tone in music, threefold, harmony-agreement of feeling, interests.

(i) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
     What does he plant, who plants a tree?
     He plants a friend of sun and sky;
     He plants the flag of breezes free;
     The shaft of beauty, towering high;
     He plants a home to heaven anigh;
     For song and mother-croon of bird
     In hushed and happy twilight is heard.
     The treble of heaven’s harmony-
     These things he plants who plants a tree.

1. Why does the poet call the tree a friend of sun and why?
 A friend shares the benefits and short comings both. The tree’s growth depends on sun and it helps the sun by lessening its heat through its shade. It’s cool breeze lessens the heat of sun and the tree gets carbon dioxide from the air and gives oxygen in return. Thus, it is the friend of the sky and sun.

2. Give the meaning of anigh, shaft, hushed and treble.
 Anigh means near, shaft means arrow, hushed means quiet, treble means threefold.

3. What is the shaft of beauty towering high?
 A small sapling grows into a tall, straight tree, like an arrow and becomes stately. That is why it is called a shaft of beauty towering high.

4. For whom is the home to heaven anigh?
 Birds build their nests in the high branches of a tree towering high which seems to be near heaven.

5. What is the impact of beginning the poem with a question? What is the figure of speech used here?
 The impact of beginning the poem with a question is that the answer to the question brings out the importance of planting a tree more forcefully. The figure of speech used here is Hypophora or Antipophora.

6. What is known as mother croon of bird? Why is the song sung in hushed voice?
 The soft song that the mother bird is singing for his young one and as it is sung for a young one, the tone is hushed.

(ii) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
      What does he plant, who plants a tree?
      He plants cool shade and tender rain;
      And seed and bud of days to be;
      And year that fade and flush again;
      He plants the glory of the plain;
      He plants the forest’s heritage;
      The harvest of a coming age;
      The joy that unborn eyes shall see-
      These things he plants, who plants a tree.

1. What is meant by days to be?
A1. This phrase is reference to the future. It refers to the days that are to follow.

2. Explain the line ‘years that fade and flesh again’?
A2. Here the poet refers to the cycle of life. A creature is born, grows up, becomes old and dies only to bloom again.

3. What is meant by the forest’s heritage?
A3. The new sapling planted will grow into a big tree which will become the part of a forest and thus legacy of the forest will continue.

4. How is it the harvest of a coming age?
A4. The future will see the tree in all its glory as a towering tree with a thick trunk which can be put to various uses by the coming generations. The poet here refers to the transition from a child to adulthood which also is true about a tree growing from a sapling into a big tree.

5. What is being referred to as the unborn eyes?
A5. The poet refers to the future generations which are today unborn but will be born tomorrow and will find pleasure in looking at a towering tree and benefitted by its various uses.

6. Which phrases refer to the future here?
A6. The phrases which refer to the future are – ‘days to be’ and ‘a coming age’.

(iii) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
       What does he plant, who plants a tree?
       He plants in, sap and leaf and wood,
       In love of home and loyalty.
       And for cast thought of civic good-
       This blessings on the neighbourhood,
       Holds all the growth of our land-
       A nation’s growth from sea to sea.
       Stirs in his heart who plants a tree.

1. What motivates the man to plant a tree according to the poet?
 According to the poet, when a man plants a sapling, he sees a symbol of growth and future life.

2. Does the man plant a tree because of his love of society and his nation?
 Yes, the man believes that the society and in turn the nation will be benefitted by the tree and that shows his love for his society and nation.

3. How is the man holding the blessing on his neighbourhood in his hand?
 When a man holds a sapling in his hand, he thinks of future. Without plants human beings cannot survive. Therefore, the man who plants a tree showers his blessings on his neighbourhood.

4. What is meant by a nation’s growth from sea to sea?
 The poet believes that the tree is symbolic and will lead to prosperity and peace in the nation. It will be a transition to growth and peace from beginning to end.

5. Explain the phrase ‘stirs in his heart’.
 The poet says that feelings that are awakened in the heart of the man who plants a tree are feelings of hope for growth and transformation.

the heart of the tree summary

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the heart of the tree summary