SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-8 (poem)| On Killing A Tree

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-8 (poem)| On Killing A TreeNCERT/SCERT Class 9 English Beehive Question Answer to each chapter is provided in the list of SEBA ইংৰাজী Class 9 Question Answer so that you can easily browse through different chapters and select needs one. SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-8 (poem)| On Killing A TreeQuestion Answer can be of great value to excel in the examination.


SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-8 (poem)| On Killing A Tree

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-8 (poem)| On Killing A Tree Notes covers all the exercise questions in Assam Board SEBA Textbooks. The SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-8 (poem)| On Killing A Tree provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every chapter and score well in the board exams.

About the poet – Gieve Patel

Gieve Patel was born in 1940 and lives in Mumbai, India. He is an Indian poet, playwright, painter, and a practising doctor. He received his education at St. Xavier’s High School and Grant Medical College, Mumbai.His poetry works include Poems followed by How Do You Withstand, Body and Mirrored Mirroring. In 2006 he also edited a collection of poetry. For more than ten years he has been conducting a poetry workshop at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. His plays include Princes, Savaks and Mr Behram. His paintings have been part of several major exhibitions in India, and he has also exhibited in France, Oxford, London, New York, Massachusetts, and Geneva.

Summary :

“On killing a tree” is a satirical poem written by Gieve Patel. The poem deals with the rampant destruction of trees – brought about by mankind in the name of development. As humankind marches on the road to progress, all things natural including trees are gradually being wiped out.

The poet begins by asserting that a tree cannot be killed by simple cuts of a knife, for it has grown to its great size in many years by feeding on the earth, water and sunlight. Ordinary cuts will heal and new branches will sprout again growing to former size. The poet goes on to explain how a tree can truly be killed, perhaps trying to display man’s inhumanity in indiscriminately destroying trees which have taken so many years to grow, and are so useful to us. He says that a tree has to be pulled out entirely along with its roots and then dried in the sun and air until it browns and withers. Then only is it truly dead.


1. Can a “simple jab of the knife” kill a tree? Why not? 

Ans. No, a “simple jab of the knife” cannot kill a tree. Because a tree is far too strong and big to be harmed by a puny knife’s jab. A knife’s jab might lead to a wound, but a big tree can easily recover from such wounds, and thrive.

2. How has the tree grown to its full size? List the words suggestive of its life and activity. 

Ans. According to the poet, the tree has grown to its full size by slowly consuming the earth, feeding upon its crust and absorbing sunlight, air and water throughout the years. Words suggestive of the tree’s life and activity are: Grown, consuming the earth, rising out, feeding, absorbing, sprouting.

3. What is the meaning of “bleeding bark”? What makes it bleed?

Ans. “Bleeding bark” is used in reference to bark that has been injured in some way and is oozing the plant’s juices or latex. The bark bleeds due to injury brought about by attempts at killing the tree, by hacking and chopping at it.

4. The poet says “No” in the beginning of the third stanza. What does he mean by this?

Ans. The poet, when he says “No” in the beginning of the third stanza, does so to ascertain his views expressed in the previous stanza. He tries to make it clear that hacking and chopping is not the right method to kill a tree. To do so, one requires to uproot the entire tree and lay it bare for the weathering forces of Nature. 

5. What is the meaning of “anchoring earth” and “earth cave”? 

Ans. ‘Anchoring earth’ refers to the land which has been supporting the tree, helping it grow and bearing its weight. ‘Earth cave’ refers to the deepened hollow of the land where the roots of the tree had grown and spread, and which is visible once the tree is uprooted. 

6. What does he mean by “the strength of the tree exposed”?

Ans. By “the strength of the tree exposed” the poet means the roots of the tree which help to anchor it firmly to the earth and provide it with nourishment from the ground have now been exposed as the tree lies uprooted.

7. What finally kills the tree? 

Ans. Pulling out the tree along with its roots that have grown deep into the earth and then letting the scorching sun act upon it is what finally kills the tree.


Answer the following questions :

1. What according to the poet happens if we try to kill a tree by hacking and chopping it?

Ans. The poet feels that hacking and chopping is not enough to kill a tree. If we try to kill it in this way, the bleeding bark will heal itself in time and new branches will emerge from near the ground.

2. Is the tree small in size? How has the tree grown to its current size?

Ans. No, the tree is not small in size. It is a full grown, big tree. The tree has grown to its current size by slowly consuming nutrients from the land and absorbing water and sunlight day in and day out for many years.

3. Do you think we should cut down trees? Why? 

Ans. No, I think we should not cut down trees until absolutely necessary.

Because a tree requires many years to grow to its full size. Moreover trees are very important for us as well as for the environment. They provide us with a variety of things including fruits, medicines, the much needed shade, oxygen, etc. So we should avoid cutting down trees unnecessarily.

4. How according to the poet can a tree be killed?

Ans. According to the poet, a tree can be killed only by pulling out its anchoring root from the surrounding earth. The root, which is the source of its strength, has to be pulled out entirely and then the entire tree should be left to wither and dry by the effect of the various natural elements.

5. What is the source of the tree or its strength? How does the poet describe it?

Ans. The root is the source of the tree’s strength. The poet describes it as the white and wet source that is the most sensitive part of the tree and that lies hidden inside the earth.

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer

Sl. NOChapters NamesLink
Chapter 1The Fun They HadClick Here
The Road Not TakenClick Here
Chapter 2The Sound Of Music
Part-IEvelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing ItClick Here
Part-IIThe Shehnai of Bismillah KhanClick Here
WindClick Here
Chapter 3The Little GirlClick Here
Rain on The RoofClick Here
Chapter 4A Truly Beautiful Mind Click Here
The Lake Isle Of InnisfreeClick Here
Chapter 5The Snake And The MirrorClick Here
A Legend Of the NorthlandClick Here
Chapter 6My ChildhoodClick Here
No Men Are ForeignClick Here
Chapter 7PackingClick Here
The Duck And the KangarooClick Here
Chapter 8Reach for the TopClick Here
Part-ISantosh YadavClick Here
Part-IIMaria SharapovaClick Here
On Killing A TreeClick Here
TreesClick Here
Chapter 9The Bond Of LoveClick Here
The Snake TryingClick Here
Green SnakeClick Here
Chapter 10KathmanduClick Here
A Slumber Did My Spirit SealClick Here
Fear No MoreClick Here
Chapter 11If I Were YouClick Here
Chapter 12A Visit to Kaziranga and SivasagarClick Here
Chapters no.Chapters NamesLink
Chapters 1The Lost ChildClick Here
Chapters 2The Adventures of TotoClick Here
Chapters 3Iswaran The StorytellerClick Here
Chapters 4In the Kingdom of FoolsClick Here
Chapters 5The Happy PrinceClick Here
Chapters 6Weathering the Storm in ErsamaClick Here
Chapters 7The Last LeafClick Here
Chapters 8A House Is Not A HomeClick Here
Chapters 9The Accidental Tourist Click Here
Chapters 10The BeggarClick Here

Reference to the context :

1. “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.

(a) Which poem are these lines from and who is the poet? 

Ans. These lines are from the poem “On killing a tree” by Gieve Patel. 

(b) What according to the poet cannot be achieved by a simple jab of the knife? Why? 

Ans. The poet says that a big tree cannot be killed by a simple jab of the knife.

A big tree cannot be killed by thrusting at it roughly with a knife because it has grown big and strong over time, consuming nutrients from the earth and feeding off sunlight and water. And now it is strong enough to withstand a knife’s jab. New branches will sprout and they will regrow to their former size.

(c) Leprous hide means

  1.  the discoloured bark of the tree
  2. the rough soil 
  3. the branches of the tree
  4. a man

Ans. (1) the discoloured bark of the tree

(d) Give the meaning of the word ‘jab’.

Ans. The word ‘jab’ means a sudden rough blow.

2. “The source, white and wet, 

The most sensitive, hidden 

For years inside the earth.”

(a) Who is the poet? 

Ans. The poet is Gieve Patel.

(b) What is the poet describing here? 

Ans. The poet is describing the root of the tree, its true strength that is hidden and keeps the entire tree anchored to the earth. 

(c) Why is the source hidden inside the earth?

Ans. The source is hidden inside the earth to draw up nutrients from the spoil and to anchor the tree and to the earth. 

(d) Give the antonym of the word ‘hidden’.

Ans. Exposed.

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