Crushed will be the mind the more you think
If you don’t do so it will eventually sink
Sink you will anyways maybe ignorance or revelation
All you will need is nudge in either direction
Ignorance would lead you to a path that would make for a hollow life
Revelation would lead you to a path that would be riddled with internal strife
Either way you are done for, as your mind will bleed
You will plant one of those seed
You are already dead though, what’s the point if you do read?
Beauty, Justice, Happiness…what makes you pay heed?
Even if you do end up getting it do you really think you will be able to proceed?
Or will you just become hollow, like a zombie moving ahead as decreed?
Life in solitude or social prominence all ending in one way or the other
In the end all will be smothered by nature mother.
This whole thing is written to explain my view on something that went down in a classroom somewhere in Delhi. There was an interpretation and it didn’t sit well with me. As i see the ignorant view being adopted as the interpretation I am getting more infuriated. So let me interpret the following poem as it is universally seen and why is it so.
On Killing a Tree by Gieve Patel
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 leperous hide
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,
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.
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,
And then it is done.
I see a gross misinterpretation of the above poem as people are thinking that its about corruption as exemplified by my peers below.
1. Corruption is like a tree. We can’t kill the tree by a simple jab of the knife. It has grown slowly consuming the earth. Hacking and chopping also won’t kill it. The root has to be pulled out of the anchoring earth.
2. The corruption has grown slowly consuming the bad mentality,the changing in the culture.so simple preaching wont stop it,we have to pulled out the bad mentality,the evil ideas from our mind.the ideas anchoring the mind.
I do believe literature is quite interpretive but you need to examine what the writer is all about and where he is coming from also the fact that the tree is considered in most of the context as the symbol of life and all things beautiful in this world.
Here the poet, line after line tries to show how the human beings are brutally butchering the flora also the line then it is done does signify a certain finality and an end to this brutality once it is done. You cannot end a thing that isn’t quantifiable like corruption or greed. I would this saying enough that the corruption aspect falls on its ass quite quickly as it hasn’t got much of context to be interpreted as corruption.
Then again if you look at how the poet decides to reveal to us some of the gory detail no less than in of a cold blooded murder of a person just to evoke emotions in the reader and awareness towards the fact that the tree which took many years to flourish was simply laid to death by the human species. And with “And then it is done” the writer just leaves that line to linger in our minds so as to say that there wasn’t any thought or introspective chain reaction was set forth which might in turn might make us think about the environmental issue of deforestation perhaps.