CBSE English -Hornbill – The Laburnum Top — Explanation and Questions and Answers
The Laburnum Top by Ted Hughes
A word about Ted Hughes .. Ted Hughes(1930- ’98) was a British poet of great eminence. His poems meant for children are simple, short and innocent. For long years, Ted Hughes was the Poet Laureate of Britain. Unfortunately, his marriage to the American author Sylvia Plath was marred by discord and disagreements. Sylvia committed suicide at 30, the literary world pinned the blame on Ted. But, Ted continued to promote Sylvia’s literary legacy with remarkable sincerity. Ted’s poems touch the heart for their spontaneity and vibrancy.
The poem … 1st stanza ..
Laden with its foliage, and flowers, the Laburnum tree stands silently in a quiet September afternoon. The environment is so eerily calm. Some leaves have started to yellow, and the seeds have all fallen off the tree.
2nd stanza .. The tiny bird, Goldflinch flies in from nowhere and perches itself at the tip of a branch. Its whole body shakes naturally in continuous small movements. In sudden bursts of energy, it hops from one stem to another. It goes into the dense interior of the tree till it vanishes from the poet’s sight. All along, the Goldflinch makes a shrill, high-pitched sound. It seems, the tiny bird appears to inject a burst of energy to the tree. Its agility and energy seem to fire up the dormant Laburnum tree.
3rd stanza …The bird makes its return. It hops to the tip of a branch, and in the flick of an eye, it flies off. The bird has a typical black color head with a bright yellow pair of wings. When it flies off, it shows its face fleetingly.
The Laburnum tree falls quiet suddenly. Silence pervades again.
Question and answers ….
Think it out ..
Q1. What do you ………… There is all-round calm at the start of the poem. At the end, the calm returns to the tree—just the way it was before the brief visit of the Goldflinch.
Q2. To what is the ……………. The comparison of the bird’s movement is to the lizard’s jerky sliding along a branch, and to the power of an engine.
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