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The Axe in the Wood - Class 8th Second Language English Textbook Solutions

 Chapter 8
The Axe in the Wood

C1. Answer the following questions and share your responses with your partner :

1. What words in stanzas 1 and 2 mean 
[a] 100 years 
[b] scene? 
[c] centuries
[d] sight 
Answer: [c] centuries

2. Make a list of all the words that are used in the poem to describe the ‘axe’.
Answer: axe is described as a quick axe, sharp axe. glittering axe and bright axe.

3. Read the following words. [small, strong, weak, dry, trunk, axe, wood, timber, tree] Which word does not fir into the fist above? 
Answer: Timber is the word that does not fit in the above list.

C2 Answer the following questions picking up the most appropriate ones from those given in brackets :

1. What did the man strike the tree with? 
Answer: [knife, axeysickel, saw] axe

2. Who was watching the sight of the man cutting the tree? 
Answer: [women, people, woodcutters, children] people

3. What did the tree look like? 
Answer: [small, strong, weak, dry] strong.

Read And Write : 
C3. Read and discuss your responses with your partner. Then write

1. Who do you ‘I’ refers to in this poem? 
Answer: In the poem T refers to the poet Clifford Henry Dyment.

2. Why do you think the poet stopped? 
Answer: The poet stopped to watch a man striking at the trunk of a tree with an axe.

3. Which line tells us that the tree is aged? 
Answer: How old the tree was, and how dangerous this line tells us that the tree is aged.

4. Does the poem mean that cutting a tree is a huge loss for human beings? Which line supports your answer? 
Answer: Yes, it is a heavy loss for human beings. This is understood by the lines….cut down a thousand men…

5. Do you think the poet wrote this poem while the tree was being cut? Support your answer picking up the relevant line/lines from the poem. 
Answer: No, the poet did not write the poem while the tree was being cut. The fifth and sixth lines reveal this fact – And I remember how I liked the sight Of poise and rhythm as the bright axe swung.

6. Do you think the poet has made his intention clear to the reader at the end? Which lines support your answer? 
Answer: Yes. The poet has made his intentions clear in the end. The last two lines of the poem support the answer – But I saw death cut down a thousand men In that tall lovely legacy of wood.

7. What message does the poem give us? 
Answer: The poem gives us the message that people have many reasons to cut trees. It might fall as it was very old but it had more good in them than a growing tree. The poet compares the death of the tree is equal to the death of thousands of men.

8. What do you learn about the trees from this poem? 
Answer: The tree takes many years to grow strong, when it was old men fells the tree and its timber is of more value. After the death also the tree is useful as a timber.

9. ‘But I saw death cut down a thousand men.’ Explain, what does the poet mean by ‘Lovely legacy of wood’.? 
Answer: “Death” here means the felling, the killing, of a fine tree. Such a destructive act destroys the happiness of many people (“a thousand men”) who sought shade and shelter under it, who found happiness in listening to the chirruping of birds the tree housed, who found protection of the environment offered by that tree and other trees.
The tree that was being cut down was planted long time ago, and it had grown strong through the centuries. Thus, for the present generation this strong and lovely tree with its precious wood, had become a lovely legacy or inheritance. It was a gift from the past to be enjoyed by all generations – the present and to come.

10. A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines. Usually, a sonnet has a rhyme scheme. Is this poem a sonnet? Check whether this poem has a rhyme scheme or not. 
Answer: The poem is not a sonnet. There is no rhyme scheme. Note: Imagine a boy in your classroom, by name Shashi, is unable to answer even a single question. The teacher gets angry. In this anger, if the teacher says, ‘Shashi, you’re the Einstein of this class,” does the teacher really mean what he says? or does he mean the opposite? Such expressions that say the opposite of what they really mean are examples of irony. Read the second stanza carefully.
Do you find any expressions of irony in it? The expression of irony in the poem is as follows : (2nd Stanza). A man who fells a tree makes people watch, for glory seems to crowd upon the axe.
C4. Death lay his icy hands on kings.
The tree raised his hands to pray. The above lines are instances of personification where human qualities are attributed to inanimate objects like ‘death and tree’. What is personified in the last stanza? Death is personified in the last stanza.

The Axe in the Wood Poem Additional Questions and Answers

1. What did the poet stop to watch? 
Answer: The poet stopped to watch a man strike at the trunk of a tree that had grown strong through the centuries.

2. The poet says that he liked the sight of a tree being cut. Why? 
Answer: The poet liked the sight of a tree being cut. He admired the poise of the woodcutter, and the rhythm of his strokes as he swung the bright axe. He was not the only one who liked watching the felling of a tree. A swinging axe wielded by a woodcutter always drew a crowd.

3. In describing people’s reaction to the cutting of a tree, the poet is also commenting on: 
a) their delight in destruction. 
b) their selfishness. 
c) their indifference. 
Answer: a) their delight in destruction.

4. Who makes excuses for cutting trees? 
Do these excuses satisfy the poet? Which is the word that provides a clue to your answer? 
Answer: The people who come to watch a tree being cut down always make excuses for its being brought down. But, these excuses do not satisfy the poet. The word “But”, following immediately after the statement of excuses indicates he does riot accept the excuses.

5. How long does it take for a tree to grow strong, according to Clifford Dyment? 
Answer: It takes many a century for a tree to grow strong.

6. What has a swinging axe always drawn, according to the poet in ‘The Axe in The Wood’? 
Answer: A swinging axe has always drawn a crowd.

7. What does the poet see in the death of a tree in the poem ‘The Axe in The Wood’?
Answer: He sees death cut down a thousand men.

8. Mention one of the excuses made by people who cut down trees in the poem ‘The Axe in The Wood’. 
Answer: The tree was old and so, might fall.

9. List the justifications given in support of cutting the tree. Whose point of view is this? 
Does the poet share this point of view? 
Answer: The justifications for cutting down the tree are: The tree is very old. It is dangerous to let it stand. It might fall any moment. It is best to cut it down. Then it can be converted into timber and piled up in a timber-stack. Timber is much better than a growing tree, growing older and more likely to fall. These are the views held by the people who stop to watch a tree being cut down. They will give these views to a person who might object to the cutting down of a tree.
The poet does not hold this view, though ironically. When he saw the woodsman wield the axe and strike at the tree he stopped to admire the action. He feels that destroying a tree that has grown strong through many centuries, and has become “a lovely legacy of wood” for posterity amounts to “killing” of thousands of people who derive benefits of various kinds from a strong old tree.

10. How does the poet present two conflicting views in the poem ‘The Axe in The Wood’?
What is the attitude of the poet towards the cutting of trees in ‘The Axe in The Wood’? 
The poem ‘The Axe in The Wood’ is about cutting a tree, but its message is the conservation of nature. – Explain. 
Answer: A tree that has grown strong through the centuries invites admiration. But, when a cutter strikes at the trunk of that old tree, that to invites attention. We admire the poise of the cutter and the quick rhythmic movements of his- bright swinging axe, and we watch fascinated as the yellow chips go spinning in the air.
But, then come some disturbing murmurs: Should such an old tree be allowed to stand? Is it not dangerous to let it stand when it might come crashing down? Won’t it be better if it were stacked in the timber yard? And then, when it is cut down, admiration disappears: There is only regret that this “tall lovely legacy of wood” is no more. Centuries ago our wise forefathers planted this tree. It grew through the ages, providing shade, shelter to men and beasts, and helping to preserve the environment. And now it is gone through man’s insensitivity.

Multiple Choice Questions

Four alternatives are given for each of the following questions/ incomplete statements. Choose the most appropriate one.

1. The poem ‘The Axe in the Wood’ is written by 
A) Fleuf Adcock 
B) Clifford Henry Dyment 
C) James Kirkup 
D) Isaac Watts 
Answer: B) Clifford Henry Dyment

2. Who was watching the sight of the man cutting the tree? 
A) women 
B) people 
C) woodcutters 
D) children 
Answer: B) people

3. The expression “lovely legacy of wood” in the poem ‘The Axe in The Wood’ means: 
A) the invaluable wealth of the forest left behind by earlier generations 
B) the beautiful sight of the forest 
C) the lovely furniture made of wood 
D) the wood from the tree handed down by predecessors. 
Answer: A) the invaluable wealth of the forest left behind by earlier generations

The Axe in the Wood Poem Summary in English
This poem is written by Clifford Henry Dyment. The poem is about the harmful effects of poaching and the indiscriminate cutting of trees.
In this poem, Henry says that when once he was walking, he stopped to watch a man cut¬ting a tree. The tree was very old and it seemed to be a century old. As he was cutting it, the sharp axe appeared to be glittering and it struck deep inside the bark and the yellow wooden chips (which usually comes when we chop any wooden material) flew in the air.
The poet liked the sight. As the person was cutting the tree, a melodious sound was heard as he struck the axe and paused as he took it off.
The poet says that people have many reasons to cut trees. It might fall as it was very old but it had more good in it than a growing tree. Then Henry compares the death of the tree to the death of thousands of men.
The poem conveys the message that the beauty of nature should be preserved and en-joyed. Thus the poet condemns the onslaught on nature in an ironic way.

The Axe in the Wood Poem Summary in Kannada
ಈ ಪದ್ಯವನ್ನು ರಚಿಸಿದವರು. ಕ್ಲಿಫರ್ಡ್ ಹೆನ್ರಿ ಡೈಮೆಂಟ್ . ಈ ಪದ್ಯವು ಮರಗಳನ್ನು ವಿವೇಚನೆಯಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಕಡಿದು ನಾಶ ಮಾಡಿದರೆ ಉಂಟಾಗುವ ದುಷ್ಪರಿಣಾಮವನ್ನು ಕುರಿತು ವಿವರಿಸುತ್ತದೆ.
ಕವಿಯು ಒಮ್ಮೆ ದಾರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಗ ಒಬ್ಬ ಮನುಷ್ಯನು ಒಂದು ಮರವನ್ನು ಕತ್ತರಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ದೃಶ್ಯವನ್ನು ನೋಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಆ ಮರವು ನೂರಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಳೆಯ ಮರ, ಬೃಹದಾಕಾರದ ಮರ ಆ ಮನುಷ್ಯನು ಮರವನ್ನು ಕಡಿಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ದೃಶ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಚೂಪಾಗಿ ಹೊಳೆಯುತ್ತಿರುವ ಕೊಡಲಿಯಿಂದ ಹೊಡೆದಾಗ ಅದ್ದರಿಂದ ಚಿಮ್ಮುವ ಮರದ ಹಳದಿಯ ಚೂರು ಗಾಳಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾರಿ ತುಂಬಾ ದೂರ ಹೋಗಿ ಬೀಳುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಕವಿಗೆ ಈ ದೃಶ್ಯ ತುಂಬಾ ಇಷ್ಟವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಆ ಮನುಷ್ಯನು ಮರವನ್ನು ಕಡಿಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾಗ ಇಂಪಾದ ಲಯ ಬದ್ದವಾದ ಧ್ವನಿ ಕೇಳಿ ಬರುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಕೊಡಲಿಯಿಂದ ಮರಕ್ಕೆ ಪೆಟ್ಟು ಬಿದ್ದಾಗ ಮತ್ತು ಕೊಡಲಿಯನ್ನು ಮರದಿಂದ ಎತ್ತುವಾಗ ಹೀಗೆ ತಾಳ ವಾದ್ಯಗಳ ಲಯದಂತೆ ಆ ಶಬ್ದವು ಕವಿಯು ಕಿವಿಗೆ ಕೇಳಿಸುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಆ ಮರವು ತುಂಬಾ ಹಳೆಯದ್ದಾದ್ದರಿಂದ ಯಾವಾಗ ಬೇಕಾದರೂ ಬೀಳಬಹುದಿತ್ತು. ಅಕಸ್ಮಾತ್ತಾಗಿ ಬಿದ್ದರೆ ಅನಾಹುತವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಈಗ ಅದನ್ನು ಕಡಿಯುತ್ತಿರುವುದೇ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದು ಎಂದು ಕಾರಣವನ್ನು ಕೊಡಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ಆ ಒಂದು ಮರದ ನಾಶ ಸಾವಿರಾರು ಜನರ ಮರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಸಮ ಎಂಬುದು ಕವಿಯ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ. ಈ ಪದ್ಯದ ಮೂಲಕ ಕವಿಯು ವ್ಯಕ್ತ ಪಡಿಸುವುದೇನೆಂದರೆ ಪ್ರಕೃತಿ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಸವಿಯುವುದರ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಅದನ್ನು ರಕ್ಷಿಸುವುದೂ ಸಹ ಅದೆ . ಕರ್ತವ್ಯವಾಗಬೇಕು. ಅದನ್ನು ನಾಶ ಮಾಡುವುದರಿಂದಲ್ಲ. Save Earth And Save Trees ಎಂಬುದು ಎಲ್ಲರ ಮಂತ್ರವಾಗಬೇಕು. ಪದ್ಯದ ಸಮಾಪ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ವ್ಯಂಗ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

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