The Laburnum Top : NCERT Question and Answers

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Solved Short Questions and Answers Here we have added some solved short and long questions related to the poem The Laburnum Top. Please go through the solved question before exam to give you a better idea of the poem. We hope these solved answers will be helpful to prepare you well for the exams.

  1. What is ‘laburnum’ as mentioned in the poem “The Laburnum Top”?

In the poem “The Laburnum Top” by the poet Ted Hughes, ‘laburnum’ is the golden chain tree which is a commonly found tree with golden flowers that hang in the brunches.

  1. According to you what the ‘laburnum’ stands for in the poem?

The late twentieth century poet Ted Hughes draws a very clear symbolism through this very figure of laburnum tree in the poem “The Laburnum Top”. Actually the laburnum symbolizes the hardships in life of every living being. It stands for the upheavelish survival requirement all throughout one’s life.

  1. How does the poem “The Laburnum Top” begin?

The poem “The Laburnum Top” has begun with an immense solitude. The very top of the laburnum tree is calm and silent with the fading yellowish sunlight in a solemn afternoon of September. The tree is standing with the remaining with the few dull yellow leaves and bereft of any seed.

  1. What does startle the silent branches of the laburnum tree? What does it symbolize?

The wild, small and yellow canary bird goldfinch with its chirping startles the silent branches of the tree.

The sudden entry of the goldfinch pivotalizes the entrance of living actions in an utterly destitutive self of something or someone. The silent and bereaving laburnum tree symbolizes the tyrannous condition of loving being but that too often encounters with the jovial presence of another living self for the upliftment of latent wisdom of one.

  1. To what is the bird’s movement compared? What is the basis for the comparison?

The movement of the goldfinch is compared to that of a slow-moving and alert creature like lizard.

There is a certain basis underneath this comparison between the goldfinch and the lizard. The comparison is based on the sleek, abrupt and alert movement what the goldfinch observes the movement it arrives on the laburnum tree.

  1. Why is the image of the engine evoked by the poet?

In a very superficial level the engine is the source of the energy to run machine. This mechanism of engine has internalized in this poem through the figure of goldfinch. It is compared to the bird as it too is a source of energy for the family. As without an engine any machine cannot work in the same way without the bird its family cannot survive.

  1. “She strokes it full…” – explain this phrase with reference to the poem.

In this quoted phrase from Ted Hughes’ poem “The Laburnum Top”, ‘she’ refers to the goldfinch which acts as an engine to its entire family. ‘Strokes’ means adding fuel. In this very context of the poem, the goldfinch feeds its family, providing the fuel that is nutrition what the machine or the bird’s family needs to be energetic.

  1. What does the phrase “her barred face identity mask” mean?

In the poem “The Laburnum Top” the aforementioned phrase has been placed in order to represent the bird goldfinch itself. It means that the bird’s barred or covered face becomes its identity mask for recognition.


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  1. What similarity do you perceive about the beginning and the ending of the poem?

A very noteworthy similarity has been perceived regarding the beginning and the ending of the poem. In the very beginning of the poem the tree is calm and silent and in the ending it again is getting subsided with motionless and empty level.

The Laburnum Top: NCERT Solved Long Questions and Answers

  1. How would you elucidate the poem “The Laburnum Top” as a nature poem?

Ted Hughes was one of the very important poets in the latter half of the twentieth century. His special contribution to English poetry lies in the creation of a poetic world with a central interest in wild animals and birds. His poetic inspiration is born out of and focused on the peculiar but intimate influence that animals of forests, trees and the sky have on a sensitive human spirit.

Ted Hughes has applied all his poetic grandeur in his very powerful poem “The Laburnum Top” in which the laburnum symbolizes the hardships in life. The poem describes the laburnum tree whose seeds have not only fallen but also the leaves have turned yellow. It is an afternoon in September and the tree top is silent until a goldfinch appears. As soon as the goldfinch appears, there is a sudden strong tremor in the tree; there are noises of twitching of wings and chirping in bird language. The whole tree trembles. The engine of the bird’s family has appeared that is the mother goldfinch has brought food for her babies. The movement of the goldfinch is like a lizard, sleek and smooth. She is the engine of her family, which means she is working to provide nutrition to the family just like the engine is the major part of a machine. In the end, the goldfinch again launches herself in the sky in a mysterious way and the laburnum is reduced to silence and emptiness again.

Here the poet has taken the natural like the laburnum tree, the goldfinch bird in order to aestheticize his poem with the tinge of natural beauty. The presence of the tree itself from the beginning to the end has kept his existence intact throughout. Like the other Hughes’ poem “The Thought Fox’, this poem too internalizes the broader humanistic attitude with ease through the natural figures like the fox, the laburnum tree, the goldfinch etc. so, it can be well considered as a nature poem.

  1. How does the laburnum tree play a central role in the poem “The Laburnum Top”?

In the very title the name “laburnum” is predominant and it is putting forward the whole idea of the poem “The Laburnum Top”. The whole action in the poem is revolving around the laburnum tree itself. It is like the pivot around which the lives of the birds are circling round. The tree is the confluence where both the beginning and ending are getting mingled with each other. At the very beginning the poem describes the laburnum tree whose seeds have not only fallen but also the leaves have turned yellow. In the afternoon of September the tree top remains silent until a goldfinch appears. As soon as the goldfinch appears, there is a sudden strong tremor in the tree; there are noises of twitching of wings and chirping of bird language. It is the stimuli what led the entire tree to tremble. After the collection of food the goldfinch with its entire family it again launches itself in the sky in a mysterious way and the laburnum is itself in the sky in a mysterious way and the laburnum is reduced to silence and emptiness again. Thus the laburnum tree plays a central role in the poem “The Laburnum Top”.

1 Comment
  1. Anil wilson says

    Feel good and easy for a quick preparation for the class.

    With regards
    Anil Wilson

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