In the poem, The Heart of the Tree, the poet has spoken vividly about the importance of the trees. He explains the significance of planting them throughout and points out its various attributes.
The Heart of the Tree Line by Line Summary
In the very beginning of the poem The Heart of The Tree, the poet poses a question to the readers asking why we plant trees and then goes on to answer his own question. He says that when we plant a tree, we plant a friend of the sun and the sky. Trees provide a cool breeze and absorb the sun’s heat. Trees grow tall to reach out to the sky. With the help of sunlight, trees carry out the process of photosynthesis and maintain balance in the ecosystem. They share a special bond. It purifies the atmosphere by taking in carbon dioxide and by releasing oxygen. The poet compares a tree to a flag that flutters in the breeze and compares the stem to a pole that stands tall and firm. Trees are the home to several birds. Trees provide birds a spot to sit and sing melodious songs. It seems like the trees have made a home for the birds that are closer to heaven.
The poet repeats the same question and suggests more reasons to plant trees. He adds that trees provide cool shade and gentle rain. A tree will produce seeds and buds for the future generation. Years will pass by, and the old trees will wither away, but the seeds of today will produce new trees in the future. The poet calls the trees the “glory of the plain” to make the land look green and beautiful. One who plants a tree conserves the heritage of forests. The poet suggests that we plant trees not only for ourselves but also for the future generations to come. Our future generations would be able to reap the benefits of planting trees.
In the final stanza, the poet poses the same question. According to the poet, a man who plants a tree does so because of his loyalty towards his neighborhood, his family, and society. By planting a tree, he expresses his concern for the future of the planet. The trees that he plants give food, wood, and sap to all human beings. The man who plants trees is given God-like attributes as he takes care of the well-being of the people. By planting trees, he initiates a step in the path of the progress of the Nation. The capitalization of ‘H’ in the last stanza portrays the man who plants trees in a divine light as he contributes to making the world a better place for himself and others.
The Heart of The Tree Themes
Benefits of planting trees – The poet attempts to educate the readers about planting trees for our survival. This poem, The Heart of The Tree, glorifies the act of planting trees and equates the man who does so with God-like attributes. Trees serve to beautify nature and provide a home for the birds and offer us cool shade. They are the harbinger of rain and the source of cool breezes. They keep the environment balanced by taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. Trees reduce pollution in the air. They never cease to exist as they continue the process of regeneration by shedding seeds and leaves that give birth to new plants needed to maintain balance in the ecosystem. Trees are important for the survival of humanity as they bless the souls of today and provide our future generations with their harvest. Just like the human heart helps in the proper functioning of the human body, trees, too, maintain the lives of birds, animals, and human beings on earth. The poet conveys that we must plant new trees to ensure a harmonious and stable way of living for us and for the generations to come.
Importance of trees for a sustainable future – The poet says that he actually plants them for future progenies when one plants trees today. He is concerned about the future of mother earth and fulfills his civic duty by showering his “blessings on the neighborhood” in the form of plants. Trees are needed for the growth and development of the nation in general. We cannot survive in a land with no trees. Thus, the poet appeals to the readers to plant more and more trees to prevent the environment from degrading. We must plant trees keeping in mind the welfare of the “coming age.”
The Heart of The Tree Tone
The tone of the poem The Heart of The Tree is inspiring, straightforward, and educative. The poet is concerned about mother earth and lays down different points to illustrate the usefulness of trees to protect the earth. He encourages everyone to plant more trees, not only for themselves but also for future generations. The survival of the future generations is greatly dependant on our outlook to plant trees. Trees keep the environment stable by purifying the air, causing rain, offering cool breeze and shade, providing food, wood, and medicines, and providing a home for the birds in the sky. The poet uses simple words to deliver his message that tree plantation is no longer a hobby or a luxury, but it is, indeed, a necessity for our survival.
The Heart of The Tree Rhyme Scheme
The poem The Heart of The Tree consists of three stanzas of nine lines each. It can be roughly said that the poem follows the rhyme scheme ababbccaa. For instance, the rhyming words in the first stanza are tree-free, sky-high-anigh, bird-heard, harmony-tree.
What does he plant who plants a tree?
He plants a friend of sun and sky;
He plants the flag of breezes free;
The shaft of beauty towering high;
He plants a home to heaven anigh;
For song and mother-croon of bird
In hushed and happy twilight heard—
The treble of heaven’s harmony—
These things he plants who plants a tree.
The Heart of The Tree Central Idea
In this poem, The Heart of The Tree, the poet highlights the importance of trees in our lives and inspires us to plant more trees. He says that the trees not only beautify the environment but helps in the smooth functioning of the ecosystem. Planting trees are crucial not only for our survival but also for future generations. Without trees, the earth would be unsuitable for living as trees are responsible for the growth and development of humankind. The poet is also concerned for the future of the earth, which must be made better by planting more trees. Trees are essential in every part of life-they give out oxygen for human beings to inhale. They cause rain and offer food, timber, medicines, and so on. This, it can be concluded that the central idea of this poem is to make people aware of the importance of planting trees for us and future generations.
Suggested Reading: The Heart of the Tree
- Summary of The Heart of the Tree by Henry Cuyler Bunner
- Analysis of The Heart of the Tree by Henry Cuyler Bunner
- Analysis and Poetic Devices in “The heart of the Tree” by Henry Cuyler Bunner
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