What images of life and death does the use in the poem, ‘On Killing a Tree’.

Gieve Patel in his poem, ‘On Killing a Tree treats trees as living organisms. Some image indicate the growth and life of trees and some images represent pain, suffering and death. The words and expressions that show the growth and life of the tree are ‘grown slowly’, ‘consuming’. ‘rising’, ‘feeding’, ‘absorbing’, ‘sprouting’, ‘green twigs’, ‘strength’, ‘most sensitive’ etc. These words suggest life and its gradual growth. In contrast to those images of life, the poet uses a number of images of death. They are ‘jab of the knife’, ‘hack and chop’, ‘bleeding bark’, ‘pulled out-snapped out’, ‘scorching’, ‘choking’, ‘browning’, ‘hardening’, “twisting’, ‘withering’ etc. Some of the images used in the poem show violence. They are ‘jab’, ‘hack and chop’, ‘roped’, ‘tied’, ‘pulled out’, ‘snappeus out’, etc. All these images emphasize that there is also a living being.

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