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Our Casuarina Tree Toru Dutt

Tree; Symbol:The

tree symbolizes the pots feeling. Her


childhood is associated with a Casuarina tree, which
was standing in her garden. She grows up and goes
away but tree remains in her memory.
The poem is a meeting point for the past and the
present for time and eternity. This is the theme
symbolically presented in another words. It is an
admirable blend of local touches and literary
reminiscences or objective description of the actual tree
and the charm of association with Torus Childhood.

The Tree:The poem is addressed to the tree. It is praised and


remembered almost like a hymn. The poem opens with an
account of the giant tree. Casuarina is a commonly found tree
in Bengal. It grows crimson flowers. The Casuarina tree of Toru
is very big and great creepers embrace but this tree is bold
enough to stand. Crimson flowers are hung. The tree remains
very busy during the day. Day and night it is a centre of busy
life. Birds and bees are gathered. At night sweet songs of
darkening could be heard. His puny also leaps about. Kokilas
hail the day. Cows would pass from the shadow of the tree. In
the early sunlight the shadow enmasses (covers) beautiful
water lilies. They turn as if snow has covered them.

The tree and dear memories:Because it is splendid, the poet doesnt love the tree but
because her childhood memories are associated. Years may
pass but when they were young and played under this tree has
remained still. It is sweeter because her companions also
played under it. Remembering those days, she becomes sad,
even cheeks turn wet because of tears. The tree seems to be
weeping as well. As if it is shading trees and wailing. It
becomes spirited (unnatural). It turns horrible. The un-nerving

and unusual feeling of the poet suggests some things


supernatural. It is an effort of the poet perhaps that through the
tree she wants to find sympathy. She imagines pain and pity
may reach to unknown land. Toru had lost her brother and
sister very early so their memories are referred here. Look how
beautiful she puts these feelings : O sweet companions, loved with love intense,
For your sakes shall the tree be ever dear!
The unknown land refers her going abroad even when
she was traveling in France or Italy, it had always sent thought
winging its way homeward, and bringing recollections of the
tree which was so dearly loved in childhood.

Humanization of the Tree:As we saw above, the tree assumes a human form. It
feels and speaks. It has pain and pleasure. In absence of
Torus companion the also becomes awful and ghostly. Often
she remembers this tree even when the tree is absent. The tree
evokes feelings in her in moonlight. It would be like a dream.
Her inner eyes find its picture. It is the visualization of the tee.
The tree becomes sublime form. It would be same as she had
seen in her childhood days and
-Mine inner vision rose a form sublime,
Thy form, O Tree as in my happy prime
I saw thee, in my own loved native clime.
Thus tree does not remain an object but a living friend.

Wish of immortalizing the tree:The place where the tree stands, she wishes she would
declare it holy place. It was loved by many who have now
sleepy in the graves. They had also played here. Because of
them, too the tree is dearer than life. Thats why the tree should
live or remain forever. She wishes deathless to it. Fear,
trembling hope, and death and the skeleton and time of
shadow may linger under its shadow but it shouldnt see death.
Her verse may not be able to sing well its praises yet the

happiness should come. There is curse of death (Oblivion) but


love (poets) would defend it.
The last stanza of the poem, with its right romantic
fervor, unfolds a desire of the poetess for the immortality or
verse, and ends with the delightful line :May love defend thee
from oblivions curse.

Rich Imagery:The poem is very rich for its imagery. The image of the
tree creates tenderness and pathos. It evokes these feelings.
The tree almost becomes a loveable, kind human form. The
first stanza describes it gigantic for and brings before use its
value. The birds, cows, baboons and bees continuously haunt
this tree. Children played beneath it. This all give a visual
image of the tree. Even in the distant land this form rises in the
vision. Images of her:. Playing with brother and sister also
come. They create sad feelings. Tragic beauty takes place.
Loneliness and dirge mixed together make an unnerving
nerving effect.
Description, metaphor and similes shape rich texture of
the poem.

Metaphor:The tree and related images have becomes sweet


because of metaphors. e.g. the giant wears the scarf the giant
relates to the tree. Song is sweet. Eyes are a casement, and
are delighted as well. The garden overflows with one sweet
song. For her parted brother and sister she used sweet
companions. Other metaphors: a sheltered boy, classic
shore, blessed sleep, deathless tree, trembling Hope, weak
verse assimilate in the structure. They show the poets genius
and creativity.

Similes:Very opening line suggests a simile. A creeper is like a


huge python. She is hearing a sad song which is dirge-like
murmur. She visualizes the form of tree as in my happy prime

I saw thee. Her wish to immortalize the tree is also like those
in Borrow dale. The similes are few but capable enough to
show her poetic art.

Phrases and clause:The poem has a fine description. There is deep feeling
which flows swiftly. Naturally there are many phrases and
clauses which strengthen the argument. e.g.
Like a huge python, winding round and round,
The rugged trunk, indented deep with scars
Up to its very summit hear the stars.
In just three limes how many phrases! The stanza is
carried on and there a clause joined with it.
in whose embrace bound
No other tree could live.
Other some clauses are: While on lower bough/his
puny, though years may roll , till the hot tears blind,
when earth lay tranced etc/
These phrases and clauses are joined by many ways.
Conjunction, commas, dash, semicolons has been used and
because of this long description take place. Notice the following
lines with underlined words.
And far and near Kokilas hail the day;
And to their pastures wend our sleepy cows,
And in the shadow, on the broad tank cast;
By that hoar tree, so beautiful and vast.
To change the ideas or mood punctuations have been
used. They have served well.

Archaic words:The tree is romanticized. Old language would better suit.


Toru knew this and thats why she used archaic words. Mostly
they are related to pronouns. The last stanza is particularly
seen such works are: thy, mayst, linger, fear, death,
trembling hope, skeleton, time, oblivion, sleep, blessed,
repose, deathless, ,awful etc.
Rhyme and Rhythm:-

The poem is divided into five stanzas each made of 11


lines. The rhyme scheme is : abba cdcd eee. This is a new
scheme. It seems she has experimented, even thought it is so,
it is worthy. The sound system creates a very line rhythm
through consonance and assonance. Look this following phrase
how sweet they are: winding round and round , bird and bee,
with one sweet song, wide open thrown open, my eyes
delighted, tree be ever dear, unknown yet well known.
Inner rhyming word, ending rhyme, eye-rhyme, pair word
etc. really make the poem musical.
Most of the critics agree that in the organization of poem
as a whole and in the finish of individual stanza, in its mastery
of phrase and rhythm, in its music of sound and ideas: our
Casuarina Tree is a superb piece of writing and gives us a
taste of what Toru might have done had not the race of her life
been so quickly run.

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