CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Trees Poem Summary and Notes

According to the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24, this chapter has been renumbered as Chapter 5.

Chapter 7 of the CBSE Class 10 English First Flight book contains the poem, The Trees. It is written by Adrienne Rich, who has written nearly twenty volumes of poetry. She has been called a feminist and a radical poet. In this article, students will find the summary notes of the CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Trees poem. Along with the summary and English Notes, we have also provided a detailed explanation of the poem to help students understand it better. It will also help students during their exams for quick revision.

Students can also go through CBSE Essays to improve their writing section of the English paper.

CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Trees Poem Summary

As the title suggests, the poem is about trees. It expresses how humans have destroyed forests and cut down trees for selfish purposes. Humans have made trees confined to the four walls of their houses to fulfil their needs. The poetess says that the trees live in the forest, so keeping them inside the home is a crime. The poem conveys the message that everyone has a deep desire for freedom. We must follow the rules of nature and should not try to overrule it.

CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Trees Poem Summary and Explanation Notes

Students can go through the poem The Trees along with the detailed explanation provided below to understand the context in a better way.

The Trees Poem Explanation Notes

The trees inside are moving out into the forest,

the forest that was empty all these days

where no bird could sit

no insect hide

no sun bury its feet in shadow

the forest that was empty all these nights

will be full of trees by morning.

All night the roots work

to disengage themselves from the cracks

in the veranda floor.

The leaves strain toward the glass

small twigs stiff with exertion

long-cramped boughs shuffling under the roof

like newly discharged patients

half-dazed, moving

to the clinic doors.

I sit inside, doors open to the veranda

writing long letters

in which I scarcely mention the departure

of the forest from the house.

The night is fresh, the whole moon shines

in a sky still open

the smell of leaves and lichen

still reaches like a voice into the rooms.

My head is full of whispers

which tomorrow will be silent.

Listen. The glass is breaking.

The trees are stumbling forward

into the night. Winds rush to meet them.

The moon is broken like a mirror,

its pieces flash now in the crown of the tallest oak.


In the first stanza, the poetess says that the forest is the actual home of trees. So, all the trees are moving into the forest, which was empty for a long time. Here, trees are used as a metaphor by the poetess to show how drastically humans have destroyed the forests. They have cut down the trees to fulfil their needs and have confined these trees to the walls of their houses. But now, these trees have started their movement and are moving towards the forest. Since the forest was empty, no birds could sit on the branches of trees, no insects could hide in the trees, and the sunlight could never disappear under the shadow of the trees. However, now that the trees have started moving, the empty forest will be filled by the trees by the next morning.

The second stanza explains the effort put in by trees to free themselves from the boundaries of humans’ houses. The poetess says that the roots of the trees work all night to separate themselves from the cracks of the veranda floor. The leaves of the tree try to put pressure on the glass so that they can break the glass ceiling. The small stems of the tree have become hard due to the continuous effort to free themselves. The long branches of the tree have shrunken because of the less space available for them to expand under the roof. Trees move slowly from home and look like newly discharged patients from the hospital. They are a little confused while moving to the clinic door as they are not able to believe that they are coming back to their actual home in the forest.

In the third stanza, the poetess says that she sits inside the home on the veranda and keeps the doors open. She writes long letters in which she hardly mentions the departure of trees to their empty forest. It’s night time, and the moon is shining in the sky. The poetess can smell the odour of leaves and lichen coming to her. The smell of trees reaches her in a similar way as a voice reaches a room.

In this stanza, the poetess listens to the whisper of the trees leaving the house. The trees reach the empty forest the next day, and the house becomes silent. Now, the poetess can hear the sound of glass breaking. As the glass breaks, the trees move in a hurry, due to which they fall on each other. The trees feel that the wind is blowing faster as it wants to meet them soon. The trees are so tall that they break the moon into pieces like a mirror. Now, the moon looks like a crown on the head of the oak trees.

We hope the explanation and summary of the “CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Trees” must have helped students understand the context of the poem in detail. Students can also find essays on some familiar topics, such as Essay on Republic Day and Essay on Constitution of India, and prepare well for their English exam. They can download the BYJU’S App to get interactive study videos.

Frequently Asked Questions on CBSE Class 10 English: The Trees


Who is the poet of ‘The Trees’?

The poet of ‘The Trees’ is Adrienne Rich.


What is the significance of oak trees?

The oak is cherished across the world as a symbol of wisdom, strength and endurance.


What are lichens?

A lichen, or lichenised fungus, is actually two organisms functioning as a single, stable unit.


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