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The trees are down
Transcript of The trees are down
Charlotte Mary Mew
She was born on November 15th, 1869 in Bloomsbury.
She was Frederick Mew's daughter, the architect who designed the Hampstead town hall.
Two of her siblings suffered mental illnesses and were taken to psychiatric institutions. Three others died in early childhood.
After her father's death, she stayed living with
her mother and her sister. Through most of her adult
life, Charlotte Mew wore masculine attire and kept
her hair short, looking as if she was a dandy.
Her first short story was The Yellow Book,
published in 1894. Her first collection of poetry
was The Farmer's Bride, in 1916.
She gained the patronage of some literary figures
such as Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf and
After her sister's death, she was taken to an institution
because of her depression. She committed suicide
in 1928, by drinking Lysol.
The tone of the poem is depressing.
The poet portrays sadness and lament for the trees
which are chopped down everyday and the animals who
lose their habitats because of deforestation.
Desolation and loss are also shown in the poem.
The theme of the poem is how human activities
impact on the environment and how people don't
care about what they are doing to trees, animals
and indirectly to themselves.
In the first stanza, the poem deals with the trees
which are being chopped down. There are words
such as "swish", "crash" that create an auditory image and help the reader to imagine how the branches fall and how the trunks are destroyed. There are also onomatopoeias like "whoops" and "whoas" which show how men are laughing and enjoying the destruction of nature.
In the second stanza, the poet shows sympathy for
a rat. This rat is dead as it lost its habitat because of the
deforestation of trees. This animal is used because it's not
a nice animal; however, it should be alive, specially at
Spring. The poem makes use of this time of the year as
everything should be happiness, colorful and full of life.
In the third stanza, the poet makes reference again to men
and to what they have done. She makes use of verbs in
the past to show that the trees are already gone and how they contribute to an enjoyable Spring. If there are no trees, there is no Spring. "Half the Spring, for me, will have gone with them."
In the poem, something different can be found. At the beginning there is a Revelation from the Bible "-and he cried with a loud voice: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees-". This, together with the last two lines of the poem "But I, all day, I heard an angel crying:'Hurt not the trees'.", show that there are religious references in the poem. These two quotes portray that trees are important to nature and to people, but anyway, men do not care about this and destroy them influencing the environment.
In the fourth stanza, the poet deals with how she was emotionally involved with the trees and forests which were destroyed by men:"Half my life it has beat with these, in the sun, in the rains...". At the end of the stanza and of the poem, she makes reference of an angel.
Tone and Theme
Alexia El Ain