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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Poem Chapter 2:Laburnum Top

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The poem Laburnum Top is a 15 line poem composed by Ted Hughes, depicting the Goldfinch bird's relationship and a Laburnum tree. It is to be noted that the poem personifies the Laburnum tree in the poem.

In the poem, the poet talks about a lonely and "silent" Laburnum tree standing still under the September sunlight. The arrival breaks the "silent" state of the tree of a Goldfinch bird which arrives "with a twitching chirrup". The abrupt movement transitions into a sleek motion, with the bird entering the depths hidden among the tree's drooping leaves. Suddenly a burst of life is witnessed when the bird wakes up her young ones, making the tree tremble with life signs. The bird feeds her young ones to nurture them just as the tree is nurturing them indirectly by sheltering them. After the bird feeds all her young ones, she flies away to look for more food. As their mother leaves the nest, the young ones fall silent, drowning the Laburnum tree in silence once again.

In the poem, the colour yellow symbolises the colour of the Laburnum tree, the Goldfinch bird, and the season. The colour yellow symbolises the fall season, which occurs during September, mentioned in the poem's second line. The poet has used alliteration in some parts of the poem, such as "September sunlight" and "tree trembles". The poet has also used a simile of "Sleek as a lizard" to describe the Goldfinch's movement as she enters her nest to feed her young ones. Metaphorically, the poet compares the bird to an engine which can be justified as the bird feeds and nurtures her children, which keeps them alive.

 

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