3. LOVELIEST OF TREES, THE CHERRY NOW (A.E.Housman)
CONTEXT: In this poem, the poet appears before us as a lover of nature. He praises the beauty of cherry tree. He is twenty now. He starts to love it at the same age but he is dejected because he has wasted first twenty years of his life and remaining fifty years which he has according to the Bible are not enough to enjoy the beauty of cherry. However, now he does not want to miss any chance of enjoying its beauty.
EXPLANATION: LINES 1 TO 4: In these lines, the poet praises the beauty of the cherry tree. He calls it the most beautiful of all the trees. In its prime time, its branches are bending down loaded with flowers. It is standing along the path in the forest. It is wearing white dress i.e. white snow as the people wear new and bright dress to celebrate Easter. Then, the poet connects Easter and the blooming of cherry saying that both bring relief, satisfaction and joy for the poet as well as the people.
EXPLANATION: LINES 5 TO 8: In these lines, the poet says that this life is too short to enjoy the beauty of objects of nature specially the cherry tree. He needs a long time to have a full appreciation of its beauty. According to the Bible, the expected life of a man in this world is about 70 years. He says that he is 20 now. He starts to love the cherry tree at the same age. But, he is sad to think that he has wasted 20 years in which he could not know the beauty of cherry tree. These 20 years will never return.
EXPLANATION: LINES 9 TO 12: In these lines, the poet shows his love for the cherry tree. He regrets that life is too short to enjoy its beauty. He has spent first twenty years of his life without enjoying the beauty of this tree. Coming 50 years are not enough to enjoy the beauty of cherry tree. He wants to go to the forest to have a look at it covered with snow. This is the only thing which can alleviate his sense of loss of 20 years.
Q.No.1: Who has written this poem?
Answer: This poem is written by A.E. Housman. Love of nature, nostalgia for the past and the pathos of man’s brief existence are prominent elements of his poetry.
Q.No.2: Which fruit is mentioned in the poem? OR What is the cherry tree loaded with? How does the cherry look like? What does the cherry bloom? OR What does the poet depict in “Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now” (MUL-07, 08, 09, 12, SAR-07, LHR, AJK -08, FSD, BWP-07, 10)
Answer: The fruit cherry loaded with flowers is mentioned in the poem. It is wearing white dress i.e. white snow as the people wear new and bright dress to celebrate Easter.
Q.No.3: What was the age of the poet when he started to love cherry? OR Why was the poet dejected? OR Why did the poet think that fifty years were not enough to enjoy the beauty of cherry? OR What does the three score and ten mean? OR How old the poet is now? (BWP, RWP-11, 12, MUl-08)
Answer: The poet is of twenty now and starts to love cherry at the same age. He believes that man’s expected life is seventy years. So, he regrets that next fifty years are not enough to enjoy its beauty.
Q.No.4: What is the connection between cherry and Easter?(AJK-11)
Answer: The poet connects both the Cherry and Easter saying that the blooming of cherry seems to be greeting the approach of Easter.
Q.No.5: What is the theme of the poem? OR Discuss the poet as a lover of nature? OR What does the poet want to convey to his readers? OR What is the central idea of the poem? OR Write down the critical appreciation of the poem? (DGK-11, RWP-12)
Answer: The poet as a lover of nature narrates to us the beauty of cherry. He says that one should not miss any chance of enjoying the bloom of cherry in all seasons.
Q.No.6: What is Easter? Write a note on its importance? (LR-8, FB-10)
Answer: Easter is a festival of the Christians. They celebrate it to revive the birth of Christ and his return to life once again.
Q.No.7: How does the poet personify cherry in the poem? (RWP-10)
Answer: The poet has personified cherry as if it were his beloved. The way the poet loves his beloved, in the same the poet loves cherry.