The Casuarina Tree

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Our Casuarina Tree
Our Casuarina Tree is a poem by Toru Dutt, an Indian poet.The poem gives an objective description of the tree and the charm associated with poet's childhood. It begins with an account of the giant tree with a creeper wrapped around it like a huge python. It is the centre of busy life of birds and beasts. The tree is depicted as grand and charming. It has become dear to the poet because of the memories that surround it - memories of a time when happy children played under its shade. The thought brings out an intense yearning for the playmates, who are now no more alive. For their sake, the tree has become a symbol of their memory.The tree is an immortal memory of the poets joyous past which the cruel waves of time had swept away. The last stanza unfolds a desire of the poet for the immortality of the tree - May Love defend thee from Oblivion's curse. In the poem the poet celebrates the beauty and the majesty of the tree. She uses the medium of the tree to receive her memories of the past. The poet attempts to recapture the happy time of her childhood in the company of her siblings - Abju and Aru. She immortalises those glorious moments of happiness by recalling the memory of the tree. The emphasis goes beyond that one tree. In this poem, the poet delicately recaptures the past and binds it to her present. The tree has been made immortal by Toru dutt. The first two stanzas scrutinize the tree objectively. The following two subjectively analyses its relation with the poetess' own state of being. It connects the immortal tree to the mortal siblings, and thereby renders them immortal Analysis of Toru Dutt's "Our Casuarina Tree"

The tree in Toru Dutt’s “Our Casuarina Tree” stands for the motherland with its giant stature. It is indented with scars that has been inflicted by the past tribulations. The rugged’ trunk hints at the antiquity of the culture. The tree reaches for the stars and represents the aspirations of millions. The python-like creeper stands for the cultural invasion that the country has faced. The symbol of the Python represents an objective outlook as foreigners have always viewed India as the land of snakes and magicians. It gallantly wears the culture with dignity. It accepts the invasion of the creeper and utilizes it as an embellishment(scarf) that enhances its appearance. The “gathered bird and bee” emblematize communal activity in India as it is a conglomeration of various cultures and religions. A creeper climbs, in whose embraces bound

No other tree could live.
By these lines, the poetess signifies that no other country could have absorbed these foreign elements and yet maintained its own identity. It wears the python like a ‘scarf’ as an embellishment and protective cover that only enhances it dignity. The symbol of the scarf may also refer to the concept of modesty in the Indian culture where the feminity of a woman is synonymous with modesty. Flowers are hung in crimson colours all the bough along. ‘Crimson’ is a bold colour, the colour of festivity .The bird and bee and their songs represent the rich natural vegetation. Lines like ‘With one sweet song that seems to have no close’ underline the rich cultural tradition that fails to die away. It exists even while men repose .It lends the speaker an inherent delight as she opens her windows to look at it ,at dawn. It is also an abode to the animal world as the statuesque baboon rests on it at winter, and a source of amusement to the offsprings as they play on it. And oft at nights the garden overflows

With one sweet song that seems to have no close,
Sung darkling from our tree, while men repose.
Though men go to sleep or expire, the rich cultural heritage represented by the music here lives on. While the earlier picture is an objective assessment of an outsider, the above lines represent the appraisal of the culture by an insider. And the speaker beholds a gray baboon as it sits statuesque watching the sunrise; while on lower...
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