Our-Casuarina-Tree-by-Toru-Dutt-Summary

Our Casuarina Tree is a poem written by poetess Toru Dutt. This poem has personal association with the poetess’ life. Poet had a unforgettable young life associated with a big Casuarina Tree situated in a big garden house at Rambagan, where she spend her childhood with her dearest ones.

The poem Our Casuarina Tree shows the strong attachment of the poetess to the big tree of her early days with beloved companions. Though now she is living in another countries still the murmur of the tree boughs travel across the distance lands and echos in poetess’ ears.

This poem is romantic in tone and contain autobiographical reminiscences. The fist two stanzas scrutinize the tree objectively.

Stanza I

LIKE a huge Python, winding round and round
The rugged trunk, indented deep with scars,
Up to its very summit near the stars,
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Sung darkling from our tree, while men repose.

The tree is compared “Like a Huge Python” conveys the massiveness of the tree. Its grandeur is in its height and age. “The rugged trunk, indented deep with scars, Up to its very summit near the stars”  The tree is a source of life and “wears the scarf” of creeper with casuarina flowers. Birds and bees gather here and the song of bird at night is endless and sweet.

Stanza II

When first my casement is wide open thrown
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The water-lilies spring, like snow enmassed.

This stanza moves from the objective description of the tree to the impact it has on the poem narrator whose “eyes delighted on it zest”. The power of observation and the selection of the detail instill the poem with interest. There is a gray baboon sits alone like a statue while it’s “puny offsprinleap about and play”,  the kokilas ( nightingales ) hailing the day near and far. The “sleepy Cows” are walking under the tree trough the meadow. And on the big tank in the garden, the massive tree is reflected. The Blooming snow-white water-lilies make the scene more charming.

Stanza III

But not because of its magnificence
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That haply to the unknown land may reach.

The poetess affirms the tree is so dear to her not because of it’s magnificence, but for the memories of her childhood beneath the boughs of that tree with her beloved companions. It has been many years now, still she gets energy from her sweet childhood memories beneath the tree, the tree is ever dear to her and capable to fill her eyes with tear. Many years passed, still she hear the murmur like sound from the boughs of the the tree like a sea breaks on pebbles in the bank. Yeah ! it’s the sad murmur from raised by its branches that may reach far-off lands.

Stanza IV

Unknown, yet well-known to the eye of faith!
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I saw thee, in my own loved native clime.

The memories of the tree is deeply touched the poet’s heart. In her girlhood she knows that tree very much. Now she has left the land but still she gets the high pitched grief from the tree in to the distant lands. Those beautiful memories of that massive tree stir her heart even when she is in foreign countries like Italy or France.

Stanza V

Therefore I fain would consecrate a lay
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May Love defend thee from Oblivion’s curse.

Poetess wishes to dedicate this poem in the honor of her beloved tree and her companions associated with it. She affirms the Casuarina tree will remain even after her death along with other trees as it’s now. Also she affirms that this poem written in praise of this beloved Casuarina will always memorize the world about ‘her beloved Casuarina tree’.

Poetess wishes the immortality of her verse and ends with a delightful line – “May Love defend thee from Oblivion’s curse” 

Conclusion

The sonnet has been considered as “beautiful poetic pieces, the outburst of poetic genius”. It’s a memorable poem by Toru Dutt. It’s an admirable blend of local touches, and literary reminiscences of objective descriptions of the actual tree and the charm of association with Toru’s child hood. To the poet’s fancy, the tree in sympathy sounds a dirge like murmur like ‘the sea breaking on a shingle-beach’. It is the ‘eerie speech’ or ‘lament’ of the tree that, she hopes, may perhaps reach ‘the unknown land’. Such a way always it strikes a cold of memory in her even when she was travelling in France or Italy, it had always send her thought to the past bringing the memory of the Casuarina tree.

This poem is written in 1 lines stanza form. Rhyming ABBA CDDC EEE. It was a new and successful experiment.

In the words of Dr.Iyengar ” in the organization of the as a whole and in the finish of the individual stanzas, in the mastering of phrase and rhythm, in its music of sound and ideas, ‘Our Casuarina Tree’ is a superb piece of writing, and gives us a taste of what Toru might have done and not the race of her life been so quickly run”

Salahudheen Kozhikoden

The Founder and CEO of LittleHelpz. He is a post-graduate in English Language and Literature and a web addict. His areas of interest are Blogging, Designing, Programming