My father told the tenants to leave
Who lived on the houses surrounding the hill
One by one the structures were demolished
Only our own house remained and the trees
Trees are sacred my grandmother used to say
Felling them is a crime but he massacred them all
The sheoga, the oudumber, the neem were all cut down
But the huge banyan tree stood like a problem
Whose roots lay deeper than all our lives
My father ordered it to be removed.
The banyan tree was three times as tall as our house
Its trunk had a circumference of fifty feet
Its scraggy aerial roots fell to the ground
From thirty feet or more, so first they cut the branches
Sawing them off for seven days and the heap was huge
Insects and birds began to leave the tree;
And then they came to its massive trunk
Fifty men with axes chopped and chopped
The great tree revealed its rings of two hundred years
We watched in terror and fascination this slaughter
As a raw mythology revealed to us its age
Soon afterwards we left Baroda for Bombay
Where there are no trees except the one
Which grows and seethes in one’s dreams, its aerial roots Looking for the ground to strike.
(Based on a true story. I tried to use a blank verse this time, unlike the last sonnet; and tried to set a more conversational tone.)
"stood like a problem" sounds a bit awkward, but its not the worst sentence we've gotten around here.
Overall this was a great poem. I'm not too useful when it comes to feedback on poems though, I'm sure one of our other fine site members would be able to help you with this (if feedback is what you are looking for, anyway).
I enjoyed it, and hope to see more stuff from you!
Thanks for checking it out :-)
I think this is a very well written poem. I really don't mind the line about the banyan tree standing like a problem because you expand on that simile that touches on the human condition. I particularly like the parallel between the dream tree at the end and banyan in the rest of the poem. There's some subtle use of metaphor here that delves into the psyche and the unconscious and the whole notion about how individuals interact with society as a whole.
My aim was to make the Banyan tree as a symbol to where the family belongs and what the poet goes through when suddenly moving and leaving everything behind. The idea behind the dream was the existential dread the poem felt and how the poet remembered the tree, I was going to add a few more lines to make it seem more dark and serious but ultimately decided against it. Thanks for going through it!