Note on Four levels of writing to 'Don't Cut Down The Trees, Brother Woodcutter

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Don't Cut Down the Trees, Brother Woodcutter

Literal Comprehension

A man has been gifted with a person who loves him beyond any imaginations, protects him from the worst possibilities and blesses him for his success and happiness. The person, the mother, bear the wounds and scars to see her child smiling. She fears not for her but for her child to suffer. Yet, the man never appreciates what he has been given; he never acknowledges the tears that drop every day to see him where he stands. In this poem, Balakrishna Sama extends the motherly love to form an image of nature.

Phrasing the trees to be "dead mothers" in his very first line, the poet accompanies the poem with a poetic viewpoint coming from mute mother nature. Regardless of the part where nature cannot speak and spill her pain, she still stands beside us in the hour of misery and hopelessness to shade us from sun and rain. Clearly, she wants her children to feel happy and gratified. Nature cannot withstand one's pain for hunger. She nourishes her children with fruits and flowers and embraces them with kisses from her leafy lips. Nature may admire the success of her children but she weeps for how they treat her despite her love. Inconsistent with what nature, the endearing mother has sacrificed for our delights, we keep on wanting more and slash her to wounds for the selfish materialistic needs.

The poet, in depicting the kindness of nature, brings a sight of winter into the poem. Days when people gather and keep themselves warm near fire inside homes, and go to sleep under warm quilts mesmerizing the happiness among each other; they don't realise what's actually happening on the other side of the house. With white frost covering her head and the shrill cold making her ache, standing clumsily outside the house is what the poet refers to our "dead mothers". In spite of the cold shivering her legs, she keeps finding the sunlight from our childhood and waits for the long winter to end. As when the spring finally arrives, she begins to relieve from her aches, however, in despair again yearns her children not to hurt her and slash her into pieces.


This poem mainly aims to depict how man selfishly murders his own mother who gave birth to him, nourished him and raised him. The mother here refers to nature. In simple terms, Sama pours his words to enlighten people about actions prior to cutting trees and destroying nature. The poet goes to an extent of comparing the nature to a man's "dead mother"- "dead" in a sense that she cannot respond to her pain and grieves in words. She remains silent although burdened with sacrificing her own arms to her sons and daughters. The primary concept of this poem is to make people realize what they're actually contributing to nature. The poem emphasizes the phrase "dead mother" in contrast to the trees in order to melt the emotions of woodcutters and stop their inhuman actions.

Critical Thinking

The idea of conserving trees is utmost appreciable, however, one can come to a point of disbelief when dead mothers come to feel all kinds of emotions delicacies of her life. One can also claim disturbance in understanding how else to keep warm during shivering winters aside from burning firewood. The poet remains unable to verify the alternatives to deforestation. He rather focuses on poeticizing the nature and it's attachment to humans. This poem fails to explain the solutions to cutting trees and the better way of living without cutting trees.


The man is gifted with nature. The other gift man possess is the power to build from what has been given. The power to think and recognize what is best has made man superior of all. After reading this poem, we can conclude that man can now recognize how important nature is and how it can be improvised. To sum up, this poem funds the extreme potentials of nature and shares a message of stopping deforestation and protecting nature.


Nissani, M. and S. Lohani. Don't Cut Down The Trees, Brother Woodcutter. Ekta Publication, 2013.


  • Trees are regarded as our "dead mothers"
  • The happy living of humans are due to the sacrifices of trees
  • Sama calls out woodcutter to stop bruising their "dead mothers".

Very Short Questions



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