The Laburnum Top | Ted Hughes | Poem | Summary | Class 11 | English |


The Laburnum Top Class 11 by Ted Hughes | Poem | Summary | English |

Summary of The Laburnum Top

The Laburnum Top is all about poet’s experience of observing a ‘Laburnum Tree’ whereon he finds dead silence in the month of September on a pleasant day with a few of its leave turning yellow and all the seeds fallen on the ground.

Later on, he gets to see a bird (Goldfinch) coming and sitting on the branch-end and entering the thickness of the tree like a lizard. Thereafter, a lot of twitter is heard by him made by the young goldfinches that seem to be very excited and joyous on the arrival of their mother.

According to the poet, Goldfinch comes and brings a lot of food in her beak and quenches the hunger of her young ones. Having observed the bird, the poet says that she acts as a machine and engine for her family. Finally, after feeding her young ones, she launches her to the sky to bring more food for them.

In this way, the poet describes the hardships of life through the depiction of the poem ‘The Laburnum Top’. 

Poetic Devices Used in The Laburnum Top


  • The Laburnum Top

Important Questions/Answers

Q1. What do you notice about the beginning and the ending of the poem?

Ans. We notice that there is a dead silence on the tree in the beginning and the ending of the poem. The only noise is created on the arrival of Goldfinch which brings life to the tree.

Q2. To what is the bird’s movement compared? What is the basis of the comparison?

Ans. The bird’s movement is compared to a lizard because of its alertness and speed. The way Goldfinch enters the thickness of the tree makes the poet compare her to a lizard.

Q3. Why is the image of engine evoked by the poet?

Ans, The image of engine is evoked by the poet to highlight the importance of a mother or the head of the family who sacrifices her everything for the sake of her children. It is also evoked to show that how a family is run by the head.

Q4. What do you like most about the poem?

Ans, We like the entrance of Goldfinch who brings the life not only to her young ones but also to a dead tree which is motionless both in the beginning and in the ending of the poem.


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