The Trees Are Down Analysis by Charlotte Mew

The Trees Are Down Analysis: The nature poem The Trees are Down by Charlotte Mew describes the cutting down of trees and the effect it has on the narrator. I was immediately overwhelmed with the images, sounds, and feelings it gave me.

The images of Charlotte Mew’s poem puts into my head are especially strong at the beginning. In great detail, trees are described as being cut down.

These trees are not small, either. They are described as great, which implies that they are large. Large trees are usually very old, so they had probably been in their location ‘at the end of the gardens’ for hundreds of years.

And now, they are being cut down with saws by men who actually laugh in enjoyment as they perform this terrible feat.

This part of the poem is also filled with sound. As the tree is cut, every part of it seems to cry out. The branches swish, the leaves rustle, and the trunks crash loudly as they hit the ground.

Simultaneously, the men cutting down these great creations ‘whoop’ and ‘whoa’ and laugh as they fall, admiring their ‘accomplishment’.

The poem The Trees are Down also evoked many emotions and sensations as you read. After the narrator witnesses the trees being cut down, she has a flashback of springtime, when she had seen a dead rat in the mud.

Even though she thought rats were revolting, alive or dead, she thought that they at least deserve to be alive in the springtime.

This makes you feel a bit of sympathy for the rat so when she goes back to the subject of the trees, something much more majestic, it makes you feel worse about the action of them being cut down and ‘killed’.

Near the end of the poem, the narrator makes you feel even worse about the death of the trees as she explains what it has done to her. She explains that the event itself did not ruin the season of spring itself, but that it ruined her spring. She had been around these trees for half of her life, and she explains that part of her had died with them.

With all of this buildup the narrator has created in describing this horrible event, comparing it to the death of a rat, and explaining how it made her feel, this poem creates in the reader an ultimate sympathy for the trees that otherwise would not have been there if the poem had just described the beginning scene.

This poem gave me sympathy for not just the trees, but nature in general. It made me realize that the beauty of nature can easily be altered and destroyed, something that I realized is not okay.
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