‘The Laburnum Top’ by Ted Hughes is all about the tree of the name Laburnum and how the gold finch comes to it and settles in it. It comes to life with its chattering and subsides to emptiness when it flies away.
Important Question and Answers
Q. How does the poet describe the laburnum tree top?
Ans. The laburnum tree top is silent and still in the afternoon of yellow September sunlight. Its few leaves are getting yellow. And all its seeds have fallen.
Q. How does the laburnum tree appear in September?
Ans. In the afternoon of September sunlight, the laburnum top appears silent and quite still. A few leaves of the tree are turning yellow. All the seeds of the tree have fallen.
Q. Describe the scene when goldfinch with her family starts chirruping to the maximum.
Ans. When the goldfinch starts chirruping to the maximum, the scene becomes musical. Chittering and trilling is heard all round. The whole tree seems to be trembling and thrilling because the tree has become like a live engine of great power.
Q. What does the goldfinch do after showing her barred face?
Ans. The goldfinch shows her barred face and chirrups in strange and fearful chirrups. Her chirruping changes into a delicate whistle-chirrup whispering. After singing to the full, she flies away into the sky.
Q. What happens to the laburnum tree after the goldfinch flies away?
Ans. After singing, the goldfinch flies away into the infinite. The laburnum tree becomes silent and quiet again. Emptiness comes to it and it becomes as dead (silent) as it was earlier.
Q. How does the poet describe the beauty of the goldfinch?
Ans. The poet describes the beauty of the goldfinch in the way it chirrups. It brings life to the silent and empty laburnum tree. Its chirruping is musical and ‘life’ has been brought to the tree in its singing. It is her ‘beauty’.
Q. Give a brief account of the sounds and movements of the goldfinch on the top.
Ans. The goldfinch chirps and suddenly settles on the end of a branch on the top of the laburnum tree. Then quite suddenly and watchfully she enters the middle part of the tree. She moves smoothly like a lizard. Then the tree is filled up with a series of short, quick high pitched chattering sounds, shaking of wings and quavering sound. The whole tree shakes slightly and is excited. It seems as if a whole machine has started working. This thickness of the tree houses the family of goldfinch and she stokes the engine of her family before leaving the tree and flying off to the infinite. The laburnum top regains its silence and stillness.