The Laburnum Top
The Laburnum Top :
The Laburnum Top is silent, quite still
in the afternoon yellow September sunlight,
A few leaves yellowing, all its seeds fallen
Till the goldfinch comes, with a twitching chirrup
A suddeness, a startlement,at a branch end
Then sleek as a lizard, and alert and abrupt,
She enters the thickness,and a machine starts up
Of chitterings, and of tremor of wings,and trillings -
The whole tree trembles and thrills
It is the engine of her family.
She stokes it full, then flirts out to a branch-end
Showing her barred face identity mask
Then with eerie delicate whistle-chirrup whisperings
She launches away, towards the infinite
And the laburnum subsides to empty
By Ted Hughes
Important Words :
Laburnum : The Golden Chain tree - A commonly found tree with golden flowers that hang in bunches
Laburnum Top : The top of the laburnum tree - its highest branches
Goldfinch : Wild canary - A small, yellow bird - The male of the species has black markings across the face, on the wings and tail.
Twitch : Small, often involuntary movement of a body part
Chirrup : An onomatopoeic word capturing the sound made by a bird
Startlement : Amazement - a sudden unexpected action which causes surprise
Sleek : Smooth - In the context of the poem, it could imply a quick movement without much disruption.
Abrupt : Sudden or unexpected
Chittering : An onomatopoeic word capturing bird sounds
Tremor : Shiver - shake
Trillings : Singing repeatedly - In the context of the poem, an onomatopoeic word, capturing bird sounds
Stokes : Adds fuel - In the context of the poem, the goldfinch feeds its family, providing the fuel (nutrition) that the machine (the bird's family) needs to be energetic
Flirts : In the context of the poem, move abruptly or jerkily with light steps
Eerie : Strange in a frightening or mysterious way
Infinite : In the context of the poem, the sky
Launches : In the context of the poem, flies
Subsides : Returns, reduces in intensity
The Laburnum Top
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