Federal G11 English Chapter 3 Good Timber Douglas Malloch
Summary Of Good Timber Douglas Meloch’s
Douglas Meloch’s “Good Timber” describes the way that good wood and strong man’s trees are made by hard work and struggle.
The poem begins with a speaker explaining how trees and man are of two kinds. First of all, there are people who are easily given everything they need to survive. Such a person or tree never worries about where their food and water will come from.
On the other hand, there are trees and men who have to fight from birth to survive. Their broken branches and scars are proof of their ability to survive and become the “King of the Jungle.”
Q.1) What is the significance of the title of the poem ‘Good Timber?’
Answer: The title of the poem ‘Good Timber’ holds significance with respect to the message of the poem. The poet has artfully compared good timber with good men. He believes that it is not easy for both timber and men to become good without going through hard times. It is a bare fact that the more they suffer, the more they become worthwhile and beneficial for society.
Q.2) What is good timber? How does tree grow into good timber?
Answer: Good timber faces adversity and hard times with bravery. It is the one that encounters the forces of nature such as strong winds and unfavourable conditions throughout life, due to this it becomes vital, good, and beneficial. A tree can only grow into good timber when it passes through the tough test of the scorching sun, cold and hot weather, snow, rain.
Q.3) What, according to Douglas Malloch, is the fate of those people who do not work hard in life?
Answer: According to Douglas Malloch, those people who do not work hard never excel in any field of life. They can not have a strong personality and can never develop their social, moral, and economic position. Such people live and die without achieving anything significant in their life.
Q.4) How can a person achieve his/her true potential in life? Illustrate it with examples from the poem ‘Good Timber.’
Answer: A person can achieve his true potential only when he faces hardships, difficulties and tough times with courage and determination. According to the poet, a man becomes strong when encounters and overcomes adversity in life. Hardships, unfavourable conditions, difficult situations polish our abilities and capabilities thus, helping us in becoming good human beings. A person does not become strong if he gets everything easily without putting in hard work. Douglas compares good timber with men as timber has to bear harsh winds, rain, sunshine, and snow to become good and beneficial, the same is the case with men.
Q.5) What is the central idea of the poem ‘Good Timber?’
Answer: The central idea of the poem ‘Good Timber’ is that in order to become good and beneficial one has to face hardships and difficulties in life. Both timber and man have to overcome adversity with courage and determination. The struggle is a key to success to live a perfect, valuable life otherwise both of them die without achieving anything worthwhile in their life.
Q.6) What is the rhyme scheme of the poem ‘Good Timber?’
Answer: ‘Good Timber is one of the outstanding works Douglas. It comprises four stanzas, each having six lines. The poem is well-structured and follows a beautiful, consistent rhythmic pattern. The rhyme scheme of the poem is AABBCC.
Q.7) An extended metaphor is a poetic device in which two unlike things are compared in a series of lines of a poem. Give the example of extended metaphor from the poem ‘Good Timber.’
Answer: The whole poem is an example of extended metaphor as the poet has skillfully compared good timber with man. He is of the opinion that both timber and man have to go through tough times of life to become good and beneficial. If they do not do so they would not be able to achieve anything significant in their life.
Q.8) What is alliteration? Give its examples from the poem ‘Good Timber.’
Answer: Alliteration is the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. The poet has used this literary technique of alliteration quite beautifully throughout his poem ‘Good Timber,’ for instance, sun and sky, manly man, storm and strength, sun and snow, good and grow, and broken branches.
Writing Paraphrase The Good Timber
A. Write a paraphrase of the following lines.
Where thickest lies the forest growth We find the patriarchs of both. And they hold counsel with the stars Whose broken branches show the scars Of many winds and much of strife This is the common law of life.
Paraphrase: Good timber and good man select the thickest part of the forest growth as their abode, both of them are the leaders of their species. From their chosen place, they are able to communicate with stars and hold counsel with them. Their broken branches and scars on their bodies are a clear reflection of the fact that they have faced harsh winds and struggled really hard as this is the common law of life.
B. Read the poem ‘Good Timber’ carefully and write a paragraph in retrospection about the feelings that the poem evoked in you.
Answer: After reading the poem, I feel quite motivated and energetic. The reason behind is that the poet has beautifully compared man’s life with that of timber. He has given a clear message through the lines of ‘Good Timber’ that one has to bear hardships in order to get success in life. Yes, it is true. Similarly, those who lead an easy-going life are unable to achieve anything worthwhile. They just came and go from this world without any recognition or appreciation. I feel that if we apply this simple rule in our lives we would be able to excel and develop a strong personality that may impress or motivate others.’
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The 2nd stanza of this section begins with a description of a particular type of tree and its life. From the first stanza, it is clear that the tree stands for man. Is an extended metaphor that extends the length of the poem by which the mullahs use the trees to represent human beings and they lead different lives.
He first speaks of the tree he never had to fight. It is clear from this line alone that he despises such a person. “Fighting” already seems necessary. In the following lines, he explains how a tree or a man who lives a simple life does not worry about resources. They have all the food, water, air and light they need to survive. These requirements are not registered for them. Also, because of their position, they “always” get enough rain.
The status of a tree speaks in such a way that much of one’s life is determined by its birth. No one can choose the life in which they were born. The tree did not have to fight for it. The last two lines indicate the end of such a life. This type of tree will never become the “King of the Jungle” or one of the largest, strongest trees in the forest. It will live and die “a dirty thing.” It may have a position, but it did nothing to advance its inner strength.
The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.
In the next 6 lines of “Good Timber,” the speaker compares the tree to a man who has never “become a man.” This man lived a similar life. He never had to “work/get his own piece of land and cultivate it.” Just as the tree was given all the elements of life that it needed, so the man was given his “share” without effort.
The last two lines reinforce the comparison between man and tree. Without progress, he “died as he began.” Socially, morally and economically his position did not improve as he did not feel the need to go beyond his readily available resources.
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
The third stanza of ‘Good Timber’ is committed to describing what makes “good” or healthy, “wood”. A tree that has a long and successful life “does not grow easily.” It encounters “strong winds” and “more skies” in its day than the “scrubby” tree has ever encountered. It also survives more storms and an uncommitted amount of sun, cold and “rain and snow”.
The last line connects a good wooden tree with a “man”. The same force created both kinds of life.