The Laburnum Top Summary Class 11th English

The Laburnum Top Summary
The Laburnum Top Summary

About the poet 

 The Laburnum Top” is a poem by Ted Hughes, also known as Edward J. Hughes. He was an English poet known for his use of animals in his poems. As well as poetry, he was interested in anthropology and folklore. 

Summary Of the Laburnum Top

The Laburnum Top summary will deliver the students a smooth and straightforward understanding of the poem. In the poem, the two major subjects are a Laburnum Tree and a Goldfinch bird. This poem describes the mutual relationship between the goldfinch and the Laburnum tree. 

 The poet describes the tree in the autumn month of September. The tree is quiet and still in the yellow September light. He describes the tree’s yellow leaves and seeds that had fallen off. He notices that the tree still seemed dull and dead-like until the goldfinch rested on its branch. The goldfinch bird and her young ones chirping on its branches brought it back to life. She slid into the tree like a lizard, fast and smooth. In the yellow September light, the poet writes, the Laburnum tree appeared ‌lovely. The mother Goldfinch continues to fly in search of food for her young. She feeds her young ones and then moves on to another branch to feed the others. As soon as the bird flies back into the sky, there is complete silence on the laburnum tree. The tree falls silent once more, as it did before she arrived.  

The Laburnum Top Explanation Line by Line

The Laburnum Top, by Ted Hudges, is a four-stanza poem. The poem is a beautiful description of a Laburnum tree and a Goldfinch bird. Here, the poet talks about the symbiotic relationship between both.   

Ted Hudges starts with a description of the top of the Laburnum tree, which is very calm and still. The tree looks very motionless and silent in the autumn September afternoon. The poet observes that the leaves of the tree have turned yellow and its seeds are falling off the tree. This gives the tree a death-like appearance and makes it quite silent. He describes the entire afternoon scenario in yellow colour. The yellow color symbolizes the sunlight and the leaves of the tree. There was complete silence.  

Then the poet witnesses a Goldfinch bird whose arrival brings life to the tree. The bird came there in the thickness of the branch of the tree to feed her young ones. The small yellow bird produces a chirruping sound on its arrival. With its quick movements, the bird sits at one end of the branch. As she walked to the other end of the tree, her young ones chirped, bringing the tree to life. The poet compared the movement of the bird to that of a lizard, rapid, alert, and precautionary. With their flapping wings, the baby birds emit a sound like a moving machine. The mother bird has a dark and striped face.  

The movement of the bird makes the tree move as well. Here, the poet means that the life-less and dead tree gave life and shelter to nurture the little ones. In the poem, the poet gives two contrasting situations of the tree. The first is that the tree is very silent and death-like still. The second is that the tree provides cover and safety to the baby Goldfinches.  

The poet remarks ‌that the Laburnum tree is the engine of the bird’s family. Both of them exist in association with their survival. The bird moves from one branch to the other to feed her little ones. While doing so, her dark-colored body with the stripped face is not visible. She hides behind the yellow leaves of the trees as her body color is also yellow. The goldfinch’s strange, low whistle fluttering restores the tranquility that existed before. After feeding her young, the bird slides to the end of the branch. Then she chirps and flies away into the endless blue sky. The Laburnum tree becomes silent and deathlike once more, showing no signs of life and joy in it.  

In “the Laburnum tree” summary, the poet brings up the relationship between the tree and the bird. We learn that they are important for each other’s survival. Both of them symbolize life and frustration. Just like the tree and the little yellow bird the entire universe depends on each other. The poem is a wonderful presentation of nature and its beauty.  


To conclude, we can learn from the poem “The Laburnum Top” how the lifeless and silent tree comes to life after ‌the Goldfinch bird arrives. In this poem, the bird and the tree are shown to have an independent and nurturing relationship. The bird gives life to the tree, and the tree gives shelter to the little ones of the goldfinch bird. 



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