Trees are the Kindest Things I know

Introduction: This is a simple poem of four stanzas, about trees written by Harry Behn. The poem conveys the importance of trees to the world with the use of very simple images and the poem has a regular rhyme scheme. A regular rhyme means that you can see a pattern in the last words of each line. In this poem you will notice that the poem is in couplets with the last two words of each couplet having similar sounding words (example: know/grow, cows/boughs) .


Stanza Wise Summary


Trees are kind because they are not doing any harm neither to nature nor to any living creature. To be kind is to be gentle, caring and helpful to others. The poem also talks about the kindness of the trees towards the animal world. They provide shed to the sleepy cows and provide a place for the birds to gather and to build their nest in their boughs (branches).So to justify his point that trees are kindest things poet has given us to image -one of sleepy cow and second one of birds making shelter on trees


The poet talks about the trees’ kindness to human beings. They provide us with food, wood for building houses and leaves full of beauty. Trees also brings us joy in springtime, when it gets fresh leaves and flowers.

Note: The first two stanzas create an image of the trees which are very generous and just giving everything to us but demands very little or nothing from us.


It talks about the loftiness (rising to great height) of the trees. The trees being tall are the first ones to catch the morning beams(rays) of the sun as it rises over the horizon. The expression “To touch the beams of morning sun” make the tree tall, majestic and lofty reaching out the sun with their many branches spread out. And they are the last to hold the light before night sets in. It seems as if the trees, in a generous gesture, bring in and hold the life-giving sunlight for the world’s benefit.

READ ALSO:  The Introduction' By Anne Kingsmill Finch- Summary, Analysis and Questions


The trees sing a lullaby when, the moon is up, to put people to sleep. After the day’s work, when people are tired and sleepy. The trees like an old loving grandmother, sing them a lullaby of “sleepy children long ago”. This lullaby is the rustling of leaves in a gentle breeze. It reminds people of a sleepy children of in other words of pure and simple life.

The poet believes that trees are the kindest things is reinforced through various images used in the poem and this again re-affirmed (state again strongly) in the last line of the poem.

Understanding the Text | Questions Answers


Tick the correct answer

1. The line And gather birds among their boughs mean

a. birds sit cosily on the branches.

b. trees hold on to the birds.

c. Birds feel that they cannot escape
Ans. a. birds sit cosily on the branches

2. In the poem, the word beams refer to

a. trees.

b. rays of light

c. smiles
Ans. b. rays of light

3. When the moon floats on the sky, the trees

a. go to sleep.

b. start to sing.

c. Sway gently making a humming sound.

Ans. c. sway gently making a humming sound

4. Trees are active

a. only at night.

b. only in the morning.

c. from morning till night.
Ans. c. from morning till night


Answer the following question.

1. Why are there new buds of green in Spring?
Ans. In winter, trees are bare. Then comes spring, the season when new buds appear and life begins.

2. What do the trees do at night?
Ans. At night, trees hum a sweet lullaby to help children fall asleep.

3. Do you agree with the line? Trees are the kindest things I know. Give reasons to support your answer.
Ans. Yes, trees are the kindest things because they provide home to birds, they provide shelter to man and animals, they provide fruits to eat, wood to build homes.


Answer the following with reference to context

They hum a drowsy lullaby.

Of sleepy children long ago….

a. Why do you think the lullaby is drowsy?
Ans. The trees sway softly and create a very soothing sound that helps children to fall asleep.

b. Who sang lullabies for the sleepy children?
Ans. The trees sang lullabies for the children

READ ALSO:  The Road Not Taken: Summary, Appreciation and Questions

c. When is the lullaby sung according to the poem?
Ans. The lullaby is sung at night.

Playing with words


Give meanings ( Direct Answers)

  1. shade = shelter
  2. bough = branch

  3. touch = to come in contact

  4. gather = bring together

  5. kind = generous

  6. parents = mother and father

  7. return = come back

  8. quietly = without making any noise

  9. scream = loud, sharp cry

  10. neighbour = people who live next door


Give rhyming words for the following

  1. harm = charm
  2. wood = food

  3. spring = bring

  4. beams = teams

  5. night = light

  6. spread = bread

  7. bank = tank

  8. reed = weed

  9. deep = weep

  10. keen = seen

  11. nose = rose

  12. back = pack

Learning the Language

Sentences are groups of words that make sense. There are four types of sentences.

Exercise A

Read the sentence and write their types

1. Do you know her name?
A. Interrogative

2. Meenu has become a renowned dancer.
A. Declarative/Assertive

3. How lovely is the day!
A. Exclamatory

4. Keep quiet
A. Imperative

5. Add garlic sauce to the mixture to make it tasty.

A. Declarative/Assertive

Exercise B

State whether the following sentences are Assertive, interrogative exclamatory or imperative.

Put full stop, question marks and exclamation marks accordingly.

1. The hare and the tortoise decided to have a race

2. Do you think you can run faster than a hare

3. Wear comfortable running shoes for the race

4. What a beautiful day for a good run

5. Please look ahead while running

6. The tortoise got off to a slow start

7. How far is it to the finishing line

8. Who do you think is going to win this race


Put full stop, question marks and exclamation marks accordingly.

  1. . Declarative/Assertive
  2. ? Interrogative

  3. . Imperative

  4. ! Exclamatory

  5. . Imperative

  6. . Declarative/Assertive

  7. ? Interrogative

  8. ? Interrogative

Language Study | Questions

1. Pick from the poem words that rhyme with the following words : ( Answers are given directly)

1) No – know – grow

2) Now – cow – bough

3) Fun – burn

4) Fun – begun, sun

5) Sight – light, night

6) Fly – sky, lullaby

2. From the poem pick out five facts which prove the kindness of trees towards others.

Ans. The five facts which prove the kindness of trees towards others sre:

  1. –Trees spread a shade for sleepy cows.
  • – Trees give fruits.
  • – Birds gather on their boughs.
  • – Trees give wood to build houses.
  • – Trees give leaves to burn on Halloween.

3. Find words that describe the following : ( Answers are given directly)

1) Sleepy cows

2) Kindest things

3) Green new buds

4) Morning sun

5) Drowsy lullaby

6) Kindest trees

7) Sleepy children

4. Pick from the poem lines that create a picture in your mind.

1) They are the first when day’s begun to touch the beams of morning sun.

2) They are the last to hold the light when evening changes into night.

3) And when a moon floats on the sky they hum a drowsy lullaby.

  1. Degrees of comparison of Adjectives.

Read the following sentences.

• Raja is strong.

• Arjun is stronger than Raja

• Arun is the strongest of all.

  1. In sentences i) the Adjective ‘strong’ is in its simple form. It is called positive Degree.
  • In sentence ii) the Adjective ‘stronger’ refers to a higher degree, when there is a comparison of two nouns. It is called comparative Degree. (-er is added to the basic adjective)
  • In sentences iii) the adjective ‘strongest’ refers to the highest degree of comparison of one with more than two nouns. It is called superlative Degree (-est is added to the basic adjective.)

Fill in the table of Degrees of comparison :

Adjectives which have more than two syllables (long words) take ‘more’ and ‘most’ before them to form comparative and superlative degrees.

For example :
Successful – positive Degree

More successful – comparative Degree

Most successful – Superlative Degree

Give the comparative and superlative forms of :

Positive Comparative Superlative

Ancient More ancient Most ancient

Special More special Most special

significant More significant Most significant

Advanced More advanced Most advanced

accurate More accurate Most accurate

6. Write an appreciation of the poem with the help of the points given below (Answers are given below):

1) The title of the poem is Tree are the kindest things I know.

2) The poem is written by Harry Behn.

3) The poem has eight stanzas. Each stanza has two lines.

4) The lines that rhyme in each stanza, are first and second.

5) The poet compares tress with things he knows.

6) And and They are the words repeated in the poem.

7) The line I shall always remember is – Trees are the kindest things I know.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter