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It Is Not Growing Like A Tree Analysis



Author: poem of Ben Jonson Type: poem Views: 7

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It is not growing like a tree

In bulk doth make Man better be;

Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,

To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,

Although it fall and die that night—

It was the plant and flower of light.

In small proportions we just beauties see;

And in short measures life may perfect be.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Life is meaningful if it lived with utmost happiness; this happiness May be had by small and beautiful things like Lily though it does not last more than a day

| Posted on 2017-09-22 | by a guest


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The poem deals with perfect life.The perfect life does not mean age long life like bulky oak tree.A lily flower blooms for a day but it fills the time with sheer beauty.So life should be balanced and beautiful whereas it may be for a shorter span of time.Greatness is not growing in size but in activeness and beauty.The perfect life of an individual is always praise worthy.Virtues and good qualities are always praised.The message of the poem is really unique.

| Posted on 2016-11-15 | by a guest


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i was once told this poem was written for the mother of a young man who had died, to console her with the knowledge that the true value of life is not measured in length, but in depth

| Posted on 2016-09-21 | by a guest


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1.what idea does the oak stand for in this poem?
2 what idea does the lily stand for?
3. What is special about the lily 'in may'?
4 explain the phrase 'plant and flower of light'?
5 give in your own word the idea expressed in the last two lines?

| Posted on 2015-04-26 | by a guest


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I think its obout a sexual lady who hides and preys on adolescent males

| Posted on 2014-05-06 | by a guest


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The poet, Ben Jonson, in the poem ‘The Noble Nature’, talks about what makes a man noble. He compares man to a sturdy oak and to a delicate lily in order to do this.
Growing physically like a bulky tree or living long like a sturdy oak does not make a man a noble being. The huge, strong and aged oak will soon become a lifeless, ‘dry’ and withered piece of log. So too will be the fate of a man who is only blessed with long life and physical and material well being.
The lily plant has a short life. It blooms in May and is very beautiful. Although the flower has the life span of a day and falls and dies by nightfall, it spreads beauty and delight in that short period. The poet feels that a meaningful life like the lily flower, though short, is what makes a man noble and even though a man’s life is short it can be a perfect life.

| Posted on 2014-01-26 | by a guest


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Q. 1. What is the central idea of the poem ?
Ans. Long life and big size is not a sign of excellence. Even a short life can be perfect. Long life is not perfect if it is not eventful. On the other hand a short life is perfect if it is filled with beauty.

J.P.S. Jagraon

| Posted on 2013-04-22 | by a guest


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The first and last two lines state the proposition that the value of someones life, or the actions they have committed throughout it, should not be measured by their vastness or extremity, but instead, humankind should try to find value in small things that are beautiful and pure. The intervening six lines match this proposition by contrasting two images that exemplify this idea. The image of the oak tree refers to the obvious choice for something great, but the line it is not growing like a tree shows that that may not be the accurate choice. Although the oak seems all-powerful and mighty, it offers no benefit to anything but itself, until it fall a log at last and can be used for lumber. This could reference a person who could have seemed outwardly great during their life, but didnt share their wealth to help others, so the only thing they really did of value was their dying. Harsh, I know, but somewhat true. In contrast, the lily, which exemplifies purity and quiet beauty, offers beauty and happiness to others around it. Although its life is short lived, it offers more value that the 300 year old oak tree because its existence benefited others, rather than selfishly keeping everything for itself.

| Posted on 2012-02-28 | by a guest


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in my opinion lily will die soon not to become ugly as it dies

| Posted on 2012-02-28 | by a guest


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oak doesn\'t do any thing other than giving the live giving air \"OXYGEN\".

| Posted on 2011-12-19 | by a guest


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the poem tells us life lived long yet in vain or useless is not a measure of greatness; however, a life lived short yet it has been a source of happiness or beauty to those around is a true measure of greatness. one doesn\'t have to live like the oak - 300 years, huge, sturdy, and imposing... yet the oak lives only for itself... the lily on the other hand may live only for a day, but it is noticed by others, and upon noticing it, they found true happiness or joy...
one\'s greatness is measured by he or she has touched the lives of those around him or her....

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest


.: :.

the poem tells us life lived long yet in vain or useless is not a measure of greatness; however, a life lived short yet it has been a source of happiness or beauty to those around is a true measure of greatness. one doesn\'t have to live like the oak - 300 years, huge, sturdy, and imposing... yet the oak lives only for itself... the lily on the other hand may live only for a day, but it is noticed by others, and upon noticing it, they found true happiness or joy...
one\'s greatness is measured by he or she has touched the lives of those around him or her....

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest


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The poet has describe the an oak tree is a long tree which lives for more than 300 years.Though it may be huge and bulky it doesn\'t have any use for others.Neither it gives fruits nor it gives shelter.It lives for many years and falls at last without being noticed in soil to decay.

| Posted on 2010-09-02 | by a guest


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The poet has describe the an oak tree is a long tree which lives for more than 300 years.Though it may be huge and bulky it doesn\'t have any use for others.Neither it gives fruits nor it gives shelter.It lives for many years and falls at last without being noticed in soil to decay.

| Posted on 2010-09-02 | by a guest


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This poem once more reminds us of the truth universally acknowledged that literature is something universal. It is a common theme that having a short but beautiful life is much better than a long but ugly life. Ben Jonson by putting two images beside each other in a terse form leads to the creation of vast associations of each image in the readers imagination. Though the poem is short, it has an enduring effect on the reader. In effect the poem has become like a lily: it is short but beautiful and permanent in the mind.

| Posted on 2009-12-15 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem's message is a simple one: searching for beauty and perfection you have to look beyond the biggest, most notable that easily catches your eyes.
What is interesting is the way poet says what he wants to say; He begins his argument abruptly with a negation and goes into several adjectives to stablish his disapptroval. By using an old symbol of rootedness and steadfastness ,oak , he defies the notion that only the most stable and magnificent are praiseworthy. Here all the "b's" and "g's" are helping to add force to the speaker's disapproval and he intentionaly uses the adjectives which mostly focus on quantity rather than quality.
Then we have a sudden change in tone and language which becomes considerably softer and approving. Again we have another well-known symbol, lily which stands in sharp contrast with oak with its symbolic significances such as whiteness, purity, beauty , perfection and brevity of life as well as its attached attributes which are all suggestive of quality.
Finally in second two lines the poet sums up his view. Here by using "just" and "may" he shows a sort of moderation as if telling us although we all acknowledge magnificence of oak we should not overlook beauty of lily which is nothing short of it. The poet is in fact inviting us in a subtle way to a closer observation of our surroundings and discovery of beauties which are hidden from uneducated eyes.

| Posted on 2009-12-07 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem's message is a simple one: searching for beauty and perfection you have to look beyond the biggest, most notable that easily catches your eyes.
What is interesting is the way poet says what he wants to say; He begins his argument abruptly with a negation and goes into several adjectives to stablish his disapptroval. By using an old symbol of rootedness and steadfastness ,oak , he defies the notion that only the most stable and magnificent are praiseworthy. Here all the "b's" and "g's" are helping to add force to the speaker's disapproval and he intentionaly uses the adjectives which mostly focus on quantity rather than quality.
Then we have a sudden change in tone and language which becomes considerably softer and approving. Again we have another well-known symbol, lily which stands in sharp contrast with oak with its symbolic significances such as whiteness, purity, beauty , perfection and brevity of life as well as its attached attributes which are all suggestive of quality.
Finally in second two lines the poet sums up his view. Here by using "just" and "may" he shows a sort of moderation as if telling us although we all acknowledge magnificence of oak we should not overlook beauty of lily which is nothing short of it. The poet is in fact inviting us in a subtle way to a closer observation of our surroundings and discovery of beauties which are hidden from uneducated eyes.

| Posted on 2009-12-07 | by a guest


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The poet's son died in childhood, aged about 7 or 8. This poem is part of his grief for his beloved child's short life, and self-comfort that a life does not have to be a long one to have beauty and perfection.

| Posted on 2009-05-29 | by a guest


.: Analysis :.



It is not growing like a tree
In bulk doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be

| Posted on 2007-12-05 | by a guest


.: thru my imperfect underst :.

i think the poem is about the temporariness of every beautiful thing. a human being does not neccessarily needs to have a long lasting life in order to see and enjoy the beuties of life. One can find beauty even in common trivial things around. It is your view point toward whatever you see which matters not the things which are already before your eyes.

Abbas Borhan

| Posted on 2007-10-18 | by a guest




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