Summary Of Planting A Sequoia By Dana Gioia

1120 Words5 Pages
The cycle of life requires both human and nature's input. A tree cannot grow even with the help of the Earth's natural resources, water and light, without man initially planting the seed. The poem "Planting a Sequoia" written by Dana Gioia unites man and nature. The death of a man becomes the birth of tree. Creating a grave and planting a tree requires the same action, digging a hole. The first stanza of the poem introduces a person, the narrator, digging “hole, laying you into it, carefully packing the soil”. This refers to both planting a tree, and burying a man. The weather is dark and cold which introduces a sad and harsh tone to the poem. The narrator than continues describes a tradition in Sicily, where planting of a tree represents the birth of a child, because the earth has "one more life to bear". The narrator claims that he would have followed this tradition. However instead he is in the cold on his knees planting the sequoia, the native tree of California. With the tree he plants a lock of hair and an infant's umbilical cord. Only now in the middle of the poem does the narrator express that he is burying his son and reconnecting him with the elements of nature. After the planting of the reader is told how nature and man will work together to raise this tree. The men will…show more content…
However, through the simple act of planting a tree a person's life is forever remembered. A father is burying his first-born son. By burying hair and the umbilical cord with the tree, the tree becomes the son. This unification of man and nature becomes the pattern and running theme through the poem. The unification is presented through personification. The literal meaning of the poem, the tree, is referred to throughout the poem as "you". This creates a human connotation and establishes a personal relationship between the figurative you, represented in the tree, and the speaker. This supports the idea of a father burying his

More about Summary Of Planting A Sequoia By Dana Gioia

Open Document