Analyse the poem "The Cherry Trees" by Edward Thomas.   Please include themes, symbols, style, poetic technique (biography not necessary unless it is relevant to the poem).

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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"The Cherry Trees" is almost an imagist poem written by Edward Thomas. The mood of the poem is romantic and melancholy. It is a very sweetly sad poem about death, solitude and silence, the haunting recurrence in Thomas's poetry. Considered to be a poet who realistically renders the horrors of war in his verse, Thomas shows his universality in this little poem, which is more about the generic experience of human mortality rather than the ravages of war.

The Cherry trees are as in Chekhov too, a symbol of life and their shedding their leaves represents the offering of autumnal decay--a passge towards death. There is the "old road" of human life right beside it where all time has passed by and disappeared into an irrevocable past, amking the present condition, an absolute void. The past is dead and the present is like a blank-spot.  The strewn petals of the decaying Cherry tree try to share their sorrow and create a bond with the grass, the most ancient form of life on earth. Only the plantation has remained as it were. The irony is however, that on that May morning, there is none to get married anywhere. The irony is reinforced by the fact that this Autumnal or Wintry spectacle of death seems to arrive in an untimely manner in Summer itself. The condition of void in the poem can also be connected with the apocalyptic experience of war.

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