Class 10 English Chapter 4 My Own True Family – Ted Hughes

My Own True Family – Ted Hughes

About the Poet & the Poem:

Edward James ‘Ted’ Hughes (1930 – 1998) was a prolific English poet, translator, and children’s writer. Critics frequently rank him as one of the best poets of his generation. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984 and held office until his death. His popular works include – Birthday Letter, The Hawk in the Rain, and Tales from Ovid.

The poem has 15 lines and the rhyme scheme is aaabbbcccdddeee. The poem describes the magical experience of a young child in Oakwood and indicates that human beings and trees should thrive as a single-family.


Analysis of the Poem:

Lines 1-6:

“Once I crept in an…tied to a stake.”

The poem opens with the speaker of the poem saying that once he had entered an oakwood in search of a stag. There he met a weak and feeble old woman in worn-out clothes. She told the speaker that she had his secret preserved inside her little bag. Then she started laughing in a ridiculous way making him tremble in fear. And she opened up her little bag in a magical way, and the speaker found himself surrounded by a staring tribe, tied to a stake.

( কবিতার সূচনা হয় বক্তার কথা দিয়ে যে একবার তিনি একটি পুরুষ হরিণের সন্ধানে একটি ওকবনে প্রবেশ করেছিলেন। সেখানে তার দেখা হয়েছিল জীর্ণ জামাকাপড় পরা এক দুর্বল বৃদ্ধার সাথে।  তিনি বক্তাকে বলেছিলেন যে তিনি তার ছোট্ট ব্যাগের মধ্যে তার (বক্তার) গোপনীয়তা সংরক্ষণ করেছেন। তারপর তিনি এমন ভাবে হাসতে শুরু করেন যে বক্তা ভয়ে কাঁপতে শুরু করল। এরপর তিনি একটি জাদুকরী উপায়ে তার ছোট্ট ব্যাগটি খুললেন, এবং বক্তা নিজেকে একটি তাকানো উপজাতি দ্বারা বেষ্টিত, একটি দণ্ডে বাঁধা অবস্থায় দেখতে পেলেন। )

Lines 7-12:

“They Said…but never grew.”

The tribes said that they were actually oak trees and mentioned themselves as the speaker’s own true family. They expressed their disgrace saying that they were chopped down and torned up but these things never moved him. They threatened him that they would kill him unless he made a promise. They made the speaker take an oath that whenever he would see an oak tree being cut he would plant two. And if he would not swear then the black oak bark would devour him.

( সেই উপজাতিরা বলেছিল যে তারা আসলে ওক গাছ  এবং  তারা নিজেদেরকে বক্তার নিজের প্রকৃত পরিবার হিসাবে উল্লেখ করেছিল।  তারা তাদের অপমান প্রকাশ করে বলেছিল যে তাদের কেটে ফেলা হয়েছিল এবং ছিঁড়ে ফেলা হয়েছিল কিন্তু এই জিনিসগুলি তাকে (বক্তাকে) কখনই আন্দোলিত করেনি।  তারা তাকে হুমকি দেয় যে সে প্রতিশ্রুতি না দিলে তারা তাকে হত্যা করবে।  তারা বক্তাকে শপথ নিতে বাধ্য করেছিল যে যখনই তিনি একটি ওক গাছ কাটা দেখতে পাবেন তখনই তিনি দুটি রোপণ করবেন।  এবং যদি তিনি শপথ না করেন তবে কালো ওক ছাল তাকে গ্রাস করবে। )

Lines 13-15:

 “This was my dream…heart was a tree.”

But shocking the reader, the speaker revealed that all this was nothing but his dream which he dreamt under the boughs of an oak tree. However, this dream moved the speaker a lot. After realization, when he came out of the wood, back to the human world, he remained a human child but with a heart of the tree.

( কিন্তু পাঠককে হতবাক করে, বক্তা প্রকাশ করলেন যে এগুলি তার স্বপ্ন ছাড়া আর কিছুই নয় যা তিনি একটি ওক গাছের ডালের নীচে স্বপ্ন দেখেছিলেন।  যাইহোক, এই স্বপ্ন বক্তাকে অনেক নাড়া দিয়েছে।  উপলব্ধি করার পর, যখন তিনি বন থেকে বেরিয়ে এসে মানুষের পৃথিবীতে ফিরে আসেন, তখন তিনি বৃক্ষের হৃদয় নিয়ে মানব শিশু থেকে যান। )


The theme of the Poem:

The poem highlights the hypocrisy of human beings who exploit the nature for their own selfish gain and never try to repair her wounds. In this poem, the poet tries to make us cautious that if  we do not restraint our greed and continue to chop down trees and don’t plant trees back to fill up the absence then this will surely lead to our doomsday. The poem focuses strongly on the need to protect our natural environment for the welfare of mankind before it is too late. It also preaches that humans and trees should thrive as a single family.


Word Notes:

Crept : অলক্ষিতভাবে প্রবেশ করা
Stag:  পুরুষ হরিণ
Knobbly: অদৃঢ়
Rag : ছেঁড়া টুকরা, ছিন্ন বস্ত্র
Cackle: হাসি
Quake:  কম্পন, শিহরণ
Stake: খুঁটি
Chopped down: কেটে ফেলা
Torn up: ছিঁড়ে যাওয়া
Swear: শপথ করা
Wrinkle: বলি
Boughs: গাছের ডাল
Altered:  পরিবর্তন করা


Comprehension Exercises

1. Choose the correct alternative to complete the following sentences:

(a) Creeping in an Oakwood, the poet was looking for a
(i) goat  (ii) rhinoceros  (iii) Stag  (iv) buffalo

Ans: (iii) stag

(b) Whenever an Oak tree is felled, the number of trees the poet must plant is
(i) two  (ii) three  (iii) four  (iv) five

Ans: (i) two

(c) When the poet came out of the Oakwood, his heart was that of a
(i) stag  (ii) tree  (iii) human child  (iv) old woman

Ans: (ii) tree

2. State whether the following sentences are True or False. Provide sentences /phrases /words in support of your answer.

(a) The old woman held the poet’s secrets in her little bag.    True

Supporting Statement: “I have your secret here inside my little bag.”

(b) The tree tribe said that the poet bothered to see the chopping down of oak trees.    False

Supporting Statement: “we are chopped down, we are torn up, you do not blink an eye.”

(c) The poet never came out of the oakwood.    False

Supporting Statement: “When I came out of the oakwood, back to human company,”

3. Answer the following questions:

a) When did the poet come twice awake?

Ans– The poet came twice awake when the old woman whom he met in the oakwood opened the bag to show magic.

b) What would happen to the poet if he failed to make the promise?

Ans– If the poet failed to make the promise the black oak tree would wrinkle over him and root him among the oak trees and this way he would die.

c) What was it that altered the poet?

Ans– The poet was altered by the dream about the ill fate of oak trees. He felt compassionate when he awoke from his dream.


Grammar in Use

4) Change the following into indirect speech :

(a) Rahul asked Dipa, “Will you go to school today?”

Ans– Rahul asked Dipa if she would go to the school that day.

(b) Rita said to Ayesha, “Please give me a glass of water .”

Ans– Rita requested Ayesha to give her a glass of water.

(c) The old man told the little girl, “May you be happy.”

Ans– The old man wished that the little girl might be happy.

5. Do as directed:

(a) Ranjan said, “Who does not know the name of Rabindranath?” (Change into an affirmative sentence)

Ans- Ranjan said that everybody knows the name of Rabindranath.

(b) Sangeeta runs faster than any other girl in her class. (Rewrite using the positive degree of ‘faster’)

Ans- No other girl in the class runs as fast as Sangita.

(c) Kaushiki blamed her friend for the trouble. (Rewrite using the noun form of blamed’)

Ans- Kaushiki put the blame on her friend for the trouble.


Writing Activity

7. Your school is going to host the Inter-school District Sports Competition. Suppose you are the Secretary of the Sports Club of your school. Write a notice (within 100 words) calling students to participate in the competition. Mention the time, date, and venue of the competition. Your notice should be countersigned by the Headmistress /Headmaster of your school.


  • The name of the organization/institution is mentioned.
  • The word ‘Notice’ is written in capitals. Capital letters are also used in the heading for the name of organization/institution and also for the
  • topic of the notice to attract the attention of the readers.
  • The date of the notice is written generally on the top right hand corner.
  • The caption or topic of the notice should be written.
  • The notice is to be signed by the issuing authority and counter-signed by the Head of the institution in case of a school notice.
  • The content of the notice should include all specific information in detail.
  • The notice should be enclosed within a box.



Date: 20.11.2021

Inter-school District Sports Competition

The students are hereby notified that our school is going to host the Inter-school District Sports Competition 2021 on  20th December, 2021 in the school ground. Students from class vii to class x can participate in the competition. Students will have to pass selection tests for qualifying in the final. All the desiring students are advised to submit their names to the sports teacher before 30th November, 2021. The categories in the competition are: 100m race, 400m relay race, long jump, high jump and Kho-Kho. Further informations and full schedule of the competition will be shared with you as soon as possible.

Countersigned    Sd/……………….
Headmaster Secretary 
ABC School Sports Club
ABC School

Extra Comprehension Exercise

1. Choose the correct alternative to complete the following sentences :

a) The poet crept in
i) pinewood ii) oakwood iii) maplewood

Ans: ii) oakwood

b) The old woman began to
i) cackle ii) cry iii) quake

Ans. i) cackle

c) When the poet came out of the oakwood, his walk was that of a/an
i) tree ii) human child iii) old man

Ans. ii) human child

2. Answer the following questions :

a) Who is the poet of ‘My Own True Family?’

Ans. Ted Hughes is the poet of ‘My Own True Family’.

b) With whom did the poet meet in the oakwood?

Ans. The poet met with an old woman in the oakwood.

c) By whom was the poet surrounded?

Ans. The poet was surrounded by a staring tribe.

3. Complete the following sentences with information from the text :

a) This was my dream beneath the boughs, the dream that altered me.

b) They said, “We are the oak-trees and your own true family.”

c) Unless you make a promise now – now you are going to die.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top