The trees inside are moving out into the forest,
the forest that was empty all these days
where no bird could sit
no insect hide
no sun bury its feet in shadow
the forest that was empty all these nights
will be full of trees by morning.
Adrienne Rich is a feminist poet alongside being a nature enthusiast. She uses various metaphors to write about the suffocation faced by women and nature. This poem can be seen as an example of eco-feminism poetry, as it examines the connection between women and nature. They are exploited and suppressed to the point where they struggle to break out and gain freedom.
In the modern era, man aims to build tall buildings and skyscrapers everywhere around. In ancient days, people were self-sufficient and lived a carefree life. But today, man has become ambitious and materialistic. Forests and vegetation areas are completely destroyed to make it into a living space.
Rich paints a scenario with a building space that has been built by removing all the flora and fauna present there. With more population, more people require a habitat, and the world appears cramped. The main objective of trees is to provide oxygen and take in co2. But people seem to think that it is a decorative piece of beauty. The poet talks about the artificial flowers that adorn the people's houses. It is never equal to the original. She says that the trees have had enough and that they have decided to move out of the confines of the four walls to where they originally belong. They are moving into the forests that have escaped human hands.
Birds in trees
The forest had been empty all these days without the trees. And since there were no trees, the birds could not find a place to lay their nest. The habitat of fellow creatures was destroyed. Forest is home to all kinds of flora and fauna. When man destroyed it for selfish reasons, even tiny organisms like insects did not have a place to hide. They usually hide in small holes in tree barks. The sun is personified as having feet as the trees do not give any shadow from its scorching heat. But Rich assures us that this forest would be filled with trees in the morning as they have already started marching towards their original habitat.
Meaning of difficult words:
FeministA person who fights for the equality of genders
Nature enthusiastSomeone who cares about nature
SuffocationTo feel breathless
Eco-feminismSimilarity between women's struggles and nature's destruction
SkyscrapersTall buildings
Flora Plant and vegetation
FaunaAnimals  around the world
ScorchingHeavy and unpleasant
Home to living beings
Self-sufficientHappy on their own
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Trees - Adrienne Rich (pp. 99-101). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.