Anthology (Q & A)

1. LEISURE

Q.1.     What are the simple delights we miss in our rushed life?

The poem Leisure is a marvelous example of the rushed life of the modern man. The poet says that life with no time to enjoy the fascinations of natural and human beauty is a poor life. If we consider what simple delights we miss in our rushed life, there may be many. First of all we have no time to stand under the branches of green trees to enjoy the beautiful and restful shades of the trees. Secondly, we cannot look at the common animals like sheep and cows grazing in the pastures. Thirdly, when we pass through some forest, we do not have time to look at the small animals like squirrels concealing their food grain in the grass for the winter. Fourthly, we cannot see and enjoy the beauty that is hidden in the streams. During day time, the rays of the sun fall upon the clear water of the brooks and their reflection shines like stars in the sky during night. Fifthly we miss to relish the dance of that girl whose smile begins from her eyes and conquers whole of her face. These are the simple delights we miss in our rushed life due to lack of time. We should have some spare time out of our rushed life to enjoy the beautiful objects of nature.220

Q.2.     How would you define a personification?

Or       The poet has used personification. Can you point it out?

When we ascribe some human qualities to a lifeless thing. We can say that we have personified it. In the poem the poet has also used a personification. The personification is of beauty to which the poet has given also some human qualities and these are dancing and smiling He has given beauty the shape of beautiful woman who is not only dancing but also smiling. The poet says that we don’t have time to enjoy even the Beauty. As he has personified Beauty, this beauty may be of many shapes. It also may be the beauty of objects. It also may be the beauty of some birds and animals. It also may be the beauty of innocence of children. The poet says whatever the shape of Beauty is the fact is that we don’t have time to watch this beauty. In this poem the poet has personified Beauty in the form of a beautiful woman just to tell us that it is the most attractive form of Beauty. If we ignore this form how it is possible to look at the other less attractive forms of Beauty. 188

Context:

The poem Leisure is a marvelous example of the rushed life of the modern man. The poet says that life with no time to enjoy the fascinations of natural and human beauty is a poor life.

These are the simple delights we miss in our rushed life due to lack of time. We should have some spare time out of our rushed life to enjoy the beautiful objects of nature.

2. TARTARY

Q.1.     What kind of land the poet has described in the poem Tartary? Or     What kind of feelings do you have after reading this poem?

            In this poem the poet has presented an imaginary world which cannot exist in real life. Actually the poet is fed up with the anxieties and tensions of life and wants to escape in a world where he may fulfill all his desires. This imaginary land satisfies his lust for being a superior without having any tension. Now for a moment if we consider this imaginary world, we shall also be pleasantly surprised. Mountains, deep valleys, fruit trees, chanting birds, flashing lakes all these things make this land so attractive that we want to fly away in this world immediately. The description is so much attractive that we the readers also become spellbound while reading this poem and feel as if we were also wandering about along with the poet. So the poet has presented an imaginary and an ideal world which is worth praising and worth living. 148

Q.2.   What are the desires of the poet in the poem Tartary?

Or       Tartary presents a charmed land of delight. Elaborate 2005 (s) GI

Or       What Does De La Mare want to do if he were the king of Tratary? 2005(s) GII

Or       The hero’s dreams are pure, innocent and unharmful. Elaborate 2006

Or       Tartary as a dream of a happy health child. 2007 GII (S)

            The poet tells us about the desires he likes to cherish and the comforts he likes to enjoy if he were the lord of Tartary. He will like to be its sole owner and will not let anyone share its beauty or comforts.

            Tartary, a land of dream, beauty and fertility is replete with unheard and unseen delights. The poet desires and dreams to have a bed made of ivory, throne made of beaten gold, court full of dancing peacocks, forests full of roaming tigers and pools teemed with great fishes. In the evening his palace will be illuminated with lamps “yellow as honey” and “red as wine”.

            He imagines himself  wearing a robe clustered with pearls of gold of  green  and  white  colour,  holding  a  curved sword  in  his hand and riding a chariot driven by seven Zebras. He is fond of music and enjoys harp, flute and mandolin. He also desires to derive pleasure from the natural beauty and charming objects of Tartary.

            The silver pale rivers, hills, valleys, woods, twinkling stars, clear lakes, foamless seas and scented breeze will make his state more beautiful. So his all dreams and desires are pure, innocent and un-harmful. 198

Q.3.   Describe if you were the Lord of Tartary, What kind of feeling or desires you would like to have?

            Not only the imaginary land of Tartary but also the description of desires of the poet are so attractive that we feel like flying away to this land leaving all our worries in this world. Anyhow if I were the lord of Tartary definitely I would like to have the same kind of desires that the poet has described. Apart from that I would also like to have other motives. If I were the lord of Tartary it would be my utmost effort to take great pains for the welfare of the masses of my kingdom. I would not enclose myself within the four walls of my grand palace rather I would try my best to share sorrows and joys of my people. So these are my feeling and desires as the lord of Tartary. 136

Q.4.   Tartary is a journey to imagination to imaginary land. Discuss Or      Discuss Tartary as a romantic poem. 2004 GII

Or       How will the poet change his dreams into reality? 2009I or I

Or       Pick out all the colour words the poet has used. What effect do these color words create?

            Tartary is a romantic and fanciful poem. It is an imaginative journey of the poet into the land of Tartary replete with colours and images. Imagination is the basic feature of a romantic attitude. The poet uses the sublimity and power of his imaginations to create an ideal world where every thing is pleasant, perfect, delightful and soothing.

            The poet, Walter De La Mare, imagines himself, in this poem as the “Lord of Tartary”. Tartary, a land of dream, beauty and fertility is replete with unheard and unseen delights. He desires to have a bed made of ivory, throne made of beaten gold, court full of dancing peacocks, forests full of roaming tigers and pools teemed with great fishes. In the evening his palace will be illuminated with lamps “yellow as honey” and “red as wine”. He imagines himself wearing a robe clustered with pearls of gold of green and white colour, holding a curved sword in his hand and riding a chariot driven by seven Zebras. He is fond of music and enjoys harp, flute and mandolin. He also desires to derive pleasure from the natural beauty and charming objects like the silver pale rivers, hills, valleys, woods, twinkling stars, clear lakes, foamless seas and scented breeze of Tartary. 210.

Q.5.   What in your opinion is the most fanciful image?

The poet uses many images to make the poem rich and beautiful. Some of the images used are: bed of ivory, the throne of beaten gold, flaunting peacocks, haunting tigers, fins athwart the sun, yellow as honey, red as wine, clustered thick as seeds, trembling lakes, the silver pale rivers, hills, valleys, woods, twinkling stars, foamless seas and scented breeze. All theses images seem real but he most imaginary and fanciful image is “And zebras seven should draw my car, through Tartary’s dark glades.”

The royal carriages are usually driven by horses not by zebras. It is only the fancy of the poet, a thing that never has happened. This fantastic and ideal image transports the reader to the unreal world of dreams of Arabian Nights. It is only the poet’s fantasy that can never be materialized. Poet uses the sublimity and power of his thoughts or imaginations to create an ideal world where there is not any unpleasant thing. 162

Context:

In this poem the poet has presented an imaginary world which cannot exist in real life. This imaginary land satisfies his lust for being a superior without having any tension. The poet tells us about the desires he likes to cherish and the comforts he likes to enjoy if he were the lord of Tartary. He will like to be its sole owner and will not let anyone share its beauty or comforts.  73

3. NEW YEAR RESOLUTION

Q.1.   What are the resolutions the poetess make on the arrival of New Year?

The poetess makes extraordinary resolutions at the beginning of the New Year. She says that in order to purify her soul, she will remain quiet. She will drink long sips of quietness. It is a beautiful simile as if quietness is a medicine that can make her clean physically and spiritually from impurities.

Elizabeth says that she will remember herself twice daily, in the evening and in the morning. She will take into consideration what her aim of creation is. She will try to understand the purpose of life in general. Perhaps she means that she should recognize herself, which will help her in recognizing God and leading life for benefit of others.

Her third resolution is to face and live with Reality. During the New Year she will make some promises and pledges.  She will sleep on thin, less-fleshy arms of reality to face bare and open reality of life. She would come out of her fancy and imagination. She would stop building castles in the air and begin facing the reality in all its chill and heat, wind and storm, thick and thin. She will feel relieved and satisfied, when she  comes  to  know  that  she  has  spent  her  life  for  the benefit of others. 209

Context:

In this poem the poetess makes extraordinary resolutions at the beginning of the New Year. She expresses her determination to lead a better and well balanced life. For this, she takes stock of her past misdeeds by undergoing the process of self examination and self recognition. This will help her to purify her soul enabling her to spend her life for the benefit of others. It will give her relief and satisfaction.

4. WOMANWORK

Q.1.   What are the domestic shores of woman?

Or     Describe the daily routine of a house wife or working woman. PU 2001-II

Or     Describe dull and drab life of a woman. PU 2003-II

Or     Woman work is a feminist poem. PU 2004-I

Or     What kind of disgusting picture of woman’s life is drawn in Woman Work? PU 2004-II(S)

Or     How does a woman get tired of doing domestic shores. 2009-I

             In this poem, Maya Angelou, an American poetess, tells us about the disgusting routine work of a woman. In this regard there is no difference between an eastern or a western woman. She is busy in daily chores. First of all the poetess tells us that she tends her children and mends the old clothes. Then she washes the floor, does all the shopping for the house, feeds her family and clears the weeds from the garden. She looks after the young baby when it is wet and cries. Then she presses the clothes of her family and puts on dresses to her children. She regularly sweeps her little home.

            She also cuts the cane for different household works such as making chair. These are some of the chores, which a woman has to perform in her house. All this daily work just makes her life dull and drab. She may not remain creative and productive after the whole day’s work and wants to take some rest. She calls out nature to give her mental and physical relaxation. 178

Q.2.   After doing the whole day’s work what are the things that poetess wants to enjoy herself with?

Or     Describe dreams of an ideal life.

Or     How does she dream of an ideal life? 2003

Or     Is the woman of ‘Woman Work’ fed up with her work? What does she really want? 2006-II

Or     Describe that the source of relaxation which the poetess has chosen is justified?

            Although the work, which the poetess has described in the poem, is tiresome and she also gets tried after doing the whole day’s work yet this fatigue of whole day’s work does not suppress her power of dreaming. She can enjoy the dream of an ideal life. She dreams for relaxation and comfort.

            The poetess does not choose worldly objects like TV, Cable, car for long drive, chat on computer or on mobile etc for relaxation. It is because these sources just divert attention and do not decrease physical or mental exertion.

            The poetess calls natural objects like rain, sunshine and dew drops to relieve herself of the tiresome of the whole day’s work. She asks the storm to blow her away to some distant place where she may rest. She asks the snow to cover her with its soft flakes. Then she addresses the other objects of nature i.e. shining sun, falling rain, round and high sky, lofty mountains, vast oceans, green leaves, shining stars, glowing moon and even the humblest stones of this universe to find a unique relaxation which cannot be described in words. So she is justified in choosing the objects of nature for her relaxation. 205

5. THE REBEL

Q.1.   Explain all what others do and rebel does not do. Why is that? 2004-II

Or       D.J Enright in ‘Rebel’ says a rebel is a non conformist and self asserting. Supp 2005-II or explain the extraordinary attitude of the rebel.

            In this humorous and satirical poem, the poet has exposed the appearance, likes, dislikes, habits, behaviour and attitude of a young person who always acts against popular opinion and common behaviour of the society. He and his actions are not dangerous rather are harmless. He does so because he wants to look different from others. He wants to assert his individuality.

            The poet says when common persons have short hair, the rebel has long hair. If common people have long hair, the rebel likes to have short hair. When all talk in the class room, he keeps quite and when others keep quiet, he causes disturbance. When every body wears uniform, the rebel puts on fantastic clothes. When others wear beautiful dress, he puts on uniform.

            The poet further says that a rebel always expresses different from others. He loves dogs when others love cats and vice versa. He wishes for rain when every body likes sun and when every body likes to have rain, he longs for sunshine.

            The poet says that rebels have their own value in society. They provide a spice of variety in our dull and monotonous life. This poem is an interesting and harmless criticism on the behaviour of young rebellious persons. 207

Q.2.   Discuss the elements of humour and satire in the poem. 2002-I

Or       DJ Enright Portraits of a rebel is keen, subtle and witty. Elaborate.

Or       Do you think the poet is satirizing the rebels or the ridiculously trivial?

Or       Explain the behaviour of the so called normal people?

Or       The protagonist (character) in rebel is fake not real yet important. Explain. 2006-I

            The Rebel is an interesting and amusing poem by D.J.Enright. In this poem the poet presented a character who loves to defy the set pattern of a society. The poet names him “The Rebel”. This rebel feels very much pleased when he acts against the norms of the society. The poem is replete with the elements of humor and satire.

            First the description in which a rebel totally acts contrary to a normal person of a society is very much humorous. He grows his hair long or short, keeps silent or talks during the lesson, goes out of the house or stays, loves cats or dogs, loves rain or sunshine, his way of dressing and behaviour every thing which he does. He tries to be totally different from the people. So, all the acts of the rebel are really amusing and humorous for us.

            The poet has also tried to satire the ridiculous behaviour of the rebel. He wants to say that rebel should not go against the established traditions of the society. He should respect the point of view of a majority. At the end, the poet also advises us that there should be rebel in a society because they are a symbol of change but we should not become a target of ridicule and a laughing stock. 219

Q.3.   After describing the qualities and deficiencies of the Rebel at the end the poet advises us that we should not become a rebel Why?

Or       Why does the poet says that it is good to have rebels in the society?

            The rebel is different from common people in all respects. He keeps his identity due to his eccentric and odd behaviour. His style of living is quite different from that of ordinary people. Still, the poet appreciates him and says that it is good to have rebels in society because they are the symbol of change. The poet says that rebels have their own value in society. They provide a spice of variety in our dull and monotonous life.

                  They save the society from dullness and uniformity. His attitude towards the rebel is sympathetic and lively. He does not condemn him; rather he takes delight in the strange activities and contradictory attitude of the rebel. Although, it is good to have rebels among us yet we don’t want to become one because the life is surely very difficult for them. Although all the variety and diversity in the society is because of them yet they are not considered normal persons. Normal people often make fun of them for their being unique and different. They face the harsh criticism of people and are disliked by the general public. At the end, the poet advises us not to become a rebel so that we may not become the target of the ridicule of others. 212

Context:

            In this humorous and satirical poem, the poet has exposed the appearance, likes, dislikes, habits, behaviour and attitude of a young person who always acts against popular opinion and common behaviour of the society. He and his actions are not dangerous rather are harmless. He does so because he wants to look different from others. He wants to assert his individuality. The poet says that rebels have their own value in society. They provide a spice of variety in our dull and monotonous life. This poem is an interesting and harmless criticism on the behaviour of young rebellious persons.

6. PATRIOT INTO TRAITOR

Q.1.   Describe the scene in which the patriot was received by the people year ago? Why did the followers of the poet throw myrtle on his way?

            The patriot narrates about his warm welcome by the people a year ago. He says when he was popular with the people, they loved him very much. His paths were decorated with roses. The tops of houses were crowded with the people who were raising slogans in his favour. The people had decorated the buildings like churches with colourful flags. There were so many people on the roofs that it seemed the roofs were shaking with the cries and slogans of the people. It was such a gorgeous scene of his welcome only one year ago. The patriot says that he was very much popular with the people. When he called out them, they would produce such a noise in response to his call that it was difficult to understand something. He says that if he would ask the people to get the sun or the stars from the sky, they would be willing even to do that. They were even ready to sacrifice their lives for him. Now this was such a remarkable scene that every political leader would like to have. 185

Q.2.   Describe the scene of downfall of the patriot.

Or       How is the patriot repaid for his public services? 2007 G-II

Or       The patriot is a great optimist. Explain.

            We read the warm welcome of the patriot in the first two paragraphs. But this welcome was ironically changed into hateful slogans and condemnation only after a year. The patriot himself admits that he had committed some misdeeds due to which the people turned against him. A year later he was taken to the gallows. His hands were tied behind his back and a tight rope was cutting his wrists. Now there were no people who were sitting at their windows. Though the people were present on his way yet they were not welcoming him rather they were shouting slogans against him. Some were throwing stones at him due to which his forehead was bleeding. The patriot admits that this ironical change of his fate is not without any reason. It was he who tried to attain the impossible and also gave undue favours to his friends and relatives. This thing annoyed the people a lot and they turned against him and finally they hanged him. Now, he will be rewarded by God in the life hereafter. It shows that the poet is a great optimist. 186

Q.3.   Discuss the poem as a dramatic monologue

            In a monologue a speaker talks to the readers directly and tells what happened to him. A dramatic monologue involves a good deal of actions, elements of suspense and horror and bloodshed.

            When we go through the poem Patriot into Traitor we find all the elements, necessary to constitute a dramatic monologue. First of all we are suspense bound what a fate that is being inflicted on such a patriot. When the patriot is being taken to the gallows, we find action and bloodshed. We read that his wrists are tied and a tight rope is cutting them. His forehead is bleeding because the people present on the tops of their roofs are throwing stones at him. All these involve a great deal of action.

            Then in the final scene we see that the patriot is taken to the gallows where he is supposed to be hanged. This involves bloodshed which is crowing point of the drama. As all this incident is being narrated to us by the patriot himself and this incident also involves all the necessary elements of a drama, we can say that this poem is a dramatic monologue.190

Q.4.   What is the relevance of this poem to the political conditions prevailing in the countries of this world?

            When we go through the poem keenly we find an utter relevance to the political conditions prevailing in the third world countries and the patriot presented in the poem is relevant to the patriots of the third world countries. The people of these countries are not able enough to judge between right and wrong. They are uneducated and unaware of their social and political role. The poet says that in the early part of the life of a political leader, people start worshipping their favourites leader and after some time there starts the down fall of the patriot. The same was the case with the patriot presented in the poem. He was received very warmly by the people a year ago but was hanged at the end due to his misdeeds. The same has been the case with many prominent leaders of the third world.

            In these countries, especially in Asian countries, many leaders have been hanged after so much adoration. In our dear country Pakistan, there were some leaders who were very much favourite with the people but when their downfall came, no one regretted of their death. Actually the people of the third world are the worshippers of the rising sun. 203

7. THE HUNTSMAN

Q.1.   What is kagwa’s story in the Huntsman? 2005-II(S)

Or       Why did the King react so violent to kagwa’s tale in Huntsman? 2006-II(S)

            The poet advises us to avoid the unnecessary talk. Useless and irresponsible talk brings disaster for the talkative one. The poem also describes the attitude of Kings. They never like common people’s talk. They do not believe in anything without certifying it in their own way.

            Kagwa  was  a  hunter  of  lions  and  he  used  to  hunt  through  bush  and forest with his spear. One day he found a human skull and asked, “What brought you here”. The skull replied “Talking brought me here”. He did not understand the lesson hidden in it and went to the king’s court to tell about this miraculous discovery. The king instead of granting a prize, ordered to know reality. He sent his two guards with Kagwa to search for the talking skull.  The king further ordered them to kill Kagwa if such a strange skull was not found there. For many days and nights they could find nothing. At last, they found a skull, Kagwa asked it how it had come there. But the skull did not answer. Kagwa began to implore. But the skull remained silent and Kagwa was killed in compliance with the king’s orders. Strange enough it was that after his murder the skull spoke and asked Kagwa, how he had come there. The dead Kagwa answered that talking brought him there. So Kagwa’s folly and habit of talking brought his death. He should not have told the king about talking skull. 242

Q.2.   Discuss in detail the use of elements of suspense and irony in the poem.

Or     Write a note on irony in huntsman. 2009-I

            The poem “The Huntsman” is replete with the elements of suspense and irony. Suspense means mental uncertainty and thrill. The Kagwa’s discovery of the skull, his asking how it had come in the forest, whether skull would speak or not, his hasty march to the king to convey the news, incredible attitude of the king, sending of two guards to search for the skull, order to kill kagwa if Skull does not speak and silence of the skull till the end of kagwa’s life create an atmosphere of suspense.

            Poem also contains some ironic elements. Irony is a mode of speech in which meaning is contrary to the words spoken. The reply of skull in itself is ironical because skulls don’t speak. Kagwa hurried to the king to tell the story expecting that the king would give him some kind of reward for finding a talking skull. Instead, the king did not believe him and appointed two guards to kill him if his story proved false. When Kagwa went to the forest with two guards, he was dead sure that the skull would definitely talk but the skull ironically did not speak and he was killed.

            The third element of irony is that Kagwa appears to be a brave and wise man but he died like a foolish person. 219

Q.3.   The poet draws our attention to a tragic fact of life.

Or     The huntsman becomes the hunted the prey to a cruel remorseless fate Discuss.

Or     Is it Huntsman’s fate or folly that kills him?

            It is definitely a tragic fact of life that man thinks something favourable to him while the consequence is just against it. The poet is also drawing our attention to the same fact that often we think that the result of our action would prove fruitful When the result comes we are just shocked. Same is the case with the hero of the poem Kagwa. He thinks of the talking skull something rewarding but the same skull becomes the cause of his death. He thought that the king would be not only astonished but also be pleased after listening about the talking skull. The king appoints two guards to kill Kagwa if the story proves false. Hence the huntsrnan becomes the hunted himself. The poet says that often fate does not support us in some of our action rather punishes us mercilessly. Kagwa also becomes a prey of his fate. More tragic is that no one can go against fate. No one can fight it or blame it. The other tragic thing is that the same fate is remorseless. It does not lament on whatever it has done to some one. Rather it chuckles at the misery of man. The poet says that we are mere puppets in the hands of fate. It is upon its discretion which way it leads us to. 223

8. ONE ART

Q.1.   Do you agree with the poetess that the art of losing is not hard to master? How can we master this art?

Or     What is the method of the poetess that is suggesting to us for mastering this art? Do you think that her suggestion authentic ?

            The poetess says the art of losing is not hard to master. The art of losing, in fact, means to live life, hoping for the best, and to be ready to face and accept the worst. The poetess advises human being to learn the art of losing something. This art saves man from botheration and teaches him contentment.

            The poetess advises us to “Lose something every day” to be a master. She says first we should lose small things. Then we must try to lose big and costly things. We should convince ourselves that were intent to be lost. Their loss will bring us no disaster. If we lose something every day like the door keys, the names, the places, the houses, the friends and costly things, there will be no disaster to come.

            In order to make us skilful in the art of losing things, the poetess gives her own example. She loses her mother’s watch, loving voices, happy gestures of love, two rivers and a continent. She forgets the names of her three houses and two lovely cities but she is not frustrated at the loss of these things. She bears all these losses courageously because she is skilful in the art of losing things. The poetess tells us that we can also master the art of losing things by practice.

            The ideas expressed by the poetess in this poem are not practicable. The instinct to possess is very hard in man. How can he lose one thing daily and remain satisfied? So, we cannot agree to the views of the poetess.264

Q.2.   Bring out the elements of satire, humour and in the poem. How are they combined to create the impact sired by the poet?

            The poem contains many literary aspects like satire humor and irony. Satire exposes the follies or evils of a person or agency. It is amendment through correction. The poetess satirized those people who lose one thing after an other but do not improve their habits. They always pose that they have never lost anything. They criticize others but do not look at their own follies.

            Humour is the ability to amuse others by pointing out ones own follies. In the poem, the poetess loses things and remains satisfied. She loses her mother’s watch, three houses, two beautiful cities and her lover. She also has forgotten the lovely gestures and voice of her lover. Still she is not perturbed. We cannot help laughing at such an attitude of the poetess.

            Irony is a mode of speech in which meaning is contrary to the words spoken. The very words “The art of losing is not hard to master” are ironic. The poetess says that losing something is not disastrous is really ironical because every one becomes tense on losing something. The poetess says that even she has lost two lovely cities, two rivers and a continent and it didn’t prove a disaster. She also says that she misses these things often. If the loss of these things is not a disaster, she should not miss them. It is ironical. 227

9. THE SOLITARY REAPER

Q.1.   The solitary Reaper as a romantic poem.20004(S)

          What are the elements of romanticism?

Or     The poem deals with the common experience o f life. Discuss. 2002

Or     Why was the poet so greatly impressed by the maiden’s song? 2003

Or     What is the poet’s idea of association and memories?2009

Or     What music did words worth bear in heart afterward he left          the solitary reaper behind?

Or     Why does Wordsworth call the Solitary Reaper’s Song ‘A       melancholy strain’?

            The Solitary Reaper, a lyrical poem by Wordsworth, a renowned romantic poet who deals with the common experience of daily life. In this poem the poet is deeply impressed by the beautiful, rich and melodious voice of a highland girl who was reaping and singing at the same time. The lovely singer appeared to be a part of that beautiful scene of nature.

            Her voice was so soothing and relishing that it left ever lasting impact on poet’s mind. The poet did not understand the contents of the song as it was in a foreign language. He guessed that it was the tale of old and tragic events of the past. It could also be an account of some recent calamity or mishap.

Whatever the theme of the song, it was sung in a beautiful, rich voice. The song seemed to be endless. The poet was bewitched by the thrilling notes of the lonely reaper. The whole valley was ringing with her silvery sound. Even the spring bird Cuckoo could not produce such a magical effect as the maiden’s song cost on the poet.

            The poet stood still and listened to that golden voice for some time. Afterwards, when he was climbing the hill he could not hear that song any longer. But he was still feeling the sweet vibrations of that music in his heart. The sweet memory of that song had become a permanent source of joy. Hence this sweet poem proves the truth of Keats,   “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” 256

10. ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

Q.1.   Write a note on Shakespeare’s accurate observation of life in “All the world is a stage.”

Or     Why does Shakespeare call the world a stage?

            In this poem the poet compares the entire world to a stage, where all the men and women play their particular part. During the course of drama of life the character appears and disappears on the stage.

            There are seven stages of this drama.  Birth is entrance and death is exit. The first period begins and helpless infant in the nurse’s arms vomits feebly. 

            In the second stage a complaining school boy appears on the stage. He goes to school unwillingly like a snail. Then a teenager enters the stage sighing like a furnace and singing songs for his beloved. 

            After this, man acts as a soldier ready to fight suddenly, seeking prompt fame even in the cannon’s mouth to make his mark in the history.

In the fifth period a judge, with formal beard, fairly round belly and severe eyes appears on the stage of the world. He knows many proverbs and can quote a lot of modern instances.

            In the sixth stage he becomes an old man, lean and weak. There are whistles in his voice and he wears glasses on his nose. He keeps a small bag with him and the world is so vast for his weak body.

            In the last, (seventh stage) he is on the verge of end (death). He has lost every quality of his youth and has become a helpless child again thus ends this eventful history (life).These different stages hint at the fact that nothing is permanent in this life as life is transient. Interpretation of human life is understandable to some extent but is not agreeable fully. 271

Q.2.   Which stage has been best described by the poet?

Or     Describe seventh stage of life in shakespear’s “All the entire world is a stage.”

            In this poem the poet compares the entire world to a stage, where all the men and women play their particular part. During the course of drama of life the character appears and disappears on the stage. There are seven stages of this drama. All the stages have been best described by the poet best but the stage that fascinates me a lot is the last stage of man’s life in which he finishes his role of the drama.  In this stage he changes from his old age to the oldest one. This is a strange stage of life. In this period all the life which has been previously full of strange events, comes to an end. Man becomes child once again. This is like his second childhood. In this stage he is childish as well as childlike. At this stage he forgets almost everything. His memory becomes very weak. He loses teeth, eye-sight and taste.  He is without everything. This is the stage in which he completes the drama of his life and leaves the stage of this world for the next. 182

11. DEPARTURE AND ARRIVAL

Q.1.   Read the poem carefully and write a note on Eliot’s idealism and commitment to ensure a bright future.

Or     What is the moral lesson of the poem?

            T.S. Eliot has firm belief in idealism and optimism. This faith is coupled with courage and fortitude. The poet is an optimistic about a brighter future for man. He advises us to accept the troubles and challenges of life with smiling face and courage. We should set high goals before us and then strive fearlessly to achieve them.

            The poet says that our stay in this world is very short. We are to depart to an unseen goal and unseen world with open hopeful eyes. Before departure, we should plan well because our path may be full of twist and turns. We may become doubtful and fearful about the outcome of our efforts. Hardships of the journey may disappoint us. But we must not be discouraged. We must work for a better future with a strong belief and determination.

            He says standing on the shore of life we may hesitate to plunge into this sea of life for being unaware of the dangers of the deep waters of the sea. To him life is a long lane full of rose and hawthorn. The future is bright and tempting to a man who has strong faith, conviction and courage. We must respond the call of great duties positively. We must leave the world better than we have received it. So, we should live and die in this struggle. We should struggle regularly whether we succeed or fail. This effort is a reward in itself. 243

Q.2.   What is the Importance of the 20th Century?

Or       How can the 20th century be proved to be a turning point for human civilization?

            Many great duties devolve upon the 20th century. These duties are call upon us to be more responsible, because no body knows about our fate, future life in terms of good and great deeds and the pains and miseries of our future life. Also no body knows whether 20th century will create heroes greater and better than those of the olden times (19th century). But we hope better conditions and heroes in our future life.

            The poet says if the people of this century will have to work hard with eager and willing hearts to make the destiny of 20th century shining. They should work hard for the better future to achieve a proud estate and then, this best estate/legacy with its advantages and benefits would be bestowed on the future centuries.

            The people of the coming century would only say that people of 20th century have helped making their future glorious and raising their flag to height.

The poet says that the people of 20th century would not to be forgotten in any age because of their good deeds for the future generation. 184

12- A POISON TREE

Q.1.   If we forgive others, there will be no need for poison tree. Discuss.

Or     What is the symbolic value of poison tree?

Or     What message does the poet want to give his reader in ” A poison tree”?

            In this poem William Blake teaches a moral lesson of great importance. He compares anger and hatred to a poison tree. He says when anger is expressed it vanishes but when it is concealed it grows rapidly and becomes a poison tree. If we forgive others, there will be no need for poison tree.

            The poem is built on an everlasting conflict between good and evil. This evil is an outcome of a lack of trust between friends and enemies. Friends can forget and forgive, but enemies nurse grudges.

            Since we do not talk to our enemies, our enmity and hatred grows rapidly. We nurse our misunderstandings with fears and strengthen them with our wicked tricks. We adopt many ways to tempt and deceive our enemies.

            Sometimes they fail to see the dirty tricks and fall a victim to our evil designs. When we see them fallen and defeated, we feel happy and proud of our success. Disgrace and destruction of one gives special pleasures to the other.

            In our madness to take revenge from our opponents, we indulge in many vices and misdeeds. We should not conceal our anger for others but express it frankly so that the poison tree of destruction may not come into being.208

Q.2.   Poison is in fact unexcused anger and wrath. Elaborate.

            This is a symbolic poem. It depicts a poison tree which was a tree of hatred grown by the poet for his enemy. Concealed anger is turned into hatred and then into beautiful tree. When an enemy tries to steal that beautiful tree, he loses his life.

            Once, the poet was angry with his friend. He told him his wrath and it ended. On the other hand when he got angry with his enemy, he concealed his anger instead of telling him. The result was that his anger went on increasing and turned into haltered. He watered his tree of anger with his tears of anger. He nourished it with the sun of smiles and deceitful tricks. In this way his tree of anger kept on increasing and bore a beautiful apple fruit. It went on growing day and night. Outwardly this fruit was very attractive but inwardly it was poisonous. When his enemy saw this shining and attractive fruit, he was deceived. He knew that it was grown by the poet. He decided to deprive the poet of his apple and became victim of his anger. He entered the garden of the poet at night and at that fruit. Next morning when the poet found his foe lying dead under the poisonous tree, he became happy. In this way he victimized his foe.177

13. BECAUSE I COULD NOT STROP FOR DEATH

Q.1.   Why has the poetess use the image of journey? Why could not Emily Dickison wait for death and what happened when death himself called on her? 2008(S-II)

            In this poem the poetess tells her imaginary journey in the company of death from this temporary world to the next world. It is also symbolic of the journey of funeral procession from home to grave.

            The poetess says that she was too busy in her daily routine of life to stop for death. Death himself, in his civility and kindness, came to her in his carriage. He was so kind and nice to her that she left her all activities, work and the moments of leisure for the sake of death and his civility. The poetess readily boarded the carriage. In carriage there were only poetess, death and immortality/ eternity.

            The poetess says that they started their journey to the eternal world slowly. They passed the school where students were playing, the fields where grain was gazing at them and the setting sun. On the way dew drops began to fall. She began to quire with cold because she was not wearing warm dress. The poetess arrived at a house which was her grave. It was just a mound of earth. Her journey ended there. When she started her journey she thought that the carriage was going towards eternity. But it stopped at the grave only. Centuries have been passed yet this period seems to her shorter than a day. 232

Q.2.   What is the attitude of the poetess towards death?

Or     What kind of picture of death Emily Dickinson draws in her poem Because I could not strop for death? 2005

Or       Death is very courteous host in “Because I could not strop for death” Expalin.2006

Or       Death is not a sergeant but a friend and guide. Elaborate.2008-I,

Or       Death is no means dreadful. He is friendly and patronizing. Comment. 2008-II  OR What sort of companion and guide does the poetess find in death?2008(S)

In this poem the poetess tells her imaginary journey in the company of death form this temporary world to the next world. Death is a reality and it has always been considered cruel and callous. Generally the thought of death creates dread and awe in us. But the poetess has dealt with this subject differently. She is not afraid of it. It seems that she has firm faith in death. She has presented death as a courteous host, friend and guide. The poetess says that she was too busy in her daily routine of life to stop for death. He himself, in his civility and kindness, came to her in his carriage. He was so kind and nice to her that she left her all activities, work and the moments of leisure for the sake of death and his civility. The poetess readily boarded the carriage. In carriage there were only poetess, death and immortality/eternity. This sense of peace and serenity is an outcome of deep religious faith of the poetess. Her deep religious faith in everlasting life after death makes death look like a noble, kind and civil being.  190

14. LIGHTS OUT

Q.1.   In what way is sleep an equalizing factor?

Or     Lights out dwells on the power of sleep. Elaborate PU-2004-I2005-II

Or     How does sleep actually overpower us as described in “Light Out”. 2006(S-I)

Or     Sleep is more powerful than all other passions. Explain.

            “Lights out” is a beautiful and simple poem. It shows the power of sleep over man. Sleep is a mighty leveler or an equalizing factor. Sleep has an equalizing effect like death and brings all the rich and the poor, the high and the low, the good and the evil, the pious and the wicked, the young and the old, the clever and the innocent to the same level. It discriminates among none of the people. Man has to give up all his activities, interests, pains, pleasures, sorrows, passions and troubles before alluring power of sleep. Even the dearest faces and dearest books are forgotten and closed respectively. Whether they like it or not, they have to yield to the power of sleep. When our eyes become heavy with drowsiness, we come to the borders of sleep. Standing on the borders, we ask some one to put out the light and we go to the unseen kingdom of sleep. All the tension of the day’s work vanishes. It then refreshes and prepares us for the next day’s work. Hence, we may call sleep an equalizing factor. 188

Q.2.   What does the poet mean coming to the borders of sleep? What does a road track signify in “Lights Out”.2007 (S-I)

            Coming to the borders of sleep means the moment just before going to bed. It is the time when man is at the verge of sleep. When our eyes become heavy with drowsiness, we come to the borders of sleep. Standing on the borders, we ask some one to put out the light. Then we go to the unseen kingdom of sleep. Every man is bound to lose himself in the thick forest of sleep. Its depth is unknown to man. The forest is full of tall trees with thick leaves.

            All the ways straight or winding lead to this forest of sleep. Nobody can resist its charm. Man has to go to this forest whether he wishes or not. There is no choice for him.  Sleep is a mighty leveler or an equalizing factor. Man remains busy in his daily routine from dawn to dusk. A rat race continues all the day long. He finds no time to relax. After a day’s tiresome work, he needs rest. If sleep does not overpower him, he may not be able to stop himself accumulating wealth. It is sleep which comes to provide him rest, relaxation and peace. It compels everyone to rest. Man has to surrender before the supremacy of sleep. All the tension of the day’s work vanishes. It then refreshes and prepares us for the next day’s work.  222

15. AFTER APPLE PICKING

Q.1.   Describe the poet’s pleasant experience of apple picking.

Or     How is the world of reality and dreams mixed up in this poem?

            Robert Frost has cherished the hope of reaping a rich harvest of apples, but he has not harvested sufficient produce as he desired. His barrel is still empty. While performing his work of picking apples, the poet’s fatigue and scent of the ripe apples make him feel extreme drowsiness and goes into the world of dream. In drowsiness he can not discriminate between dream and reality. He begins to dream and gets the vision of numerous magnified apples even more than ten thousand. He hears them rumbling when emptied out of the barrels.

            Despite his utmost care, the apple-picker cannot throw the apples undamaged in his barrel. Some of them fall down from the barrel and are pricked by the stubbles. The dream is so much clear and vivid that the poet can not decide which world is reality and which one is the world of dream.

            In reality, he is picking normal apples but in dream, he sees apples of great size and magnitude. The unfulfilled ambition of bumper harvest in the world of reality is realized in the world of dream.The experience the poet undergoes is on the one hand is pleasant as he tastes the pleasure of rich harvest and on the other hand it is mind baffling for he finds very close relationship between dream and reality. 222

Q.2.   What does the empty barrel signify in After Apple Picking?

          Robert Frost, the poet, in the beginning of the poem mentions that after apple picking his barrel is still empty. The empty barrel literally signifies the unfinished work but symbolically it refers to a heap of unfulfilled desires. Although the apple-picker has been trying his utmost to fill his barrel with the apples picked by him, yet it is still empty because the apple tree did not bear enough fruit as the poet desired. In other words it may be elaborated, though the poet was on the last step of the ladder, he enjoyed himself high place in the world yet he could not perform enough good deeds, when death encroached barrel of his deeds was half filled. Sleep which itself signifies death reaches the poet when his activities were still unaccomplished, and he required some more years. Though he fills half of the barrel yet he harvests generous reward in the world hereafter for a few noble deeds he performed in his life in the form of ten thousand apples of great size and magnitude. 175

Q.3.   What kind of sleep does Robert Frost sleep?

Or     What similarity the poet hopes to discover between his sleep and of woodchuck?

            While performing his work of picking apples, Robert Frost’s fatigue makes him feel extreme drowsiness. His fatigue and scent of the ripe apples mingle and overpower the poet’s mind. In drowsiness he begins to see dream and he gets the vision of magnified apples. He hears them rumbling when emptied out of the barrels. The apple-picker has actually got tired of seeing the routine of loading and unloading of his apples. He admits that he himself has desired such a bumper harvest. Despite his utmost care, the apple-picker cannot throw the apples undamaged in his barrel. Some of them fall down from the barrel and are pricked by the stubbles. The dream is so much clear and vivid that it becomes difficult for the apple-picker to make difference between reality and dream. When he wakes up, he asks himself in his astonishment whether it is an ordinary human sleep or a long dormant sleep like that of wood chuck or the eternal sleep of death. 165

Q.4.   Find out points of comparison between the poem “Lights Out” and “After Apple Picking”

          There is a close resemblance between the poem “After Apple Picking” and “Lights Out” which is as under:-

          Both the poems show the arrival of and power of sleep over man’s ambitions. Both give a hint that sleep may also be death-sleep instead of normal sleep. Both are fully realistic but imaginative. “Lights Out” describes the power of sleep in general. This poem shows the power through a particular person,

          Both the poems convey that sleep is the only rescuer from man’s nerve-breaking materialism. Both the poems describe that sleep cannot be avoided when it comes. Both have some implicit t0 reference to death and change of seasons. Both the poems are good pieces of art and literature. 118

16. “THE VANISHING VILLAGE”

Q.1.   Describe The Rivival Of The Colourful Life In The Village.

Or     Do you think that the mood of the poet is pessimistic? If not. why?

Or     Do you think that the poet is optimist or pessimist?

          In the beginning of the poem, the tone of the poet is nostalgic, wistful and sad at the desertedness of a village due to the large-scale-migration of inhabitants towards cities. The poet expresses his concern that the basic unit of human civilization is being neglected selfishly. He is grieved at the decline of beautiful and gay rural culture. Though the poet is sad, yet at the end of the poem, in an optimistic note, the poet hopes for a revival of the colourful life and activity of a traditional village.

          In the opening lines the poet presents a gloomy and sad picture of the deserted village. There are only a few houses which are also in a miserable condition. A small street joins a public house to a shop. This street ends at the top of the little hill, which has become all barren. Grass has completely disappeared. There is no activity in the village. The black dog killing its fleas in the hot sun has become a symbol of history of village. The poet is pained to see that this basis of human civilization is being destroyed by its founders.

          However, the poet finds one sign of life and hope in the village. The girl who wanders from door to door is a symbol of revival. The poet hopes that the village will certainly come out of its present dismal condition. It will become center of activity again and there will be revival of the colourful life in the village.  251

17. WHEN I HAVE FEARS

Q.1.   Explain the title of the poem. What are Keat’s fears? Why does he fear?

            Keats is He was always under the feeling and apprehension that he would die soon. This proved correct later on. He expresses the following fears in this sonnet:

            First of all he fears of premature death and the job to reap the harvest of his full ripened ideas and to store them in the form of books will remain undone. Secondly he is afraid that he may die before communicating his lofty thoughts and romantic feelings to the people. Thirdly he fears that he may miss to cherish the beauty of starry sky; the huge symbol of high romance due to his untimely demise.

            Fourthly, he fears that he will not be able to look upon the beautiful face of his beloved and enjoy her love for a long time due to premature death. He wants to enjoy the company of his beloved and the fame he has earned as a poet. He wants to become the most popular figure in history. But he knows fully well that both love and fame must sink into nothingness. He is also mindful of the transitory nature of the beauty and love. 189

Q.2.   How reliable and durable are ‘Love and Fame’ in the eyes of Keats?

            Keats, in concluding verses of his poem, “When I Have Fears,” talks of his two favourite themes-the first, the unrequited/unresponded love and the transient nature of beauty, and the second, fame which he always aspires to get and enjoy in his life.

            First he turns to his beloved and his own self. He is actually pained to think that, with his death, which he expects to be imminent because of his being a patient of the fatal disease of T. B., he will be permanently separated from his beloved, who has not yet responded to his love. He is filled with despair in life. Such thought makes him feel as if he were standing alone on the shore of the world.

            Second, the thought of his death fills with despair and makes him realise the worthlessness of love and fame. In the eyes of keats, ‘Love and fame’ are very reliable important for a living person but for a dead man they are of no importance. He feels that beauty and love lose their importance when he will start his journey to the eternal world. He concludes that for a dying man like poet, Love and Fame have no importance as they are transitory. Life after death is eternal.209

18. KUBLA KHAN

Q.1.   In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree” and then follows the most imaginative poem. What does Coleridge describe in this poem? 2004 II

Or     Describe the fantastic and dream like atmosphere of the poem. 2003I

Or     Discuss poem as a fantasy. 2002 II

Or     Critically appreciate Kubla Khan by ST Coleridge. 2004 (S-I)

            The speaker describes the “stately pleasure-dome” built in Xanadu in compliance to the decree of Kubla Khan, in the place where Alph, the sacred river, ran “through caverns measureless to man / Down to a sunless sea.” Walls and towers were raised around “twice five miles of fertile ground,” filled with beautiful gardens and forests.

            A “deep romantic chasm” slanted down a green hill, occasionally spewing forth a violent and powerful burst of water, so great that it flung boulders up with it “like rebounding hail.” The river ran five miles through the woods, finally sinking “in tumult to a lifeless ocean.” Amid that tumult, in the place “as holy and enchanted / As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted by woman wailing to her demon-lover,” Kubla heard “ancestral voices” bringing prophesies of war. The pleasure-dome’s shadow floated on the waves, where the mingled sounds of the fountain and the caves could be heard. “It was a miracle of rare device,” the speaker says, “A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!”

            The speaker says that he once saw a “damsel with a dulcimer,” an Abyssinian maid who played her dulcimer and sang “of Mount Abora.” He says that if he could revive “her symphony and song” within him, he would rebuild the pleasure-dome out of music, and all who heard him would cry “Beware!” of “His flashing eyes, his floating hair!” The hearers would circle him thrice and close their eyes with “holy dread,” knowing that he had tasted honeydew, “and drunk the milk of Paradise.” 257

Q.2.   Make a comparison between Tartary and Xanadu. 2002 II

          There is a great similarity between both the poems.

  • Both are the creation of the poet’s imagination,
  • Both the poems are about imaginary places or cities,
  • Both are beautifully drawn, iv. Both are green.
  • Both have flowers and greenery,
  • Both have valleys, hills, dales and streams,
  • Tartary is a journey into the world of imagination, Xanadu is a supernatural place,
  • Tartary is a romantic, beautiful, rich, fertile land full of unheard of music and unseen delights. Xanadu has a sunless sea with a sacred river Alph flowing in it. It has bright gardens and sinuous rills, blossoming trees and forests as ancient as hills.
  • Tartary is a place of peace and tranquility. Xanadu is a noisy place. It is called savage by the poet. It is haunted by a woman wailing for her demon lover,
  • In Tartary, we have a throne made of pure gold and court flaunting by peacocks, forests with tigers, great fish in the pools and musical instrument!! playing there.
  • In Xandu, a sacred river flows among dancing rocks and smiles to a sunless ocean. In this situation, Kubla Khan hears ancestral prophecy of war. In Tartary, the poet himself gets ready for war.

Q.3.   What images has Coleridge used in “Kubla Khan.”

          The poet has used deep audio visual tangible images in the poem Kubla Khan. i. The first image is that of Kubla Khan. We find him in the beginning ordering to build a beautiful palace in Xanadu, ii. Another image is of the “twice five miles of fertile ground” having sensual beauty for man. iii. There are “caves measureless to man” “green hills” and “cedarn cover” at the side of hills, the “sacred river” flowing in a “Meandering motion” through the “hills, valleys” and “caves”. There are “fountains” gushing forth from the “Dancing Rocks” and deep chasm and “damsel” with a “Dulcimer”, iv. I here are Audio-images of “ancestral voice” half intermitted burst” and “beware beware”.

          The river is the symbol of eternity after death. The valleys with beautiful flowers and songs of the girl are a symbol of paradise on earth. AH of these symbols and images combine to create a rich fertile land and charm the reader. The reader is so lost in the pictures that he forgets his cares and worries for the time being and is transported with the poet to this beautiful land. 189

19. HAWK’S MONOLOGUE

Q.1.   “Hawk’s Monologue” is the speech of a savage bird of prey who takes pride in his unchallenged power to kill and destroy.

Or     The poem also exposes the attitude and misconceptions of power-drunk persons in this world.

Or       How is Hawk a king or dictator in his feelings and ideas? Is it true “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

            This poem is a dramatic monologue delivered by the ‘hawk’ who boasts much of his superiority over other birds. He thinks that he is the most powerful creation of Nature and has complete right to kill others. He sees all the creations under his feet. He is always power drunk, proud and ready to kill. “Hawk” is a symbol of absolute power, authority and destruction. He also stands for those dictators who wish to have unlimited powers for them.

            It is correct that power corrupts. Like all the worldly monarchs, power has corrupted him and is also misled by his physical strength. He considers himself to be the reason and cause of creation and rightful sole ruler of it. They do not listen to any reason and believe that are the greatest on earth. They treat others with contempt and do not hesitate to torture or destroy them for their pleasure. But they forget the fact that they also have to face death and destruction. They do not accept the reality that, no one in this world is permanent, every thing changes and declines here. Sometimes they realize their mistake but too late. 193

Q.2.   Discuss the theme of the poem. Do Hawk’s assertions of all powerfulness impress you? If not, Why?

            Ted Hughes is a modern English poet. Death, destruction, power and violence are the main themes of his poetry. The theme of this poem is the inflexibility and pride of the so-called dictators.

The Hawk is very proud of his superiority and power. He claims to be the finest of all the creatures. He asserts his powers in different ways. “Hold Creation in my foot “,”I kill where I please because it is all mine”, “There is no sophistry in my body”, “Allotment of death”, “one path of my flight is direct”, “Through the bones of the living”, “The sun is behind me”, “Nothing has changed since I began” and”The sun is behind me,” express the vastness of his powers. Then the last two lines close the poem with a powerful assertion “My eye has permitted no change; I am going to keep things like this.” He says “I am the monarch of all I survey” and “Now I hold creation in my foot.” Hawk’s assertions of all powerfulness impress us least because they all are hollow and they only mislead him. He cannot kill the bigger birds which are beyond his range.188

Q.3.   Discuss the images the poet has employed to highlights the grandeur and impact of the Hawk’s physical strength and domination over other creatures.

The poet has used images to highlight the grandeur and impact of the hawk’s physical strength and domination over other animals. For example “top of the wood describes his flight at great heights. “Between my hooked head and hooked feet” shows how he catches his prey. “High trees”, Air’s buoyancy”, “Sun’s rays” and “earth’s face upward for my inspection” also express the height of his flight. All the other objects of nature are at his beck and call. He is the sole ruler of the whole creation.

“Hold Creation in my foot “,”I kill where I please because it is all mine”, “There is no sophistry in my body”, “Allotment of death”, “one path of my flight is direct”, “Through the bones of the living”, “The sun is behind me”, “Nothing has changed since I began” express the vastness of his powers.

There is a powerful image “The sun is behind me,” Then the last two lines close the poem with a powerful assertion “My eye has permitted no change; I am going to keep things like this.” 176

20. SAY THIS CITY HAS TEN MILLION SOULS

Q.l.    What does Auden say about the life of plants, animals and birds and the life of human beings?

Or     The poet has very successfully presented the case of refugees. Discuss.

Or     Bring out the misery and plight that was faced by the migrating German Jews in the U.S.A.

In this poem, the bitter feelings of immigrants have been conveyed in a light vein. We come to know that man today stands imprisoned in numerous limits and chains such as race, colour, nationality and passports etc. The poem specially presents the case of immigrants from Germany to U.S.A. But in this city, they have even lost their identity. Passport has gained more importance than they themselves. Without new passports, they are officially dead. They go from door to door, from one office to another to seek shelter to no avail.

The rich live in mansions and the poor live in the holes. A number of flats and houses with thousands of doors and windows are there in the city. But no one is for the poor. They are oppressed and miserable. The politicians spread venom against them and look down upon them. They urge the government to deport them. Animals, cats, dogs, birds and fishes are free to move about because there is no politician among them. Men are treated on such a sub-human level. They think of returning to their country. But Hitler has announced death sentence against them. His soldiers are searching them to kill them.

But the poet wishes that there should be no restriction of the passports rather everyone should be allowed to go anywhere he likes.222

Q.2    What is the Theme of the poem?

The theme of the poem is miserable condition of the refugees as a result of war. It deals with alienation, estrangement and isolation of the immigrants in the new land. The poet tells us about the degradation of man by man.

The poet compares the miserable condition of refugees with that of birds and animals and concludes that birds are better than men. The German Jews have to flee from their country. No government is ready to accept them rather it is trying to arrest and send them back. The politicians and the public hate them and are afraid of their existence. The dogs and cats are invited to the houses but not the refugees. Without renewed passports, they are considered dead. Contrary to it, birds, animals and fish are free to move about and to sing happily. The message is that we should have love and sympathy for all. No government should ban the movements of the people throughout the world. The description of the friendless, penniless, helpless and shelterless immigrants arouses feelings of pity in the reader. The tone of the poem is pathetic, ironic and tragic. The reader is also involved in their sad plight and shares their miserable condition. 203

Q.3.   The poet has used several numeral images to produce contrast in the poem. What effect does this convey?

The poet has used numeral images in this poem to describe the miserable plight of the Jews. These images arouse sympathy for the refugees and create an effect of contrast. There is good contrast between the rich living in mansions and the poor living in slums and holes. ii. Millions of people live in New York, but there is no room for the refugees. iii. The natives live the life of luxury while the refugees lead a sub-human life. iv. There are thousands of buildings with thousands of doors and windows. But the refugees are refused to step foot in New York. v. The birds, animals and fish move about freely but the refugees are banned to go to certain areas. They cannot even return to their country. Hitler has announced death sentence against them and the soldiers are after them to put them to death. 146

Q.4.   What are some of the typically urban elements of the poem?

It is a typical urban poem as the life of a big city has been described here. There are many things in the poem which relate to the city life. The very title of the poem gives the idea of urbanity. It deafly shows a big city. Millions of souls live in “mansions”, many others live in “holes”. The poet talks about an outdated passport, the “Consul” banging the table, “Committee” that offered a chair but did not pay heeds to his problems. He talks about Hitler’s address proclaiming that the Jews must die. They must be killed. He talks about public meeting” in which the “speaker” was talking jacket”, “the harbour” and “quay” and a “building with thousand floors” but “no one” is for the refugees. All such details hint at the urban element. 135

21. POLITICS

Q.1.   “Politics” or “Love”, which one is your choice?

Or     What does Yeats say about politics, love and travel?

Or     Is love really more important than politics?

Or     Discuss the importance of love in comparison with politics.

Or     Discuss the poem as contrast between love and politics.2002

Or     W.B Yeats does not underestimate politics nor does he reject it.2007

Or     How far is politics important in the eyes of W.B Yeats?2008

            According to the poet, both politics and love are important in this modern age but love has an upper hand and has great influence on human life. No other passion is stronger than the passion of love. Love is superior to politics, war, travelling and education. The poet talks about the realities of politics, travelling and love and shows his preference for love. Love is universal fact like politics and travelling. But it is far more pervasive and piercing than either of the two.

            There is a young girl standing on the one side. There is a much travelled man and a politician. The traveller has got first hand practical knowledge of the world. The politician has only theoretical knowledge.

            But the poet cannot pay any attention to Russian, Roman or Spanish politics in the presence of a young girl who is attracting his attention. Her presence creates in him the wish to be young again and to take her in his arms. Hence the poet cannot think of anything else in the presence of a young girl who is his love. He prefers love to politics. So, like the poet, my choice is also love as it is really more important than politics. 204

Q.2.   How does the poet distinguish between the travelled man and politician?

            The poet presents two persons and compares them according to the situation. The traveller is an experienced man. He has seen the world with his eyes. He has got practical knowledge about the world. He is intelligent and wise. He knows how to control his passions. His arguments are well-considered and thought out. His understanding of current politics is very keen and deep. He possesses first hand knowledge of the traditions and values in different parts of the world. He talks in an authoritative tone.

            On the other hand, the politician is a well-read and well-educated fellow. He has thought deeply over the burning questions of the day. His analysis of the current political situation is based on his deep studies. Whatever he says about war and dangers of war, may be true. But the poet does not want to listen to him because he has only theoretical knowledge:-

“And may be what he says is true,

 Of war and war’s alarms”

But the poet wishes to be young and embrace his beloved forgetting the whole world as he says:-

“But O that I were young again And held her in my arms.” 194

Q.3.   Why does the poet wish to be young again?2002

            The poet wishes to be young again to enjoy the blessing of love. He mocks at the politician and the experienced traveler who boast of their knowledge, experience, intelligence and wiseness. They control and regulate the affairs of the world. But they neglect the sweet aspect of life that is love. They talk only of war and its dangers. They might be true in their discussion and analysis of politics. But they are far from the blessings of love.

            The poet says that he cannot pay any attention to Russian, Roman or Spanish politics in the presence of a young girl. Her beauty attracts his attention. Her presence creates in him the wish to be young again and to take her in his arms. The poet cannot think of anything else in her presence.

            He prefers love to politics, war, travelling and education. He wants to enjoy the company of his beloved. The charming face of his beloved is chief object of his interest. Thus, he wants be young again and enjoy the blessings of love.

            Yeats wrote this poem to jeer at those who did not care for the passion of love. 194

22. SNAKE

Q.1.   Describe simply the arrival of the snake at the water trough and its departure back into its hole.

Or     Does the arrival of the snake at the water trough and its departure to its hole appeal you?

Or     Why is the poet glad to see the snake at his water trough?

            On a hot summer day, the poet comes downstairs with pitcher to get water. He beholds a snake at the water trough. The snake drags long golden body slowly. It rests its throat on the stone bottom of the water contained. The water is falling from the tap drop after drop. The snake puts its mouth below and the water begins to fall directly into its mouth. He is deeply impressed to see the brown coloured snake with its soft belly resting at the edge of the container.

            Then the snake lifts its head like cattle-and looks all around. It moves its two forked tongue, muses a while and drinks again. It again lifts its head and looks at the poet. Different ideas come into the poet’s mind. He wants to kill it but does not, considering it his guest. Then the snake begins to crawl to its hole. Now it seems like the Lord of the underground world.

            The poet throws a piece of log into the water. The noise of splash frightens the snake and it moves its remaining body hastily into the hole and disappears from the view. The arrival of the snake at the water trough and its departure appeal the reader also. 207

Q.2.     Discuss the subtle changes in poet’s mood and relationship with the snake?

            The poet presents various angles of human behaviour in this poem. It contains subtle changes in the poet’s relationship with the snake.

            On a hot summer day, when D.H. Lawrence comes downstairs with a pitcher to get water from a stone reservoir under the shady tree, he is surprised to see that a snake is already drinking water there. The poet stands and waits for his departure. During this short time, he experiences certain feelings and reactions of fear, horror, fascination, enmity and finally regret and remorse.

            He is caught between two forces. His education dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education overcomes him and he throws a log at the snake to kill it. The snake escaped but the poet feels himself repentant, petty and mean for his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot. 179

Q.3.     Why does D.H. Lawrence curse his education? 2007-I

Or       Why does the poet think education as accursed? 2009 –I

Or       Why does the poet feel repentant after his encounter with the snake? 2008-II

            On a hot summer day, the poet comes downstairs with pitcher to get water. He beholds a snake at the water trough. The poet stands and waits for his departure. During this short time, he experiences certain feelings and reactions of fear, horror, fascination, enmity and finally regret and remorse.

            He is caught between two forces i.e. the dictation of his education and the voice of his intuition/conscience. His education, that is, his wisdom or logic, dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty and the royal appearance of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education calls this response of his as cowardly and perverse, and dictates him to kill the snake.

            At last the poet responds to the call of his education that he gets from his society and violently throws a log at the snake to kill it, but in vain. The snake escaped in a peaceful, pacified but thankless manner.

            After the escape of the snake, the poet feels himself repentant, petty and mean. It is here that the poet thinks of his education accursed. He feels regret and remorse at his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot. 227

Q.4.     What are the reasons that the poet departs the snake unhurt? 2009 II or Was it cowardice, perversity or humility of the poet that he lets/departs the snake unhurt? Why does he think of expiation?

            It was neither the poet’s cowardice nor his perversity that he lets/departs the snake unhurt. It is his humility and the voice of conscience due to which snake departs unhurt. He treats the snake as a guest who has come from the depth of the earth. He gives him respect and honour. But he is caught between two forces. His education dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education overcomes him and he throws a log at the snake to kill it. The snake escaped but the poet feels himself repentant, petty and mean for his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot. 145

Q.5.     What is the theme of the poem?

            The poem points out how our feelings of affection are crushed by our social education. Our reasoning often misleads us. The poem arouses feelings of love and sympathy for all creatures in this world. The poet treats the snake as a guest who has come from the depth of the earth. He gives him respect and honour.

            On a hot summer day, when D.H. Lawrence comes downstairs with a pitcher to get water from a stone reservoir under the shady tree, he is surprised to see that a snake is already drinking water there. The poet stands and waits for his departure. During this short time, he experiences certain feelings and reactions of fear, horror, fascination, enmity and finally regret and remorse.

            He is caught between two forces. His education dictates him to kill the snake, as it is poisonous, fatal and enemy of man. But the voice of his intuition urges upon him to appreciate the physical beauty of the snake and to treat it as a guest. But the voice of his education overcomes him and he throws a log at the snake to kill it. The snake escaped but the poet feels himself repentant, petty and mean for his mean and vulgar act. He wants to expiate his action but cannot. 214

23. IMAGES AND IPRESSION

Autumn

Context:

The poem depicts the poet’s impression about a charming but cold autumn night. The moon looked red like a farmer’s red face and the stars appeared white like the white faces of town children.

Explanation:           

These lines are known as imagist poetry. One night the poet went out for a walk. He saw the red moon that looked like a red faced farmer leaning over the hedge.  He did not stop to enjoy the beauty of moon. However he showed his pleasure by nodding his head. He saw some stars surrounding the moon. The stars were not so much bright and red as moon was. They were dim and white like the white faces of town children. They were wistful because they could not fulfill their desire of being as red as the moon was.

            The poet has used many poetic devices like images, similies and metaphors. Ruddy moon like the red faced farmer and stars like town children with white faces are similies. Touch of cold, moon leaning over a hedge and wistful stars are metaphors. Informal and conversational language has been used.

Fog

Context:

The poem expresses the poet’s impressions about the fog. He compares it to a cat and says that it comes quietly like a cat, spreads everywhere and then melts

Explanation:

            The poet personifies fog and tells us how fog comes like a cat stealthily and spreads all over the city. It then sits on its haunches (back legs) and watches the things around it. It looks over the harbour and city and moves on to go some where else. The image of cat’s coming, sitting, looking and then moving on has been drawn so masterly and beautiful that the whole foggy scene comes into the reader’s eyes.

Metro:Paris

Context:

In this poem the poet compares the faces of the passengers of metro, the underground Paris train, to the petals of the wet and black branch of a tree.

Explanation:

The poet narrates his experience at the under ground railway station of Paris. He gets out of train and sees crowd of people there. These are those people who travel daily by train to reach their destinations or work places there is no glow of pleasure on their faces. The poet calls them ghostly appearing figures and mere petals that are scattered on the wet black branch of the tree. This is an imagist poem. The poem contains only fourteen words, further exemplifying Imagism’s precise economy of language. It is also worth noting that the number of words in the poem (fourteen) is the same as the number of lines in a sonnet.

Author: readingi

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