Bihar Board Class 12th English Important Questions Poetry Section
What similarities does the poet draw between two human beings ?
The ppt discovers that the physical constitution of two human beings is the same. The two are made of same kind of atoms. This is actually a scientific idea — the basic physical constituents of two persons are the same. The differences are superficial and of no material value. Once this similarity is clearly perceived there will be no scope of difference.
All external barriers will breakdown and the oneness of mankind will prevail. But Walt Whitman uses this scientific idea merely in the beginning; when he suggests the identity of assumptions of two persons he speaks actually of a spiritual foundation of all life. It is this single spirit that exists in all and is responsible for all consciousness and activity.
Explain the line: ‘Hoping to cease not till death.’
In spite of his spiritual training wait Whitman is aware of his mortality, the fate which no man can escape. And so very cautiously he adds that he would continue to believe in himself and to sing till he dies. That is, only death can bring an end to his song. So long as he is alive he would go on singing this song of oneness.
Why does Walt Whitman not want to bother himself with creeds and schools ?
In the modem world the numerous creeds and systems of thought have only divided mankind. The poet who is convinced of the essential unity of the universe has no respect for creeds and schools. He rejects them.
Do you think that the title of the poem is appropriate ? Give reasons.
The title of the poem is quite appropriate since it records the feelings not of Rupert Brooke as an individual, but as a responsible soldier of the British Army. What he speaks of by way of his love for England is a common feeling of every soldier for his country. A soldier is not fighting an enemy he is all the tune fighting for his country which he dearly loves. The title expresses this deep feeling of a soldier who is indebted to his country for all that it has given him.
Discuss the main ideas contained in the octave of the poem.
In the octave of the sonnet Rupert Brooke speaks of a foreign soil being tranformed into England in the event of his death in the war. He advances a peculiar argument in favour of this — when he dies his mortal remains will mingle with the foreign soil, thus England will come up there in that small comer because the poet is nothing but a true representation of his nation. It is a strange but a true idea. A man is nothing but a complete product of a nation, its ideals, traditions and values. What is strange that the poet thinks that even in death he would continue to represent England.
What is a Sonnet ? Mention the rhyme-scheme of the poem.
A Sonnet is the name for a lyric stanza form consisting of fourteen lines. The petrarchan Sonnet, of which the present poem is an example, is divided into Octave (first eight times) and sestet (remaining six lines). The Octave usually asks a question, poses a problem, states a difficulty or conveys a mood. The sestet answers the question, resolues the problem or difficulty or condudes the mood. The rhyme-scheme of the poem is ab ab cd cd and abc abc.
What is the central idea of the peom ?
The poem expresses a serene and untroubled mood that attends upon a rich autumnal day with its lengthened twilight and glowing sunset. The poet discovers a nourishing principle in the beauty in nature which links man and nature in a productive work—what nature gives man transforms it to more useful by labour and skill. Consequently, in autumn there is a rich fusion of scenery and music that induces tranquillity.
Pick out the images related to different aspects of nature. Write a note on the use of images in the poem.
The important images used in the poem are — the maturing Sun, the moss’d cottage trees, sweet kernel, flowers, budding, warm days, winnowing weed, barred clouds, hilly bourn, light wind. These images demonstrate Keats’s gift of observation of the countryside scene. It is only , in the countryside that the pristine beauty of nature is fully revealed.
What does the poet say about the music of autumn ?
The music of autumn is composed of the wailing sound of gnats, the beating of lambs, the singing of crickets and the whistling of robins.
The speaker was fascinated by the snake. Do you think the time mentioned and the place it belonged to has anything to do with fascination ?
It was night and too hot. There was a tree infront of his house. He was sleeping but when he felt thirsty he came down with the silent step. The tree was a Southern European tree with dark brown fruit. The snake lived in it. Since it was hot the snake came in the house to drink water in a container which was used by the animal.
It was thirsty. It came out from a small hole of the earth because there was a gap. It seemed feeling of being sad and without hope. It didn’t harm. To see this thought came in mind that it was the guest and a God. So, it came here. In this way the snake fascinated to me.
What does he mean by ‘the voice of my education ?’
By ‘the voice of my education’ he means a bad magic spell to be protected from the snake. He thinks it did not hit him but suddenly that part of him that was left behind caused a sudden shaking moment, shows undignified haste. The snake was at a gap. It didn’t harm the poet that he hit him but the poet became afraid to see the black and piosonous snake. So he accused human education.
The snake seemed like a king in exile. What are the qualities that makes the snake so majestic ?
The poet D. H. Lawrence a good novelist has seen the snake to his courtyard where he use to feed animal. That snake came there to drink water. It came from a carbtree. It seemed like a king in exile. The qualities that make the snake so majestic are peaceful, black; innocent, pacified and thankless.
What is the sin committed by the speaker that he wanted to expiate ?
It was a black snake. It was cobra. Cobra is regarded as the king of snake. Secondly, the snake wanted to drink water. It was not in mood to bite anybody. So, the speaker committed the sin to kill the innocent snake.
What type of love or relation do you find between the grandmother and the speaker ?
There existed a great bond between the speaker and the grandmother. The old lady loved the speaker greatly. The details are lacking; but it can be felt t the lady paid every attention to the needs of the speaker, denying her nothing. This is a basic characteristic of the relationship of love.
In love there is neither denial nor rejection. There is absolute trust on both sides. Especially the speaker remembers the house where everything was to her taste. She remembers the books which she did not fully understand but which intensified her interest in life.
What changes have taken place since the speaker’s grandmother died?
Great changes have occurred in the house where the grandmother lived and in the pattern of the life of the speaker. The house is now silent, bereft of activity and of the inmates.
The windows are like the eyes of a blind person in which these in no light – they are merely a useless organ reduced to ugliness. The house is dark that is, the human activity that serves as the light of the house is wanting.
More painful changes have occurred in the life of the speaker. She feels completely lonely and finds no love anywhere. The great source of love has died and she is left forlorn in an alien world.
Write down a critical appreciation of Macavity-The Mystery Cat
T.S. Eliot, the well-known modem poet, gave profound expression to the boredom and despair of the modem man, his tensions and anxieties in free verse. But in some poems, he wrote also about trivial subjects and made delightful use of nursery rhyme.
Macavity — The Mystery Cat, written in a mock-heroic form, is a portrait of a cat. To distinguish him the poet has portrayed him as a master criminal who commits every crime with finesse but is not found at the scene of crime and whose identity cannot be established as even the Scotland Yard has no record of his footprints. The human dimension of Macavity’s physical activities and gestures makes the poem very much enjoyable.
Physically, Macavity is a wretch with a long and thin body, uncombed whiskers, dusty skin and brows lined with thought. But he is an acrobat and he can levitate like a Yogi. He specialised in robbery, in forcing open jewellery shops, larders and even government houses.
He seems to be interested very much in secret files and documents. Whenever an important treaty or file is found missing from the foreign office the crime is attributed to Macavity, but the cunning cat could be seen at least a mile away from the spot, engaged in the innocent act of licking his thumbs or in serious mathematical calculations.
In absence of proof, it is impossible therefore to lay hands on Macavity. The poet remembers some other notorious cats like Mungojerrie and Griddlebone. But Macavity tops them all in wickedness and cunning. He is therefore honoured for his superiority of the title — Napoleon of Crime.
What in fact T.S. Eliot has tried to suggest is that cats can have a distinguished personality. Although every cat enters stealthily into a kitchen and drinks milk or misplaces household articles a few acquire notoriety in a neighborhood for their unique ways and manners.
Macavity is one such cat who caused immense mischief by taking away many valuable things, even important documents. But he has never been caught nor he has left any clue on the basis of which the crime could be traced to him. All these could be the traits of a very shrewd criminal who plans every act very thoughtfully and manages to escape so fast that the police forces are rendered helpless.
Discuss the poet’s impression of Macavity, the mystery cat. Why does he call it mysterious ?
The poet seems to have observed Macavity for a very long time. He is impressed by the peculiar constitution of the cat — he is long and thin, his skin is dusty, his whiskers are uncombed. In the very appearance he resembles persons who are mentally active but very shabby in physical upkeep.
The poet thinks Macavity is mysterious because the cat has never been arrested or punished for the crimes attributed to him. Even the Scotland Yard is helpless in framing this cat for any specific crime.
Make a list of crimes Macavity is capable of:
Macavity is found to have committed the following crimes —
- He cheats at cards.
- He has looted larders.
- He has forcibly opened many jewellery boxes.
- He has drunk milk from several houses.
- He has broken glass panels of a green house.
- He has broken frames which are put up for climbing plants.
- He has stolen away historic treaties.
- He has stolen away valuable diplomatic documents from the foreign office.
‘Macavity is never there’. Elaborate.
Generally, investigations of a crime are carried out in the area of the crime. But after Macavity has done the act, that is, if he has stolen away some document or has consumed milk or has broken some valuable thing he is never found around the spot.
He may be spotted at least a mile away from the spot – and then his face or posture does not betray any criminal act; he is rather quite relaxed or lost in some mathematical calculation.
What images from Nature are used in the poem ?
The images from Nature are – yesternight, the sun, wings.
What arguments does the poet give at the time of parting with his beloved ?
In the main the speaker tells his beloved that since they enjoyed complete oneness one person’s death has not altered their existence at all. Secondly, he says that in death he enjoys complete immunity from time-it has no power over him, the sun has virtually stopped for him. And thirdly, he says that he is still lying by her side in such a posture that there is no further separation between them.
Describe the frightening scene of the cremation ground that had a deep impact on the mind of the poet.
In this poem Keki Daruwalla describes a cremation ground by the side of a river. A number of people would express their horror on having a, look at such a site where dead bodies are consigned to flames at all hours.
As a child the poet used to take a walk along such a cremation ground. I And he used to notice how fire consumed every part, every limb of the dead bodies.
But sometimes the child noticed half-burnt bones left behind. He also; felt that after a time the powers, of the fire were exhausted, and everything turned to a cool grey ash. Nevertheless, the very feeling that man has to come ultimately to this end gave birth to incoherent ideas of mortality, of the meaninglessness of life. In this way death posed a frightening experience for the poet.
What is the significane of the religious identity of the speaker ?
At one point the speaker asserts : A Zoroastrian I. It has multiple meanings. At one level it means that religious identity begins to influence the character and temperament of persons from early childhood.
The thought that he was a Zoroastrian come to the speaker when he, as a child, used to take a stroll along, the burning ghat. He is thus familiar with the cardinal principle of Zoroastrian faith-the perpetual struggle between light and darkness. And as a true Zoroastrian, he feels that he has to be on the side of the light.
The reference to the Tower of Silence where the Parsis dispose of their dead further reinforces the Zoroastrian identity of the speaker. As a child he – may have been only half-aware of his religion but after he has grown up he has to abide by the articles of his faith. In this latter reference the spirit of rebellion of the speaker is very much evident He is, in his own words, quite broken but very much rebellious.