The Brook By Lord Alfred Tennyson

Central Idea: The brook is a tiny stream born in a certain mountain. In the course of its journey, it grows bigger and stronger. As it flows through the pebbles, it makes so many types of sounds. Their movements are varied as well. It slips and slides; its curves and flows are stealing and winding. It’s chattering and babbling, making both musical and harsh sounds. The birth and growth, chatter and babbling of the brook are very similar to a human being’s activities. Overall, the brook represents life. Both have an origin, an intermediate stage, and an end. Both are fighting different adversities, odds and moving forward towards their goal. The brook is life above all. Men may come and men may go, yet life goes on eternal. In the case of the brook, a similar guideline applies. It continues streaming like life everlastingly.

The Brook Summary

The Brook is a beautiful poem written by Lord Alfred Tennyson. The poem is symbolical of human life. The brook usually originates from the mountains and quickly moves down to follow its course. In the poem, the brook has been shown to start from the place of coots and herns and it quickly rushes down sparkling in the sun through a ground of ferns. The brook swiftly moves down many hills and between the long narrow hilltops. The brook rushes down past many villages and bridges. Thus, the brook rushes down past many places making noisy sounds. This noisy and vigorous movement of the brook to reach its destination is symbolical of a man in his youth who is vigorous, enthusiastic and full of energy and for whom anything is possible.

The brook flows by a farm owned by a man named Philip, to join an overflowing river. Here the brook completely describes the cycle of human life. The lifespan of a man is very short and his cycle of coming and going has been there and will remain forever. But, the brook is different from a man because of its immortality. The brook chatters because of its quick flow over the stony ways and pebbles.

The Brook By Lord Alfred Tinnyson- Summary, Question, Explanation and Poetic Devices 1

The brook curvily flows because the path it takes curves at one point and passes through many fields and unplugged land. Many pieces of land are seen sticking out in the brook, having some plants where colorful insects like butterflies come along with the bright birds. While the brook flows it takes a lot of things along with it like blossoms, trout, foamy flakes, gravel, slit which resembles the way map meets people in his lifetime and moves forward. The brook wears away because of its meandering flow. The brook slips slides, dances and its moment is oven hindered by pebbles and small plants but it overcomes everything to reach its destination river. The last two lines suggest that the flow of the brook is continuous and goes on forever. And, as far as, human life is concerned, it is very short-human life comes to an end to make a room for another generation.

1. ‘I’ in the poem is referred to the brook.

2. The brook starts its journey from the place of water birds, moving down the hills noisily, curving at many places, overcoming the obstacles, and finally reaching its destination – river

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3. In these lines, human life is compared and contrasted with the brook. Human beings are mortal because they’ve got a short span of life. They have to go through the cycle of arrival and departure. But the brook is immortal. It witnesses the coming and going of human beings because it itself is eternal.
4. Sudden sally, willow weed, foamy flake, skimming swallows, sandy shallow.

5. Yes, the journey of the brook can be compared with human life. The way

the brook originates and then flows with the vigor overcoming all the hurdles and taking along with it the blossoms, trout, gravel, etc can be compared with the vigour and enthusiasm of human beings when they are young and full of energy to overcome anything here obstacles, in order to reach their destination and in their journey they meet different people and continue to move ahead in their journey of life.

Short Summary of The Brook

The poem ‘The Brook’ is written in the first person, so it strikes a self-portraying note. It continues like a journey, which has various stages, different ups, and downs, demonstrating various types of development.

The Brook starts its adventure from some place in the mountains, which are home to birds like ‘coots’ and ‘heron’ and stops it by joining the ‘brimming stream’. On its way, it goes by numerous slopes, ridges, towns, villages, bridges. The brook’s movement is at times commanding and solid, here and there relaxed. It advances by eroding the banks, through developed, uncultivated terrains and forelands. The brook is also the territory of numerous sorts of fish and is brimming with willows, mallows, and blooms. It moreover gives a gathering point to darlings and surface to swallows to skim. Its surging water fills in as a background for the dance of the beams of the sun.

The Brook starts its adventure from somewhere in the mountains where birds like’ coots’ and’ heron’ live and ends it by joining the’ brimming stream.’ It goes through numerous slopes, ridges, towns, villages, bridges on its way. The movement of the brook is sometimes commanding and solid, sometimes relaxing here and there. It advances by eroding the banks, through developed, uncultivated terrains and forelands. The brook is also the territory of many kinds of fish and is full of willows, mallows, and blooms. It also gives the lovers a gathering point and the surface to skim swallows. Its surging water fills the dance of the sun’s beams as a background.

The brook continues on its adventure slipping, sliding, gliding, dancing, lingering, gushing. The moon, the stars make it mumble. On its way, it beats numerous obstacles also, deterrents yet achieve its last goal at last.

The adventure of the brook becomes parallel to the journey of human life. The poet makes an intelligent remark which highlights the continuity and external existence of the brook to the short-lived nature of human life. The poet wishes to teach that just as good and bad times don’t stop the stream from its voyage, in the same way, people should also take the obstacles and distresses in their stride.

The Brook by Tennyson

Explain the following lines with reference to context.

a) I come from haunts of coot and hern……..

And half of a hundred bridges.

Reference to context:- These lines have been taken from the poem, “The Brook” written by Alfred Tennyson. The brook has been personified in this poem and it itself narrates its musical journey through mountains, hills, towns, villages, wilderness, farms, fallows, forelands, grassy lawns and stony courses to finally embrace the brimming river. This journey of the brook is akin to human life as human life too like a brook passes through different phases and encounters different situations sometimes good and sometimes troublesome until it finally meets the river of death. The poet has made use of beautiful visual and auditory imaginary to make the recitation of the poem a lifelike an experience. Besides these, the poem has also used onomatopoeic words and alliteration to infuse the poem with a great melody.

Explanation: In these lines, the brook speaking as a living being says that it is born at a place that is visited by water birds like coot and hern. It at once acquires speed and passes through the ferns displaying the shiny texture of its waters. After crossing the ferns, it quickly moves down a valley making a characteristic sound. Then, it passes through various hills at a great speed.

This haste in the brook, immediately after it originates is like that of a child who is eager to learn new things, stumble while reaching out for things and is full of energy.

b) Till last by Philips farm, flow …

I babble on the pebbles.

Reference to context:– Same as 1

Explanation: The brook says that it reaches the farm of Phillip – a common Englishmen. It keeps flowing to finally join the brimming river that is its final destination. The brook says that many men come to this world and many others leave it but it goes on without any halt that is to say life doesn’t stop for anyone. The brook takes a stony course and produces a chattering sound and it hits against the stones. It produces high-pitched sounds while moving along with the stony ways. It sometimes produces bubbles and become a water body full of whirlpools.

c) Till last by Philips farm, flow …

I babble on the pebbles.

Reference to context:– Same as 1

Explanation: The brook further says that as it passes through various fields and uncultivated lands, it twists itself and zigzags through these lands. It tends to say that its journey is never a straight one like that of human’s life which is full of twists and turns. It passes through the capes inhabited by willow trees and wallow plants. It keeps on producing sounds while on the move to join the brimming water. It again mentions that people come and leave this world but the journey of the brook is eternal.

d) I wind about, and in and out…

But I go on forever.

Reference to context: Same as 1

Explanation: The brook says it continues its wavy motion and meets various other creations of nature on its way. Sometimes, it happens to come across a flower sailing on it, sometimes it shelters a strong and active trout and sometimes a grayling finds its home in the brook. As the brook rushes to meet its fate i.e. a brimming river, various foamy flakes rise from it and the brook makes them dance as it moves. The waters of the brook move the gravel along with them. This could be the poet’s way of saying that when a man passes through any stage of life it draws the experiences that he has gained and carries them with him throughout his life. The brook flows to meet the brimming river. People come and leave this world but the journey of the brook is eternal.

e) I steal by lawns…

Against my sandy shallows

Reference to context: Same as 1

Explanation: In these lines, the brook saysc.Y that it passes, through grassy lands. Slowly, it slips the hazel trees, it makes the lovely purple flowers of forgetting – me – not come to motion. These flowers are for lovers. It slips, slides, it grows dark at turns bright as it glides through its deep passages and when it passes through its sandy and shallow courses, it creates beautiful patterns when the sunlight hits its waters. This course of the brook is the most beautiful one. The words used in these lines are all suggestive of a controlled speed of the brook like that of a human being when he reaches its maturity level has acquired the quality of patience and does not rush for everything.

f) I murmur under upon and stars …

But I go on forever.

Reference to context: Same as 1

Explanation: The brook says that it continues its journey even while the sun is hidden and the moon and the stars are out. It produces a murmuring sounds while it passes through the covers of night. It passes through the difficult most part of its course, it is thorny and wild. Its speed slows down as it passes through the rough pebbles. The brook seems to have come of age by now.



The Brook By Lord Alfred Tinnyson- Summary, Question, Explanation and Poetic Devices


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