The Tease By Lilian Holmes

The poem “The Tease” is a short poem written by Lilian Holmes. The narrator is talking about the wind. It is called a nuance, and she says it teases her in several respects. It pounce upon her from all over. Often it grabs her hat and clutches her hair and ties her clothes in knots. She wishes that she had a snare to catch it, but then she doesn’t dare to do that, because if there was no wind, she couldn’t handle her boat or fly her kite!

Meaning of Important Words

1) nuisance: someone or something that annoys you or causes trouble for you

2) declare: state clearly and firmly

3) pounce: jump quickly in order to take hold of something

4) seize: take something quickly and hold it

5) clutch: hold something very tightly

6) snare: a trap for catching small animals in


“The Tease” By Lilian Holmes is a short, simple but meaningful poem that speaks volumes and challenges about life. Our lives are like a sailing ship. Every day, from the moment we wake up, we set some goals that we want to accomplish at the end of the day. We wake up every day with a certain yearning to find a goal in our lives, whether it be for success, happiness or a lifelong adventure. Like a sailor, we aim to move in a direction where everything is good and happy, but our sails through life are not easy and smooth. No matter how well-prepared we are for our journey, the cruel wind will always blow us in another direction. A direction that we don’t really want to go to, but we end up going to and it sucks.

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The wind of unexpected circumstances, change and unforeseen hardships can become an obstacle in our journey and sometimes capsize our sailboats.

Despite our best plans and actions, we have disappointments and obstacles. It is frustrating, and sometimes it makes us feel so lost, but it is reality. It is life. The poem explains those negative feelings that we get when things aren’t going as well as we hope they are. It is a sad poem that actually portrays the harsh truth of life, but it will also make you think about life.

You may think the wind is evil, the wind is cruel, as mentioned in the poem, but if you think about it, the wind is there to challenge us. It is testing our strength on how to manoeuvre our lives when things go wrong. Instead of whining and fighting the wind, we’re supposed to be buddies with the wind, accept its challenge and face it head-on. These unpredictable events will not decide the quality of our lives, but what we want to do when we have struggled to set the sail and then find, despite all our efforts, that the wind has changed directions.

Like Jon Rohn has said that when the winds change, we have to change. Once again, we must fight to our feet and reset the sail in the way that will take us to the destination of our own deliberate preference. The set of sail, how we think and how we act, has a much greater capacity to ruin our lives than any of the challenges we face. How easily and responsibly we respond to adversity is much more critical than adversity itself. Once we discipline ourselves in order to realise this, we will eventually and willingly conclude that the great task of life is to regulate the mechanism of our thought.

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Learning to reset the sail with shifting winds rather than allowing ourselves to be blown in a direction that we have not deliberately chosen requires the creation of a whole new discipline. It involves focusing on a strong, personal ideology that will help to affect in a positive way what we do and what we think and decide. If we can succeed in this worthwhile effort, the outcome would be a change in the trajectory of our wealth, lifestyle and relationships, and how we feel about items of importance as well as periods of struggle. If we can change the way we view, judge and decide the key issues of life, so we can change our lives drastically.

Answer the following questions

1) Why does the poet say that the wind is a nuisance?

a) because it teases her

b) because it makes a loud sound

c) because she can’t catch it

d) because it rocks her boat

2) In the first stanza, what does the wind not do to the poet?

a) blows away her hat

b) slams the windows of her house shut

c) messes up her hair

d) blows the flowers and leaves off the pear tree

3) Write True or False.

a) The wind is always annoying. ________

b) The poet does not really want to catch the wind. _________

c) The poet cannot sail her boat or fly her kite without the wind. ________

d) She does not understand that the wind is useful. ________

5) What does the poet want to do with the wind?
Ans. She wishes that she had a snare to catch the wind so that it could not become obstacle in the journey of her life but then she realises that she cannot sail her boat or fly her kite without the wind.

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6) How does the wind help the poet?
Ans. The wind helps her to manage her boat or fly her kite.

7) How do you think the poet really feels about the wind? Give reasons.
Ans. The poet is confused about the wind. At first she thinks that the winds disturbs her in many respects. She wishes she had a snare to catch it
but then she realises that she cannot sail her boat or fly her kite without the wind.

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