Category Archives: POETRY LESSONS

THE TREES BY PHILIP LARKIN: Summary and Questions


Introduction: We all know that Nature is a great teacher. Human life repeats many aspects of nature. The cyclic pattern of life in nature is reflected in human life also. This poem takes a philosophical look at nature and life. What is the general tone of the poem? Is it grief or a kind of acceptance? What lesson about life does this poem give us?
Read the poem very carefully and try to understand it on your own before seeking the help of the notes given below.

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain

Yet still, the unresting castles thresh.
In full-grown thickness every May,
Last year is dead, they seem to say, Begin afresh, afresh, afresh

The trees by Philip Larkin

About the Author: Philip Larkin (1922—1985), is the most significant poet of Britain in the post-second World War period. He is an urban poet writing in a very simple style. A lonely observer of events and things around him, he rejected any idealized image of life.

You must have read the poem now, what does it communicate to you? You would have found certain words and expressions difficult. It is only natural. To have a more complete understanding of the poem, refer to the stanza wise meanings and explanations given below.

Meanings and Explanations

Lines 1-4

Coming into leaf: An idiomatic way of describing fresh leaves appearing on a tree.
Like something… said: The poet uses a curious example to describe the growth of new leaves. He compares it to someone about to say something. The fresh leaves are the message. (This comparison using ‘like’ or ‘as’ called a simile.)
recent: not long ago
bud: a flower or leaf that is not yet fully open. (Here it is a leaf bud)
The recent buds relax and spread: The opening and spreading of closed leaf buds into leaves imaginatively referred to as a relaxing. The buds described as if they are human and enjoying good leisure.
grief: sorrow
Their greenness …… grief: This line gives a shock. The new life of the buds (suggest by their “greenness”) also reminds the poet of death (suggested by the word “grief” ). The explanation of this contradictory meaning (paradox) is offered in the next stanza

The poet describes the coming of new life in nature during the spring season. The buds grow into leaves. This greening of nature is referred to in negative terms as an event bringing sorrow.

What is the link between new life and sorrow? Think about it.

Line 5-8

grain: pattern made by the lines of fibres in wood.

The poet asks the question whether trees are different from human beings because the trees can continuously renew themselves by growing fresh leaves, whereas human beings grow old only to die. He answers saying that it is not so. Although new leaves appear on the tree every year, this happens after the tree sheds old leaves. Hence with every year the tree ages. Therefore, the aging process of the tree can be measured by counting the number of rings on the trunk. This is commonly called as the grain of the wood. Thus the tree only seems to remain fresh. He, therefore, calls it a “trick” in line 7. How is the aging of a tree different from the aging of human beings?

Line 9-12

Unresting: continuous movement of the leaves caused by the wind. The tree never rests because it is constantly renewing itself.

Castles: large fortified (strengthened against attack) buildings. Here the trees are referred to as castles. Why? The castle is a metaphor for tree. This use of language is metaphorical.

Thresh: separate the grain from its husk by beating the grain-bearing bundle of plants over a surface. Here it points to violent movement.
May: spring season
Last year ……… afresh: shows how the trees renew life every year.

The poet, however, comes to accept the fact that life in nature can begin afresh every year, whereas man as an individual must grow old and die. May is the month when trees are full of leaves and flowers. The continuously renewing trees (“castles”) sway violent (“thresh”) in the wind. The poet may have used the term “‘thresh” because of the way thickly growing trees in a forest rub against each other strongly. The rich covering of tree is compared to lofty castles. What do castles and trees have in common? For one, they are both tall and strong. Secondly, both suggest something regal (royal or majestic). Third, they can have an association with old times or the distant past. The trees seem, to the imaginative mind of poet, to convey the message of cyclicity and renewal as it says “being afresh”.
Do you now have a better understanding of the poem? Let us now try to answer the questions on the poem, shall we?

Comprehension Short Answer Questions :

1. What phrase does the poet use to describe the appearance of fresh leaves on the tree?
Ans. The poet uses the expression “coming into leaf”
2. What is simile ‘?

Ans. A simile is a way of expressing something in which a thing is described by comparing it with something else usually using the words ‘as’ or ‘like’ as in the example, ‘eyes sparkling like diamonds.’

3. What simile does the poet use to describe the emergence of leaves on trees?
Ans. According to the poet, the leaves appear “like something almost bein said”.
4. Why does the poet use the adjective “recent” to describe buds?
Ans. The adjective “recent” is used to suggest the quick change from leaf bud to leaf.
5. How do the leaf buds transform into leaves?

Ans. The leaf buds “relax and spread” into leaves
6. Why does the “greenness” of the leaves bring about grief?
Ans. The “greenness” of the new leaves also remind the poet of the passing of time and aging implied in each renewal of life.
7. Don’t the trees grow old?
Ans. Yes, they do even though they seem to get a new life every year, they are in fact. growing old.
8. What is the “yearly thick” the trees play on us?
Ans. The trees fool us into thinking that they are born again every year.
9. How do the trees show their age?
Ans. The number of rings of grain on the trunk of trees give away their age.
10. What is the metaphor used to describe the trees?
Ans. The trees are metaphorically described as castles
11. What is a metaphor?
Ans. A metaphor is an expression in which a person action or thing is described as if it really were what it merely resembles.
12. What is the difference between a Simile and Metaphor?
Ans. A Simile says that one thing is like another. A metaphor says that one thing is the other,
E.g. a) My love is like a red red rose. (Simile)
b) My love is a red red rose (Metaphor)

13. What do trees and castles have in common?
Ans. Both trees and castles are tall and strong, majestic-looking and old.
14. Why are the trees referred to as “unresting”?
Ans. The constant movement of the trees due to the wind makes the poet refer to them as “unresting”
15. What does May signify?
Ans. May is springtime When the trees become covered fully with leaves and branches after winter When they are bare
16. What is the message of trees to man?
Ans. The constantly renewing trees seem to tell us to begin afresh as the previous year is dead and gone.

Paragraph Questions and Answers.

1. What does the poet say about trees?
Ans. The poet describes the way trees come to life every year during the spring season. The emptiness of the winter season is transformed as the trees break out into leaves and flowers. The leaf- buds relax and spread out to become big leaves. This greening of the trees brings sorrow because it is a reminder of passing time and aging. Every year there is a renewal of life, at the same time the tree ages and this is recorded in the rings of grain. During the month of May, the trees appear in full growth

2. How does the poet treat the theme of the passage of time?
Ans. Every object in nature submits to change as time passes. In the case of the trees, their change is cyclic and the pattern of change is repeated every year. The spring season finds the trees renewing themselves. New leaves appear and spread greenness. This renewal of life is a rebirth. This does not mean that they do not age, every year the trees look new but this is the only a trick. They also age and this is recorded in the rings of grain. Nature, thus shows us how life and death are close to each other, almost continuous.
3. Examine the poet’s attitude to nature and how he uses it to reflect on life.
Ans. The poem “The Trees” looks at a very common feature in nature-how the trees shed old leaves while new leaves are forever appearing again. This “yearly trick” of looking new hides the fact the trees also grew old The age of trees is recorded in the rings of grain on the tree trunks. Thus, the greenness of the trees brings to mind sorrow as it points to change and aging. This pattern of cyclicity of life and death can be seen in life too. To the poet, this feature in nature suggests how life and death are continuous. Nature serves to show us this fact.

Epic Poetry: Some Features and Examples

Epic Poetry Some Features and Examples

An Introduction To Epic

An epic also called heroic poem is a verse narrative usually long which deals with a serious subject. It is told in a formal and elevated style. It is centred on heroic or quasi-divine figures on whose action depends the fate of a tribe, a nation or the entire human race as in the instance of John Milton’s The Paradise Lost. Epics maybe traditional or literary.Traditional epics are called folk epics. The traditional epics were the written version of oral poems about a tribal or national hero during a warlike age. Among these are the Iliad and

Odessey that are attributed to Homer, the Greek poet. Literary epics were composed in deliberate imitation of the traditional epics. Virgil’s Latin poem the Aeneid is of this kind.

This epic later served as a model for Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Some features of epics

The hero of an epic is a figure of great national importance. In the Iliad, the hero is the Greek warrior Achilles, who is the son of the sea nymph Thetis, and Virgil’s Aeneas is the son of the goddesses Aphrodite.

The setting of the poem is ample in scale and may be worldwide or even larger.

Odysseus wanders over the Mediterranean basin and in Book XI he descends into the underworlds as does Virgil’s Aeneas.

The action involves superhuman deeds in battle such as Achilles’ feats in the Trojan War, or a long, ordous and dangerous journey such as the wanderings of Odysseus on his way back to his homeland in the face of opposition by some of the gods.

In the great actions, the gods and other supernatural beings take an interest or an active part. The Olympian gods in Homer is an instance.

An epic poem is a ceremonial performance, and is narrated in a ceremonial style which is deliberately distanced from the ordinary speech and proportioned to the grandeur and formality of the heroic subject.

The Epic Conventions

The narrator starts by stating his argument for epic theme, invokes a muse or guiding spirit to inspire him in his great undertaking.
The narrative begins in media-res or in the middle of the story. There are catalogs of some of the main characters introduced in a formal detail The term epic is often applied to narratives that differ from this model in many respects but manifest the epic spirit and grandeur in the scale, scope and profound human significance of their subject. In this broad sense Dante’s “Divine Comedy” and Edmund Spencer’s “The Fairie Queene” are often called epics.

Summary and Questions of When Autumn Came


The different seasons of the year have also been favourite subjects of literary and artistic expression. Each season comes with its own charm and beauty. For many, Spring, with its lengthening days and reappearance of gentle greens, is the most beautiful season of the year; the long, warm days of Summer appeal to others; the bright oranges and browns and reds of Autumn bring delight to some; and the short, cold days of winter with its snow and wood fires bring a sense of comfort and rest to many. In an unusual take on autumn, the poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, portrays the season as a time of harsh cruelty and violent death. Autumn is symbolized as a period of misery and loss.

Lines 1-7

This is the way……….a single moan of protest.

In these lines, the poet shows autumn making its appearance as a harsh, aggressive person, who uses violence and force to strip the leaves off the branches of the trees. The leaves of the trees turn from green to yellow with the onset of autumn, and one by one fall to the ground below. (That is why this season is also referred to as “Fall” in America.) In these lines, the poet compares the bare trunks of the trees to the black slaves of Africa, who have had a long, tragic history of oppression and slavery, being enslaved for centuries by various civilisations, like the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, etc, till the early half of the previous century by the European colonists and the white Americans. (Ebony is a type of tree, unique to Africa, which is of a rich, intense black colour.) The yellowing leaves of the trees are like the hearts of these black slaves, being shaken and tortured by the slave-drivers and owners, as they are led off bound and chained, mute and silent in their suffering. Thus, autumn is depicted as a cruel, heartless oppressor bringing suffering and violence with him.

  • Trample=crush under ones feet
  • Moan= a soft sound of pain

Lines 8-12

The birds that herald…………….. strung his bow.

As days become colder and shorter, many birds start their migration to warmer lands and, thus, one can no longer hear the sweet songs of these birds during the autumn months. However, the poet, continuing with the theme of violence and cruelty, paints a vivid, moving picture of a heartless person brutally ripping out the voices (the vocal cords) of the birds from their throats, so that the birds drop dead to the ground. Even though the birds had been exiled, (or separated, from their songs), the person seems to perform this mindless act of cruelty, not giving them the chance or time to leave the land.

Lines 13-18

Oh, God of May………………..Let one bird sing.

Resurrection means to rise from the dead; in other words, to come back to life. In the given lines, the poet now appeals to the more merciful God or authority of the month of May to infuse or inject new life into the dried out, shrunken bodies of the birds and the trees, so that they too could come back to life. The seasons of the year symbolise the cycle of life and death, of regeneration, of continuity. The months of April and May are the time of new growth, of renewal.


From our reading of When Autumn Came, it seems obvious that the season of autumn is a gloomy, dismal (depressing) time of the year for the poet. He sees it as a season that brings an end (and that too a violent and cruel end), to natural things like the trees and the birds. The shedding of leaves and the migration of birds to warmer lands, are portrayed in a very bleak and dark picture of untimely death at the hands of a brutal, vicious oppressor. He even ends on a pessimistic note, almost begging the God of May to give new life to at least one tree and one bird, as if he’s not certain his heartfelt plea/prayer will be answered.

Check Your Progress

1). Why does the poet say anyone could trample the fallen leaves out of shape?
(Trample=crush under ones feet).

2). Why do you think they do not utter a single moan of suffering or protest? (Moan= a soft sound of pain)

(Hint: – leaves that are still yellow and have not yet turned dry and brown, are……..?). 3). Which words in these lines indicate use of violence and force?

3. A herald is a messenger, bringing news of something or someone that is to come. So, why do you think the birds are referred to as heralds in these lines? What dreams do they bring?

5. Autumn has already caused the death of the birds, in the above lines. However, a hunter, who was yet to come, was getting ready to string his own bow in order to kill these birds. Who or What do you think has been personified as the hunter in these lines? (Harsher even than Autumn!)

6. What appeal does the poet make to the God of May? Why do you think he appeals to the God of May and not to the God of some other month? 2. Read the last two lines of the poem. How hopeful does the poet seem to be that his prayer will be answered? What is the significance of the words ‘some’ and ‘one’ in these lines?

Solved Questions of When Autumn Came

Q. 1 The autumn season is characterized by few things. What are they?
Ans. Ripening of fruits, harvesting, falling of leaves from the trees, cooling of weather are the distinct features of the autumn season.

Q. 2 Does the poet talks about all those characteristics?
Ans. The poet does not talk about all those characteristics. He only talks about the falling of leaves from the trees.

Q. 3 What is the impact of autumn on the trees?
Ans. The autumn snatches the trees from their leaves and makes them naked.

Q. 4 What happens to the birds when autumn comes?
Ans. Birds are exiled from their own nests and deprived of their singing when autumn comes.

Q. 5 Why does the poet invoke the God of May?
Ans. The poet invokes the God of May so that the naked trees and exiled birds will bloom again with their pristine glory.

Reference to the Context

1.It shook out……. moon of protest.

a) Who is ‘it’. Whose yellow heart did it shake?
Ans. ‘It’ stands for the autumn season. It shook out yellow hearts of the trees by making their leaves fall on the ground.
b) What happens to the leaves that are scattered on the ground?
Ans. The leaves that are scattered on the ground get trampled by the people.
c) When will these withered trees bloom again?
Ans. These withered trees will again in spring season.

2. Give some trees…….. Let bird sing.

a) What is the gift of green? Who will receive it?
Ans. The gift of green refers to green leaves. The trees will receive it.

b) What is the poet asking for when he says let one bird sing?
Ans. The poet is asking for the arrival of the spring so that the trees will be restored with the green leaves and the birds will resume their singing.

c) What had happened to the birds in autumn?
Ans. The birds have been exiled from their nests and single.

Our Village Poem


Our Village by Prof. Rehman Rahi

Soun Gaam (Our Village) by Rehman Rahi

A hard-hitting sarcastic sonnet, ‘Soun Gaam’ depicts the way of life of Kashmir in the entirety of its contradictions. It was written by the prominent Kashmiri artist Rehman Rahi in 1995.

Our village is better off as a village; call it not a city
It receives sap from deen-dharma; make it not thirsty

Even a dove from round here invokes God, hark!
And Qur’an is recited by our every swift and lark

Jhelum’s water itself is pure, why shouldn’t it clean us?
Why lose minds over Vetsar Naag’s growing murkiness?

Only upon seeing a tigress does learn to run a doe
Partook it of God’s sustenance, if eats worms a hoopoe

Today also I tie votive rags at Tsrar, why not come over
Today also here from heavens descends a golden shower

Appear the billboards where, let’s look and, as instructed, love
Ooze hands poison whose, why ponder pointlessly over above

Our own children they are, counsel them and they’ll turn gold
Our own nation this is, fill the crossroads and make them roar bold

Should we be leaving Rahim Uncle standing with a gun?
Meanwhile, let our brother Makhan bask in the Delhi sun

That you didn’t let on to your wife a secret, it is your goodness
That you broke your promise to me, I take it was in duress

Verily, your mind have been scalded by envious neighbours
The ones I earned my profits from, though, were foreigners

I practiced parsimony and started increasing the nation’s prosperity
You picked pockets and acquire will new weapons the army

Qur’an I’ve heard as well, but I’ve got to place on market my daughter
Throw a recitation party too I will, if successful is my charas venture

This village of ours is free, shrewd people here inhabit
I have never lent a loan to anyone, go and endure it

I did not cast my vote, the elders of my locality were eyeing me
The haggard hag’s opinion got broadcast, didn’t it hearten thee?

This farmer friend diverts the village canal for his urgent use
This travelling trader sells woollen shawls as authentic shahtoos

Eating and drinking too only us, living and dying too we only
Playing and prancing too only us, laughing and weeping too we only

It is here I saw in a garden Shakti in embrace of Shiva held
It is here in tightly draped rooms that blue films are beheld

Tourists will be camping there, if this saw goes to the jungle
And if your eyes are irritated, it is I who is burning diesel

In the bedroom itself, on a worldwide tour the TV takes me
You cool yourself at the river bank, fetches you the news BBC

Bombs may burst in the Gulf, why should we increase the bus fare?
Let Germans launch missiles, we’ll take a boat to Nishat from here

This is the land of rishis, from every corner are expected offerings
Bedlam is unleashed when a dervish releases from his chilum smoke rings

Elderly men here and they with every breath lofty ideals uphold
Young men here and they set a price for conscience with every word

Mind alert, the cat is poised to a meal of the rat make
Pure of words, they say on oath the tongs are a snake

If we believe them, they will dub us fools from a place outlandish
If we expose them, they will our love affairs in newspapers publish

The multitude masses that never had any use for identity
The political parties that never spoke any language consistently

We nurture faith, to whatever rises like a sun we offer our prayer
As you only have a fire in the belly, you only be our leader

Our mountains are as old as time, our temperament is the oldest
Our tradition is of the rishis, our trika philosophy too is the greatest

This is a gathering place, lo! The whole village here has come
Shout a few slogans, will you, why recite a meaningless poem?

Sitting here you are in Kashmir, but you are talking American
An ancient pheran you wear on you, don’t claim to be modern!

Our Village by Prof. Rehman Rahi

Summary and Questions of Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English


Ordinary objects and wonders of nature have been most loved topics that have enlivened artists, journalists, story-tellers, poets etc through the ages. They have likewise kept on intrigueing researchers and scientists. In her poem, “Sunrise”, which has been written in free verse, the poetess Padma Sachdev portrays the regular marvel of the sun rising in a simple, colourful, though childish, way, comparing the sun with a bashful, nervous school boy, frightened of his stern school master.

Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

Lines 1-5.

The sun was descending………thundering in anger

In the first five lines of the poem, the early morning sun is covered by a veil of clouds. It has been a wet, rainy morning, with thunder showers greeting the new day. However, as the sun rises above the horizon, the rain stops and the clouds slowly begin to disperse, so that the sun is seen to shine weakly through the thinning clouds. The veil of clouds over the sun is compared to a white film of cataract (a disease or disorder of the eye), that covers the eye, causing blurred or opaque vision. In the poem, the eye of the sky is, of course, the sun. The sky is depicted as a person rendered soaking wet by the rain, who expresses his anger at being made to feel miserable and uncomfortable, by thundering. Thus, the thundering clouds are shown as the expression of annoyance and anger of the drenched sky.

Lines 6-10

The sun, seizing the………….the angry school master.

Switching the metaphor, the poet now shows the sun as a scared and nervous school boy who is late to school, and in order to avoid the attention of his strict school master, is slinking into class (i.e. entering in a quiet, unobtrusive manner) and hiding behind his class-fellows in the back row. He hopes his late entry into class will go unobserved by the school master.

Lines 11-16.

Slowly the pale sun…………for the sun to rise?”

As the weak, pale sun emerges from behind the clouds, it begins to shine more brightly. And, as its bright golden light begins to spread around, it makes its presence felt. Carrying on with the metaphor above, the poet shows how the school boy, i.e. the sun, reveals or exposes his own presence at the back of the class to the school master, by shining more brightly and vividly. Immediately the school master demands an explanation from the sun for why he turned up late for class. He sarcastically asks the sun whether he was delayed due to work not timely done (i.e. not cleaning his slate in time) or because he was not served enough at breakfast, and so lingered to be fed more food by his mother.

Lines 17-21.

“By now the sun……………..that is sunrise.”

Having fully emerged from behind the clouds, the sun is now shining in all its brilliance and glory. The timid school boy is transformed into a proud and confident young boy, no longer submissively listening to his school master’s scolding and sarcastic queries (questions)! Boldly, the sun asks the school master why he is so annoyed. He reminds him that the only one who can determine when the sun should rise is the SUN himself, that is why the time is called “Sunrise.” Therefore, it is quite unreasonable and inappropriate for the school master to be angry with the sun.

Questions of Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

Sunrise by Padma Sachdev


As one reads through this simple poem, it is easy to imagine a loving parent, or more likely, a grandparent, standing at the window with a small child, looking up at the cloudy sky at sunrise and listening to the growl of the thundering clouds! Through a simple metaphorical story, the child is made to visualise a commonplace act of nature in a fanciful, imaginative, delightful way. The conversion of a shy, timid, nervous school boy into a bold, assertive, arrogant person is imagery all children can relate to, and an almost magical significance is given to such an ordinary, commonplace natural phenomenon. That is the art of poetry or story-telling.

Questions of Sunrise Poem

Q.1 The sun is compared to a cataract because (Tick the correct option)
a. it is full of sunspots
b. it is not clear and is covered by clouds
c. it is shaped like an eye
Answer: The sun is compared to cataract because it is not clear and is covered by clouds.

Q. 2 Why was the sky thundering? Who was it angry with?
Ans. The sky was thundering because it was very rash and angry for its loneliness. It was angry with the slow and late appearance of the sun.

Q. 3 What does the poet compare the sun to as comes out from behind the clouds? Why?
Ans. The poet compares the sun to a school boy who has reached school late. The comparison is made because the sun pushes away the clouds hesitatingly and starts shinning slowly in the sky fearing that the sky would rebuke it for its late appearance.

Q.4 Who questions the sun ? Why?
Ans. The sky or the school master questions the sun. The sky questions the sun because the later was hidden behind the clouds till afternoon. The sky asks the sun why it was late in its rising.

Q. 5 What is the sun’s reply?
Ans. The sun answered back proudly and boldly saying that there is no wisdom on part of the sky in being annoyed and displeased at its late rising. Though there may be scheduled time for everything but there is no fixed time for the sunrise, for whenever it rises it is sunrise.

Q. 6 What adjectives would you use to describe the sun:
a. When it emerges from behind the clouds?
Ans. Timorous, frightened, cowering, fearful and shuddered are some adjectives that would be used to describe the sun when it emerges from behind the clouds.

b. When it shines in all its splendor?
Ans. Arrogant, gorgeous, magnificent, sparkling, proudy and glorious are some adjectives that would be used to describe the sun when it is shining in all its splendor.

Reference to Context (Sunrise)

1. “The sun was descending like a…….. And it was thundering in anger”

a. What time of the day is being described? How do you know?
Ans. The time of afternoon is being described. We know it because the sun was descending.

b. Which figure of speech is used here?
Ans. Smile has been used here as, “The sun was descending like a Cataract in the eye of the sky “.

c. Why is the sky angry?
Ans. The sky is angry over the late rising of the sun.

d. How does it express its anger?
Ans.It expresses its anger by thundering.

2. “By now the sun was shining in all its splendor,………. Whenever it rises, that is sunrise.”
a. Explain the significance of the phrase ‘By now’.
Ans. ‘By now’ means that by the time the sky could express further anger and annoyance over the late rising of the sun, the sun had already risen and was scattering its bright light in all directions.

b. How is the sun different from what it was earlier in the poem?
Ans. Earlier in the poem the sun was gloomy and was covered by clouds. But now it pushed away the clouds and is shining brightly.

c. Who was getting annoyed? And why?
Ans. The sky was getting annoyed. It was getting annoyed because the sun was still hidden behind the clouds.
d. What qualities of sun is reflected in these lines?
Ans. Pride, arrogance and conference are some of the qualities described in these lines.

Explanation With Reference to Context

“What is the point of getting annoyed
There is no set time for the sun to rise
Whenever it rises, that is sunshine”

Context: These lines have been taken from the poem, “Sunrise ” written by Padma Sachdev. Here the poetry apparently describes the anger of the sky over the late rising of the sun but actually she wants to convey that there should not be hard and bound rules for broadening the mental horizon of the children.
Explanation: In the lines here under discussion, the poet wants to present a valuable message that there is no fixed time for intellectual development and and spiritual enlightenment of the children. There should not be any sort of compulsion and imposition upon children for removing ignorance. They should not be rebuked if they are slow learners and come late for learning rather they should be appreciated and encouraged. Summary of Sunrise by Padma Sachdev

Summary and Solved Questions of After Apple Picking

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English-After Apple Picking

Introduction: The beautiful poem “After Apple Picking” by Robert Frost is written in the first person, and the speaker is a hardworking, straightforward man who has been picking apples in an apple plantation throughout the day, and is now overcome with fatigue because of all day work and on account of his huge experience of picking apples. The poet makes an imaginative flight into the eternal world and stresses for the execution of good deeds and avoidance of the evil deeds while living on the earthy world. It is winter, and the quick approaching night is making him sleepy. He realizes that he has still a great deal of apples to pick, yet wouldn’t like to work any longer. He feels the profundity of his experience is going to make him dream clearly about apple-picking even while he is sleeping. He attempts to shake the drowsiness off him, and endeavors to focus on picking apples since he needs to take extraordinary consideration and not let any apple tumble to the ground, as then it will be viewed as useless. The speaker considers how tired he is, and how he needs to give sleep a chance to wash away his exhaustion, and wonders if it will be an ordinary ‘human’ sleep, or a profound, hibernating sleep like the woodchuck.

In short, the poet looks back at his life and thinks about the mistakes he has committed as well as the happy times he has spent.

After Apple Picking

After Apple Picking

Summary of After Apple Picking

The poem describes his sleep and dream after a hard day spent in apple picking. The narrator is extremely exhausted and unable to escape the mental act of picking apples. He remembers the strange vision he had that morning when he looked at a bunch of grass through a sheet of ice he removed from a drinking trough. It looked like the world was melting, and then he dropped the piece of ice. He may or may not be falling asleep as he has these thoughts. He thinks of how he will dream about apples.

Though there is a barrel still left to be filled and a few apples left to be plucked he knows he has gathered quite a large number which have been stored in the cellar. He can feel the winter season approaching and his thoughts are filled with resting.He is quite certain that he will be dreaming of apples. He’s getting sick of harvesting apples. His feet ache from having spent hours on the rungs of the ladder while working. He has been very careful in handling the apples because if they had fallen they would be good only for making cider.

After Apple Picking

After Apple Picking

He imagines that these thoughts about worthless apples and dropping things will haunt his sleep. Finally, he wonders whether his sleep would refresh and rejuvenate him like the sleep of the woodchuck which hibernates during winter or whether it will just be a normal “human” sleep.
On a deeper level the poet talks about his imminent death which is symbolised as sleep. He still has a few desires left unfulfilled and regrets the mistakes he has made in life. He also cherishes sum of their memories he has and wonders whether there would be any life after death.

Hyperbole: The poet has used hyperbole as “ten thousand thousand apples” in the poem. “Ten thousand thousand” apples would be ten million! It was not possible for the poet to count all the apples that he had picked.Instead, he is exaggerating. The technical term for this device is hyperbole.

Personification: The poet has also used the device of personification in the poem.
He personifies the woodchuck as if it were a person who could read the poem and say, “Yup, sounds like you’re headed for hibernation, my friend!” or, “Nope, you’re still just a human being. Sorry!”

Metaphors: The poem is full of metaphors.The speaker’s strange view of the world, even since that morning, is compared metaphorically to sleep or to some other physical object that is caught in his eye. But he cannot “rub” out the strangeness in the way that you can rub out sleep in the morning.

Simile: He uses a subtle simile to describe the treatment of the fallen apples. They’re not really worthless because there’s still some value in the apple cider. But the point of the speaker is that they could also be worthless compared to the non – corrupted apples.

Solved Questions of After Apple Picking

Q.What does the pane of glass refer to? What is the poetic device used in the description?

Ans.The pane of glass refers to the sheet of ice that froze over the water because the speaker can see through it. A “glass” is also an old fashioned word for mirror. The poetic device metaphor is used in the description. The sheet of ice is described metaphorically as a “pane of glass”.

Q. What does apple picking refer to. Why has the poet given the poem this title?

Ans.Apple picking alludes to any human task to be performed after hard work and against all odds.The poet has given the poem this title because he wants to convey the readers the message that whatever work they perform while living in the world should be performed with hard labour, sincerity and devotion. “After Apple Picking” is a poem about life and death, the veil that isolates these, and the association among death and rest. Its key symbol, the apple, is one which has represented life in various societies—the apple reviews the Norse golden apples of Idun, which gods must eat so as to stay young and immortal.The poet has given the poem this title also because it is quite useful on the grounds that, without it, you may believe that the poem is set during the apple-picking. As the speaker is about the fall asleep, he envisions that he is back in the orchard. However his appearance is befuddled and disoriented. Aside from this useful help, the title is modest. It refers to a typical pre-winter work, at least for farmers who cultivate in New England.

Reference to the Context.

1. ‘I’ can not rub the strangeness……… and left it fall and break’.

a) What did the poet see through the pane of glass?
Ans. The poet saw the strangeness of the world through the pane of glass.

b) From where had he got this piece of glass?
Ans. He had got this piece of glass from drinking trough.

c) How could the glass melt? What does this indicate about the weather conditions?
Ans. The glass could melt with the heat of the sun. It indicates about the hot weather conditions.

d) Does this have a deeper significance for the poet?
Ans. This has really a deeper significance for the poet. As the glass melts with the heat of the sun, similarly human life melts with the passing of time and finally culminates in death.

2. ‘My instep arch not only keep……… For I have had too much’.

a) Why does the poet’s insteps arch ache?
Ans. The poet’s instep arch ache because he has been on a ladder for a long time. His instep keeps the pressure of the ladder.

b) What was he been doing?
Ans. He has been picking apples.

c) What is the rumbling sound that the poet hears?
Ans. The rumbling sound that the poet hears is the sound of the apples being in a cellar bin.

d) Why does the poet say he had “too much”? What is he referring to?
Ans. The poet says this because he was now overtired of apple picking. He is referring to old age and death.

e) Why does the ladder sway? What does it symbolise for the poet?
Ans. The ladder sways because the boughs of the tree bend. It symbolises for the poet that life is always in the power of death.

f) Explain the phrase ‘ ladder-round’.
Ans. The phrase ‘ladder round’ stands for journey of life from the eternal world in to the earthly world and back into the eternal world. The journey gets culminated on the same point from where it had emerged.

3. There were ten thousand thousand…. As of no worth.

a) Why is the poet careful to see that his apples don’t fall to the ground?
Ans. The poet is careful because if the apples fall to the ground they will be considered of the second grade or worthless. In other words the poet has realized the importance of good deeds.
He attempts to shake the drowsiness off him, and tries to focus on picking apples since he needs to take extraordinary consideration and not let any apple tumble to the ground, as then it will be viewed as useless.

b) What is the poet trying to express by using the symbol of an apple that is spiked or bruised?
Ans.The poet is trying to express the evil deeds which one performs during ones life span in the world.

c) What does he really mean by using the imagery of apples seeing cherished? What does one usually cherish?

Ans By using the imagery of apples seeing cherished, the poet means the good deeds that one executes during once life span in the earthly world. One usually cherishes such things that pay in the long run.

Explanation With Reference to the context:

1. I cannot rub the……. fall and break.

Context: These lines have been taken from the poem, “After Apples-Picking” written by Robert Frost. Here the poet makes an imaginative flight into the eternal world and stresses for the execution of good deeds and avoidance of the evil deeds while living on the earthy world.
Explanation: In the given lines, the poet says that he was not able to erase the different and strange experience which he had got while living on the earthly world. He had spent his life in the world which is full of troubles and temptation. He wanted to live but the mighty power of death took him into his lap.

2. But I was well…. dreaming was about to take.

Context: same as above
Explanation: In these lines, the poet says that he was well prepared before the power of death took him into his lap. He was so ready for death that he could anticipate what was going to happen after death in his dream.

Q. Try and guess what these objects mean in the poem: apples, barrel, ladder, swaying
Apples: Apples represent life in various societies.The apple reviews the Norse golden apples of Idun, which gods must eat so as to stay young and immortal.
Barrel: Barrel symbolises the good deeds that one has performed in the world.
Ladder: Ladder represents the journey of life from the earthly world to the eternal world.
Swaying: Swaying symbolises that the life is full of troubles and difficulties. It also represents the life is always in the power of death.

Once Upon a Time By Gabriel Okara

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English

Expression/Phrase Meaning

1. laugh with their hearts: laughter that is natural.
2. laugh with their teeth: the laughter that is artificial.
3. shake hands without their hearts: a handshake that does not show like dresses warmth but a routine formality.
4. shake hands with heart: a handshake that conveys feelings.
5. hands search my empty pockets: the relationship is measured in terms of how much money/ power one has.
6. feel at home: to feel comfortable.
7. there will be no thrice: one is no longer welcome if he/she visits someone very often.
8. learned to wear many faces: people can change their expressions to suit different occasions.
9. like a fixed portrait smile: a smile which remains fixed and does not change with personal feelings and moods.
10. I want to unlearn all these: I wish to forget modern trends and return muting things to a more natural style of living.
11. Cold eyes: emotionless eyes
12. Search: look for something indeed – something which does exist
13. Shut: closed
14. Conforming: normally acceptable
15. Portrait: picture
16. Good–riddance: a feeling of relief when an unwanted person leaves
17. Muting: expressionless/ not expressed
in speech
18. Fangs: poisonous teeth of a snake

Once Upon a Time Summary

In the poem “Once Upon a Time”, the poet expresses his nostalgic feeling for the past when the people were genuine and honest. The poet has addressed this poem to his son. He tells his son about people’s actions in the past and in the present, in olden times and in the modern world. He recalls a time when people had genuine feelings. They would laugh with the heart and have a genuine feeling for each other. But today, people often welcome each other in the modern and busy world without any warmth. With a smile or laugh, you greet each other and do not reach your eyes or warm your heart. When you say to a guest that you’re coming again, you don’t really mean it, you just say it to be cunning. The poet says that people are often interested in meeting people this day only if they are rich, powerful and successful or famous, and do not value or respect those who have no wealth or position.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Have you ever said something nice to someone without really meaning it? Why do you believe that you have spoken? Was it because you’ve been too busy and have not thought about what you said? Was it because in this situation it was the right thing to say? We must learn behaviour accepted in society in order to be separate from society. We start to learn this as we grow up and comply with the situation we find ourselves in. We learn this behaviour to slowly disappear our natural behaviour, and in every different situation, we act in such a way that this situation is deemed appropriate.

The poet says that in the office he behaved quite differently than he did on a party or on the street. And none of the faces he puts on is his natural self or true face. He says he also learned to say things that he doesn’t really mean because in this situation they’re the right things to say. The poet also says that he too sometimes politely greets a person in this way, even though he may not be interested in meeting him or her. He also teaches them to be “glad to meet you.” The poet is said to have forgotten how to be a natural person like other adults in today’s world.

The poet has a profound desire to return to childhood innocence. With his own changed self, his unhappy. He believes his son can truly learn to express his feelings honestly with genuine laughter. He would like to learn how to behave naturally. It is because he laughs his lips and teeth and not his eyes and his heart that his misbehaving makes his laugh unpleasant. He wants his son to teach him how to smile as he used to in the past.

As children, our feelings are innocent, loving and honest. However, with time, our personality and behaviour are affected by many social and cultural factors. Often these experiences remove our honesty and innocence. In the same way, the old way of life was innocent like a child because in those days people were more honest and caring about each other than they are in the busy, modern-day world. We often don’t mean what we say when we meet people today. We just tell them nice stuff because we don’t want to look rude. The poet wishes that the modern world would once again become innocent and childlike. He again wants himself to be as natural, honest and innocent as he was when he was a child.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

As we grow up, we lose some of our childhood’s simplicity and truthfulness. Similarly, we have forgotten some simple and honest human feelings and relationships in our advanced, globalised world of email, social networking sites, and so on. We’ve distanced ourselves because we’re too busy, or because we don’t need to meet people to talk or see them. Instead, we have learned to interact with other people in a formal, polite and correct but meaningless manner. But this doesn’t mean we don’t have any hope of learning again how to be natural, simple and true. This is only possible if we look at children and let their innocence and honesty be an example to follow.

Questions of Once Upon a Time

Q. What frightens the poet when he sees his smile is the mirror? What is the poetic device used here?

Ans.When the poet sees his smile in the mirror, his false laugh frightens him because that shows him the teeth like the bare fangs of a snake that has no real sensation. It reminds him of a person whose laughter is like a snake falsely pleasant and therefore dangerous and deceitful. Simile has been used here. The poet uses this simile to show that he forgot to laugh with real pleasure and feeling. He doesn’t laugh with his eyes and heart when he laughs, but only by showing his teeth.

2. The poem is a satire on modern life. It mocks and ridicules some of the common behavioural patterns of modern man.
For example, “I have also learnt to say, “Goodbye” when I mean “Good-riddance”. This is a typical instance of double-talk- use of language that has more than one meaning and is intended to hide the truth. Can you pick out from the poem some more of such examples of double talk. Compare your list with your partner’s.

Ans. The poem is a satire on falsehood and the changing human behaviour in modern society. The poet expresses this by using contradictions and double-talk phrases such as people “laugh only with their teeth,” shake hands without hearts, “their left hands search my empty pockets.” By using phrases like “wear many faces” to show that people behave differently and have different attitudes in different situations and with different people instead of being one’s true self, the poet shows that people in modern society are like actors who change masks on the stage and act in a play. Their actions and feelings are not connected. In modern society, this is a serious problem, but the poet criticizes it in the true style of a satire.

Punishment in Kindergarten: Questions, Summary,Analysis

NCERT Solutions For Class 10 English

Punishment in Kindergarten Summary

The poem ‘Punishment in Kindergarten’ is a childhood hurt recollection of the poet in the later years of her life. The poet was deeply hurt by the unkind words of a teacher. It is the incident when the poet was just a school kid. She had gone on a school picnic with her teacher and schoolmates. While other kids were playing, the poet stood alone because she was still new in the school. On seeing her alone, the teacher who had dressed blue- coloured frock threw harsh words at her. The harsh words deeply wound her heart. This was followed by one more thing that added more to her pain. The schoolmates who were sipping sugarcane laughed ridiculously at her when they heard the teacher daunting her. The poet could not bear this. She felt insulted. This made her hide in the hedge where she smelt the flowers and pain. With the passage of time, the poet has almost forgotten the painful incident and she is now satisfied with herself. Time and her adult viewpoint have healed the pain. The years have reduced the intensity and harshness of the hurtful incident. The angry words and laughing faces are vague and unclear. The years have gone by very fast. Certain incidents close to the heart are remembered others are forgotten. Life moves on. The poet is now adult look back on that painful incident peacefully. There is no need more to remember that childhood incident with pain.

Thus the poet is tinged with a noble sense of forbearance of ‘adult peace’ after ‘the years have sped along’. The poet has survived that pain and reached maturity transcending memory:…

No need to remember
That picnic day when I lay hidden
By a hedge watching the steel-white sun standing lonely in the sky.

The significance of the poem does not lie in ‘punishment’ but in the sense of hurt inflicted on the child by the harsh words of the teacher and the children’s laughter that only aggravated it. The ‘adult peace’ the poet because of the healing touch of time. It is the impact of the sadly moving flux of life that brings about spiritual tranquillity in the poet:
The words are muffled now, the laughing

Faces only a blur. The years have
Sped along, stopping briefly
At beloved halts and moving
Sadly on.

Punishment in Kindergarten

Punishment in Kindergarten

Punishment in Kindergarten | Explanation and Analysis

We carry childhood memories with us into our adult life. Some may be painful, some happy. You may also remember certain unforgettable incidents from childhood. This poem is moving through the simple rendering of childhood memory. The poet recalls an incident from the past which is still very painful. Here we hear the voice of an adult but the hurt the child felt is recreated. Let us discuss it in detail:

The narrator who is now an adult recalls a painful incident of childhood. The incident happened in kindergarten on a bright sunny day. All the children were playing together. The narrator was sitting alone. 0n seeing this the blue-frocked teacher scolded her harshly in the presence of her classmates. She called her peculiar child for wanting to be alone when all were playing. In this stanza, the first line speaks of the present from the second line onwards the past is described

The narrator remembers the details of that painful day. The other schoolmates were sipping sugarcane juice on the lawn. When they heard the teacher shouting at the narrator. They turned and laughed in merriment at the narrator’s tears. Unable to bear the shame the child buried its head in the hedge. The forgotten.urt the child.rever.

Punishment in Kindergarten

We can very easily identify With the little child, can’t we? Children are hurt by very trivial things. What seems to be a major tragedy to the child will be to the Adult a silly matter. Notice the two voices in the poem- an adult voice which is able to talk openly about the incident that is not painful any more and the child voice which relives the agony of the past.

The adult voice speaks again in the present. The years have reduced the intensity and harshness of the hurtful incident. Time has healed the pain. The angry words and laughing faces are vague and unclear. The years have gone by very fast. Certain incidents close to the heart are remembered others are forgotten. Life moves on. The narrator is now adult look back on that painful incident peacefully and do not mind it any more. There is no need more to remember that childhood incident with pain.

Main Attractions of the Poem

The poet starts the poem by distinguishing’ today ‘ (i.e. the present) from the past. She still doesn’t feel like the world is her own as an adult, but it’s a bit more of her own than when she was a child. Note that while she says there’s no need to remember the pain caused by a careless adult who mocked her for her tendency to hold on to herself, the poem itself is an act of recollecting that event — another paradox that adds to those we’ve found.

This stanza is about children’s tendency to be cruel to others. The other children’s cruelty here reflects that of the woman who called the speaker ‘ peculiar ‘. Curiously, the poet joins the words “the flowers and the pain,” things that are not usually associated with each other. There is the implication that perhaps she associates. There is the implication that she may associate flowers with pain due to the painful memory she laughs at as a child.

The muffled words and blurred images remain in the speaker’s mind as an adult. Unlike Wordsworth, Das does not indicate that there was anything about her childhood that she cherishes or sees as sacred. However, she does indicate that even though she probably shouldn’t remember this particular memory, she cannot help recalling it. The repetition of “no need to remember” reinforces the paradox that the poem itself is an act of remembrance. The final image of the poem, the steel-white sun standing lonely in the sky, connects the speaker with the sun: it is lonely, just as she is, and perhaps its presence reminds her every day of the day from her childhood that she does not want to remember.

Punishment in Kindergarten Poetic Devices

Punishment in Kindergarten | Questions-Answers

Q. What does the line, “Today, the world is a little more my own” mean?
Ans. The narrator who is now an adult has gained more confidence and greater control over her life. She is now satisfied with her life. She has gained an adult peace of mind. Painful incidents in childhood do not hurt any more. There is no one like the old teacher who can hurt her because of her adult viewpoint.

Q. Who was the blue-frocked woman? Why does the poet remember her?
Ans. The blue-frocked woman was a teacher who scolded the narrator for not playing with other children. The poet remembers her because she insulted her with harsh words which put a deep cut on her heart.

Q. What hurts more physical punishment or harsh words?
Ans. The physical pain caused by a physical punishment heals over time, but harsh words make a deeper cut. Words can break someone’s heart. They can create deep hurt that does no heal up quickly. Thus, harsh words I think hurt more than physical punishment.

Q. Why did the other children laugh at the poet?
And. The other children laughed at the poet in merriment. They enjoyed when the teacher scolded the poet.

Q. Why do you think the words of the blue rocked woman are muffled now?

Ans. The years have diluted the intensity of the pain and the adult narrator is able to recount the incident with an “adult peace”. The years have reduced the intensity and harshness of the hurtful incident. Time and an adult point of view have healed the hurt. The angry Words and laughing faces are vague and unclear.

Q. How different is the world today to the poet?

Ans. The poet is now an adult and has gained an adult peace of mind. Painful incidents in childhood do not hurt any more. She has now gained more confidence and greater control over her life.

Q. How many speaking voices are there in the poem?
Ans. There are two speaking voices — one of an adult and the other of child

Q. The poem moves through two time zones which are they?
Ans. The past and present

Q. Why did the teacher scold the child?
Ans. The teacher scolded the child because the child sat alone without joining the playing schoolmates.

Q. To what is the teacher’ s scolding words compared?
Ans. The teacher scolding words are compared to pots and pans which when thrown make a lot of noise.

Q. What were the teacher’s angry words to the child?
Ans. The teacher called the child peculiar for not joining her schoolmates having fun.

Q. Why does the narrator say, “No need to remember the pain”?
Ans. The narrator who is now an adult is able to look back on the pain childhood incident with peace. Time and an adult point of view have healed the hurt.

Q. Why is the day described as “honey coloured?
Ans. The day was sweet and peaceful before the teacher scolded the child.

Q. What drained the peace of the “honey coloured day”?

Ans. The teacher’s angry words drained the peace of the “honey-coloured day?

Q. What were the schoolmates doing?
Ans. The schoolmates were sitting in groups on the lawn sipping sugarcane juice.

Q. How did the schoolmates react to the teacher’s angry words to the child?
Ans. The schoolmates laughed in merriment at the child’s tears.

Q. What did the child do to cover up her hurt and pain?
Ans. The child buried her face in the sun-warmed hedge.

Q. What added to the hurt inflicted by the teacher?
Ans. The ridiculing laughter of the schoolmates added to the hurt.

Q. What are the phrases used by the poet to express the healing power of time‘ reducing the hurt caused by the childhood incident?
Ans. The angry words of the teacher are “muffled now” and the “laughing faces” of the schoolmates “only a blur”

Q. What metaphor does the poet use to describe life?
Ans. The poet describes life as a journey with “beloved halts” and incidents.

Q. What do you understand by the phrase “adult peace”? without feeling hurt.

Ans. The child is now an adult and has gained an adult peace of mind. Painful incidents in childhood do not hurt any more.

Q. How was the child different from her schoolmates.
Ans. Unlike the schoolmates who loved to play, she preferred to be alone.

Q. Why is the sun describes as “steel-white”?
Ans. The sun is steel white because it seems to be harsh and cruel to the child due to the heat and also the harsh and cruel behaviour of the teacher and schoolmates.

Q. Pick out the compound adjectives in the poem.
Ans. blue-frocked

Q. Why are the children called funny?
Ans. They laugh at other’s tears.

Let us now analyse the poem as a literary piece.

Explanation and Analysis
Today…..little more my own: The narrator is now an adult and more confident has gained more control over her life

No need to remember the pain: in adult life, there is no need to remember childhood pain but memories take you over and force you to recall old incidents.

A blue—freaked woman: a teacher in the kindergarten who wore a blue frock. “Blue frocked” is a compound adjective that describes the now ‘woman’. The child remembers all the detail clearly even the colour of the teacher’s dress.

Throwing words: scolding loudly and harshly

Like pots and pans: This is a simile. The comparison is between word; shouted in anger and “pots and pans” which make a lot of noise when handled roughly.

To drain …….. peace: just as pots and pans are used to collect or drain things, also the words of the teacher drain the beautiful day with of its peace

drain: to empty.

honey—coloured day: a beautiful sunny golden day that promised sweetness and peace.

why don‘t you? …. are: The child’s desire was to be alone. This was no understood by the teacher who saw her behaviour strange.

Peculiar: strange

Clusters: in groups, The contrast between the narrator who was alone and the other children who sat in groups made clear here.

sipping: drinking

mirth: happiness

they turned and laughed: children can be unknowingly cruel as they laugh at another discomfort.

buried my face: bent my head and hid my face.
sun-warmed: made warm by the heat of the sun.
hedge: a boundary wall made of small plants planted close together.

muffled: not very clear blur, dim, unclear picture. Time with its healing power has reduced the intensity of the harsh words and clear memory of the cruel laughing faces.

sped along: gone very fast. (‘sped’: a past tense form of the verb ‘speed’)

beloved: something or someone that/who is love hats: memorable things or landmarks in life. The poet, here, uses the metaphor of life as a journey with halts and landmarks.

Adult peace: peace of mind an adult gets through wisdom.

Steel-white: white like steel. The quality of harshness and cruelty is suggested here. The sun seems to be harsh and cruel because :
a) It is noon and very hot.
b) The harsh and cruel behaviour of the teacher and schoolmates makes it so

standing lonely: standing all by itself. There is a similarity between the lonely sun and the lonely sky.

Paragraph questions and Answers

1. Describe the painful, incident the child experienced in kindergarten?

Ans. On a beautiful peaceful day, the kindergarten children were out on a picnic. The adult narrator remembers this incident which happened during her childhood. Whereas all the other children were sipping, sugarcane juice and having fun, the child was sitting alone and apart from the others. The blue-frocked teacher who noticed this scolded the child and called her peculiar for not joining others in their fun. On seeing this the other children laughed at her and her tears. Unable to bear the shame and ridicule, the child buried her head in the hedge. The hurt and the pain of that day lingered in the mind of a child. Now, the years have diluted the intensity of the pain and the adult narrator is able to recount the incident with an “adult peace”

2. What do you understand about the character of the child in the poem?
Ans. The child is very shy and sensitive. This is clear from the way she reacted to the teacher’s angry words. She is very easily hurt and cries for the slightest reason. When the teacher scolded her in the presence of schoolmates, she could not bear it. She wanted to hide and buried her face in the nearby hedge. She was an introvert and preferred to be alone. The fact that she carried the scar of that incident into her adult life shows how sensitive she was. She was peculiar as the teacher called her because she did not enjoy the usual fun and games children loved.

Inklings From The Dark

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English

Inklings From The Dark Explanation

Central Idea: Inklings From The Dark is the English translation of one of Rahi ‘s most powerful Kashmiri poems, Pai Chu Zulmate Wuzan. It is a highly imaginative synthesis of various creative impulses, the poem can be used to interpret in different ways. The poem expresses a gradual shift from despair and sadness to hope and a promise of happiness. At the beginning of the poem, we find the poet disturbed by the thoughts of violence and the alienation on the weak by the hands of the powerful, but later we find solace in the innocent peaceful sleeping of his son. The poem shows that there are lessons to be learned even in the darkest of the nights just like the oyster that undergoes troubles and faces excruciating pain to finally yield a pearl. Thus though the poem starts on a depressing note as there are violence and alienation and it concludes on a positive note and hope for the better future that is signified by the son who is the symbol of future.

Inklings From the Dark Poem

Inklings From the Dark

About The Poet: Abdur Rehman Rahi (born March 6, 1925, Srinagar) is an outstanding Kashmiri poet, translator, and critic. He is the author of several books of poems and literary criticism. He the recipient of many literary awards including the Indian Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961 for his poetry collection Nawroz-i-Saba, the Padma Shri in 2000, and India’s highest literary award, the Gyanpith Award (for the year 2004) in 2007. He is the first Kashmiri writer to be awarded the Gyanpith, India’s highest literary award for his poetic collection Siyah Rud jean Man( In the heavy downpour of Black rain ).

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Rehman Rahi began his career as a clerk in the Public Works Department of the Government for a brief period in 1948 and was associated with the Progressive Writers’ Association, of which he became the General Secretary. He also edited a few issues of Kwang Posh, the literary journal of the Progressive Writer’s Association. He was later a sub-editor in the Urdu daily Khidmat. He did an M.A. in Persian (1952) and in English (1962) from Jammu and Kashmir University where he taught Persian. He was on the editorial board of the Urdu daily Aajkal in Delhi from 1953 to 1955. He was also associated with the Cultural wing of Communist Party of Kashmir during his student days. As a translator, he did an excellent translation of Baba Farid’s Sufi poetry to Kashmiri from Original Punjabi. Camus and Sartre are some visible effects on his poems while Dina Nath Naadim’s influence on his poetry is also visible especially in earlier works.

Published Works:

Rahi’s major works include:

Sana-Wani Saaz (poems) (1952)
Sukhoi Soda (poems)
Kalam-e-Rahi (poems)
Nawroz-i-Saba (poems) (1958)
Kahwat (literary criticism)
Kashmir Shara Sombran
Azich Kashir Shayiri
Kashir Naghmati Shayiri
Baba Fareed (translation)
Saba Moallaqat
Farmove Zartushtan
Seyah Rudi Jerean Manz (collection of Kashmiri poetry)
Koesher Shyiree Te Waznuk Surat Hal (Kashmiri poetry and its parameters).


(Translated by Ghulam Rasool Malik)

Yesternight, my sleep driven off and the thread of my fancies slit,
I espied an eagle in the wild shadows of my mind:
On its beak, in the same old fashion, smouldered the blood of the dove
Whose feathers were shed by hilltops into the atmosphere.
Turning my head on the pillow, I sighted a deep, dark chasm
And rose and leaned my back against the wall, with the cool of the winter
in the marrow of my breast
My lips froze dry as whisperings reached me from outside the window.
The snowflakes were sailing into the shelter of the crevices.
Not a mouse did creep from under the box to the store-cabinet.
In place of my upper garment, a cat hung by the hanger.
Rubbing my eyes, I tried to pull the quilt up to my cold back
But O, the Kangri shook and the cold, hapless ashes kissed my feet
While the owl hooted outside, “O woe to you, O woe!”
Fain would I have raised a cry of lament, had my heart stood by me.
Suddenly I called my mind my darling son
How raptly did he listen to my bedtime tale last night:
When I told him of the agony of the oyster in her travails!
But he only heard part of the tale when sleep overtook him
I rose like a moonstruck man and turned on the light
And found him lying by the wall like a mushroom on the mount,
In deep slumber with fragrant blossoms blooming on his lips,
And a drop of sweat, dawned afresh, playing on his brow.
Perchance he was dreaming the rest of the tale!
Perchance the oyster had laboured forth a pearl!

Inklings From the Dark Summary

Inklings From the Dark

INKLINGS FROM Darkness Summary

In these lines, the poet says that yesterday when he was gripped in a deep slumber, his fancies were disturbed by some thoughts. He imagined an excruciating scene. He saw that a powerful eagle, in the same old familiar manner, has ensnared a dove in its beak. The blood of the poor dove glowed like fire and its feathers had also fallen into the atmosphere by hilltops. The poet is disturbed perhaps he reminded of an incident from the past when he probably killed someone or witnessed someone killing other. The eagle represents the merciless powerful who dominate over the weak and oppress them.

When he turned to the other side on the pillow, the poet witnessed a vast dark gap. He rose and stood against the wall. But the wall did not support him as he had wished. There was very cool as it was severe winter. He could feel the coldness even at his heart out of fear and horror.

The lips of the poet had also were dried due to the brutal atmosphere. He heard a rustling sound from outside the window. Actually, it was falling snow so heavily that the snowflakes were gushing into the shelter. The atmosphere was so harsh that even a mouse could not endeavour to creep from under the box to the store cabinet. A cat was also hung up on the hanger in place of the poet’s upper garment. The situation had turned insurmountable. In order to be fully awake and warm himself, the poet rubbed his eyes. He tried to pull the quilt up to cover his cold body but as doing do his kangri overturned and hapless ashes touched his feet. All the while the owl hooked outside uttering ‘ O, woe, to you, O woe!’ The poet says he would have lamented but his heart did not support him out of the horror.

Inklings From The Dark Theme

Inklings From The Darkness

All of a sudden the poet recollected his beloved son. The poet says that his son fondly heard the bedtime tale that he narrated to him last night. In the story, the poet talked him about the oyster that undergoes troubles in her travails. But his son heard only half of the tale because his sleep overtook him. The poet then lazily stood up and turned the light on. He found his son lying by the wall. In the deep slumber, his son was displaying a beautiful smile on his lips reflecting the glimmer of hope for the poet. The poet says that his lips were blooming with fragrant blossoms. The poet also mentions that in spite of the harsh and cold atmosphere he experienced a drop of sweat that dawned afresh on the brow of his son. By using ‘sweat, dawned afresh’ the poet makes a positive note for a better and peaceful future. In the last two lines, the poet says his son was perhaps dreaming of the best part of the tale that he had not heard last night. In the story, the oyster had perhaps yielded the pearl.


The name “Inklings” itself is a bit whimsical, a pun for those who dabble in ink — writers— and those who can understand what they intend to write when starting a project. For many, the name may also have suggested certain “inclinations” of immortality, their assurance of hope- for things and their conviction of unseen things.

The poem Inklings From The Dark speaks about the innocence of young people who are unaware of the stressful life ahead. The poet dreams of an eagle with the dove’s blood on its beak. This image shows how the strong dominate the weak.

The remainder of the poetry is horrible and eludes an aura of cold and sorrow. However, the poet concludes in many excerpts that his innocent child was captivated by the story of the oyster he narrated.

The final line depicts the distracted poet who looks into the abyss and sees his child sleeping and awake in a dream world. Who knows, the child perhaps finishes the story of the oysters in his dream.

Reference to the context

1. I espied an eagle……. into the atmosphere

a. Where does the poet see the eagle?
Ans. The poet sees the eagle in the wild shadows of his mind.
b. Why does the eagle have blood on its beak?
Ans. The eagle has blood on its beak because it had killed a dove.
c) The blood of the dove has been described as “smouldering”. What does the poet want to convey by this description?
Ans. The poet wants to convey that bloodshed will remain continue if warmongers do not change their attitude.

2. Rubbing my eyes…… O. wow, to you, O woe!

a. Why does the poet rub his eye?
Ans. The poet rubs his eye because he wants to understand the situation clearly.
b. How does the poet try to warm himself?
Ans. By pulling the quilt up to his cold back, the poet tries to warm himself.
c. Is he successful? Give reasons for your answer?
Ans. No, he is not successful. When he tries to warm. himself, the kangri falls down and the cold ashes kiss his feet.
d. Why does the owl hoot ” Woe to you “?
Ans. The owl hoots so as to convey the poet that he will never have peace of mind because of his past violent and bloody acts.

Poetic Devices

The poet has used a number of poetic devices in this poem as given below.

The metaphors used in the poem

1. thread of my fancies slit
2. The cool of the winter in the marrow of my breast
3. fragrant blossoms blooming on his lips

The similes used in this poem a moonstruck man
2. found him lying by the wall like a mushroom

The personification used in the poem

1. the cold hapless ashes kissed my feet
2. a drop of sweat dawned afresh, playing on his brow.

Pai chu zulmate wuzan

The Tale of Custard the Dragon Summary

NCERT Solutions For Class 10 English

The Tale of Custard the Dragon Explanation

The Tale of Custard the Dragon is a humorous poem written by Ogden Nash. It is written in ballad form. It narrates a story about Custard the Dragon. The Dragon is teased for being a coward but later he proves brave as he saves the lives of those who used to look down upon him. The poem gives us an impression that the ones who talk much about their bravery may turn out to be cowards. On the other hand, the ones who are teased for their cowardice might actually turn out to be the bravest among all. Despite displaying their timidity, the pets continue to brag about their so-called bravery. Custard, being humble and kind-hearted, abstains from teasing them and humours them in a good spirit. Thus, the poem makes the point that what our eyes see may be deceptive that the reality may be something else.

The Tale of Custard The Dragon

The Tale of Custard The Dragon

Main Attractions of The Poem

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➡ Belinda lived in a little white house with a little black Kitten and a little grey mouse, a little yellow dog and a little red wagon and above all a cowardly dragon. The name of the little black kitten was Ink, and the name of the little grey mouse was Blink. What’s more, the little yellow dog was called Mustard and the dragon was coward whom Belinda called Custard.

➡ Custard the dragon had enormous sharp teeth, spikes over him and scales underneath. His mouth was like a chimney, his nose was like a fireplace and he had blades on his toes.

➡ Belinda was as valiant as a barrel brimming with bears. Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs. Mustard was as brave as a tiger in anger. However, Custard sobbed for a nice safe cage.

➡ Belinda tickled him unmercifully. Ink, Blink and Mustard impolitely called him Percival. They all sat giggling in the little red wagon at the fainthearted dragon.

➡ Belinda laughed till she shook the house, Blink said’ “Week!”, which is laughing for a mouse, Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age. At the point, Custard continuously sobbed for a decent safe cage.

➡ All of a sudden, they heard a frightful sound. Mustard snarled, and they all glanced around. “Meowch!” cried Ink, and “Ooh!” cried Belinda, for there was a pirate moving in violently.

➡ The pirate had a gun in his left hand and also one in his right hand. Moreover, he held in his teeth a cutlass brilliant; his facial hair was dark, one leg was wood. Plainly the pirate wanted no great.

➡ Belinda withered and cried for help, Mustard fled with a scared cry, Ink streamed down to the bottom of the household, and little mouse Blink deliberately mouseholed.

➡ However, Custard, the dragon gathered his courage and bounced up roaring like a motor, waving his tail like irons in a prison. With a rattle and a bang and a clattering squirm, he went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

➡ The pirate frightened. He gaped at Belinda’s dragon and then swallowed some grog from his pocket flask and discharged two bullets from his guns, yet they didn’t hit. The custard was outrageous. He ate him every bit.

➡ Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him. Nobody grieved for his pirate injured individual. Ink and Blink gyrate in happiness around the dragon that ate the pirate.
➡ Belinda still lives in her little white house, with her little black kitten and her little grey mouse and also, her little yellow dog and her little red wagon and above all her cowardly dragon which continues sobbing for a decently protected cage.

The Tale of Custard The Dragon Summary

This is a humorous poem in which Custards the dragon saves the lives when a pirate threatens Belinda and her pet animals.
Belinda lived in a little white house with her pet animals which included a little black cat, a little grey mouse, a little yellow dog, and a little pet dragon. This animal family had also a little red wagon. While the cat, the mouse, and the dog were amusing animals, the dragon was extremely weakling and coward. The dragon would always sob for a pleasant safe enclosure. Custard, as Belinda would call his dragon seemed to be, notwithstanding, a savage-looking creature. He had huge sharp teeth, spikes on its back scales underneath. His mouth resembled a chimney, his nose like that of a stack, and his toes like daggers.

The animals would always boost their bravery. Belinda was as valiant as a barrel loaded with bears. The little cat and the mouse would chase the lions down the stairs. Mustard, the dog was as brave as the tiger in wrath.
Belinda tickled the dragon savagely saying that it was a Percival. At this, every other animal laughed to their souls’ fill. All of sudden an awful solid was heard, and a pirate was seen holding two guns in two hands and a knife in his mouth. It was the certain test to the strength of the so-called valiant creatures. The dog yelped and fled away. The cat meowed and ran to security. The mouse ran deliberately to its opening. The poor dragon was left alone to confront the anger of the pirate.

The dragon gathered the courage, roared like an engine, clashed his tale and clattered. The pirate felt horrified, took an alcohol drink and fired the dragon twice. The dragon was outraged and he gobbled the pirate every bit. The other animals watched the scene from a distance. They now came running and embraced the dragon. They did not give up the stake of bravery and provided many pretences of their running from the spot. The dragon was now expected to give air to himself. But to the surprise of all, he again cried for the nice fine cage. The animals kept living together ever since this episode.

The dragon assembled the valour, thundered like a motor, clashed his tail and clacked. The privateer felt astonished, took a liquor drink and fired the dragon twice. The dragon was outraged and he ate the pirate every piece. Other animals watched the scene from a separation. They currently came running and embraced the dragon. They didn’t surrender the stake of bravery and gave numerous falsifications of their running from the spot. The dragon was presently anticipated to offer air to himself. In any case, to the shock of all, he again sobbed for the fine safe cage. The animals continued living respectively ever since this scene.

The Tale of Custard The Dragon Thinking About The Text

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1. Who are the characters in this poem? List them with their pet names.
Answer: There are six characters in the poem. These characters are Belinda, a little black kitten, a little grey mouse, a little yellow dog, a dragon and a pirate.
Belinda and the pirate do not have any pet names. The pet names of the animals are as follow:
Character Pet Name
i. Black kitten———– Ink
ii. Grey mouse————Blink
iii. Yellow dog————-Mustard
iv. Dragon——————- Custard

2. Why did Custard cry for a nice safe cage? Why is the dragon called “cowardly dragon”?
Answer: Custard cried for a nice safe cage because he was seemingly a coward.
Custard is called ‘cowardly dragon’ because he is the only one in the house who is seemingly fainthearted. Belinda is compared to a barrel full of bears, Ink and Blink can chase lions and Mustard is as brave as a tiger in rage. Custard, true to his name, seemed soft and wobbly at heart.

3. Why is the dragon called cowardly dragon?
Answer: The dragon is very powerful and ferocious and could beat even the hardest core enemy, still it prays for a nice safe cage for its safety. That is why he is called a cowardly dragon.

4.“ Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful…” Why?
Answer: Unlike other dragons, Custard was a frightened little soul. Belinda, well aware of this fact, tickled him mercilessly because she was sure he would never hurt her. Belinda may have also been extremely fond of her pet, so she may have tickled him out of affection.

5. Do you find The Tale of Custard the Dragon to be a serious or a funny poem? Give reasons to support your answer.
Answer: At the very outset, ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ may seem like a funny poem written in a ballad form. On closer reading, we find that it is a profound poem which gives us an insight into human The poem gives us an impression that the ones who boast about their bravery may turn out to be cowards. On the other hand, the ones who are teased for their cowardice might actually be the bravest among all. Despite displaying their timidity, the pets continue to brag about their so-called bravery. Custard, being humble and kind-hearted, abstains from teasing them and humours them in a good spirit. The poet put across his message in a humorous manner and has used various poetic devices like similes, repetition, onomatopoeia and refrain to add to the humour in the poem.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon: Literary Devices

Q.No.1 What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?
Answer: The rhyme scheme of the first three stanzas are as follows:
Stanza 1: AABB
Stanza 2: CCD
Stanza 3: EEFF

Q.No.2 Pick out the similes used in the poem?
Answer: The similes used in the poem are:
i) Clashed his tail like iron in a dungeon.
ii) Sharp as mustard.
iii) Mouth like a fireplace.
iv) As brave as a barrel full of bears.
v) As brave as a tiger in a rage.
vi) Snorting like an engine.
Vii) He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

Q.No.3 What images does the poet use in the poem?
Answer: Some images used in the poem are:
i) Had big sharp teeth.
ii) Mouth like a fireplace.
iii) As brave as a barrel full of bears.
iv) As brave as a tiger in a rage.
v) Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon.
vi) He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

Q.No.4 Which line / Stanza is used as a refrain in the poem?
Answer: Refrain refers to a recurring line or a stanza or even a word sometimes with a slight change. In ‘ The Tale of Custard The Dragon’ the first and ninth stanzas are repeated at the end of the poem.

Q.No.5 Discuss other poetic devices used in the poem?
Answer: Besides similes, the poet has also made use of other poetic devices such as repetition, alliteration and onomatopoeia.

In the entire first stanza, the word ‘little’ is repeated to emphasize the fact that everyone living in the house including the house itself was ‘little’.

Another poetic device used is alliteration, where words that begin with letters belonging to the same sound group are used in quick succession to create a repetition of similar sounds in the sentence:
Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears
Custard cried for a nice safe cage.
With a clatter and a clank
Gaped at Belinda’s dragon and gulped some grog.

The poet has also used Onomatopoeia, in which the sound of a word is very close to the sound it is meant to depict:
‘Clatter’, ‘clank’, ‘jangling’, ‘growled’.

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Trees by Joyce Kilmer Poem

NCERT Solutions For Class 11 English

Trees by Alfred Joyce Kilmer

The poem “Trees” written by Joyce Kilmer, is proposing that trees are the most wonderful thing “no one but God can make a tree”. He wants people to appreciate nature and God. He uses personification to demonstrate that trees are wonderful as people.

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Trees by Joyce Kilmer

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

Trees by Joyce Kilmer | Explanation

The poem Trees is an outstanding poem written by Joyce Kilmer. The “Trees” is one of the many poems written by him. His other beautiful poems are “Summer Love” and “Main Street”.

Joyce Kilmer did not write this poem all of a sudden. It is believed that he had got the inspiration to write this wonderful poem one morning when he opened the window and was fascinated by the trees. The wonderfulness of the trees struck him with an idea to personify the attributes of the trees. The poet seems to be so charmed by the trees that he says, he” Shall never see a poem as lovely as the tree”.

The trees obtain water and other nourishment from the soil which are inevitable for its survival. The poet has used a lot of imagery to make his point. The line “A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed” symbolises that the roots of the tree are anchored to the ground to obtain its sustenance. The poet says that the roots drink the “earth’s sweet flowing” that is the water which keeps the tree alive and fresh. In this way, the life of a tree relies on the earth, the same is true for human beings who also depend on the earth for its rich sources. The earth contains all the rich sources in abundance needed for survival. Thus, the earth sustains all living beings including the trees.

The trees are spread everywhere making the earth beautiful. They grow upwards. They appear as if they are looking towards God. The post poet also says the same thing, “A tree looks at God all day”. As the tree grows upwards it seems to be trying to realise God. In the next line, the poet says the tree ” lifts her leafy arms to pray” this symbolises that the different people on the earth are praying to God. The people pray and worship God for the abundant blessings that God bestows from the earth.

The post also praises the robustness of the tree. In severe winter the trunks of the tree usually remain covered with snow. The poet writes, “under whose bosom snow has lain”. Bosom alludes to the trunk of the tree. The trees are capable to bear the cold due to their robustness. The tree even thrives during the rains.

The wonderful trees are not made by man they are created by God. This reflects the omnipotence of God. The poet describes himself and other poets as fools. The poems are created by the poets using their imagination but trees are real creation of God. By this, the post expresses his inferiority to the works of God. The poet says,

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree

In a deeper sense, it alludes the human cannot create things but discover or praise the created things of God.

Discussion Questions

Identify 2 examples of personification in the poem and discuss what ideas about trees/nature that personification conveys.

In the poem “Trees”, by Joyce Kilmer, the most common poetic device used in this poem is a personification, yet there’s two that really identify the writer’s thoughts of nature. One example of personification is, “A tree that looks at God all day”, which gives the tree the human capability of being able to “look” at its surroundings. The tree “looks at God” specifically, which suggests that trees and nature, in general, are transcendent and spiritual. The idea of “God” gives off a holy presence of divine power, therefore by mentioning that the tree looks to “God” suggests that trees and nature should be treated like they are divine and sacred forms, with similar respect to that of our own God. As well, another personified statement in the poem is that the tree, “may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair”. The tree “wears” the nest of robins means that the tree homes the lives of robins which live and depend on the tree given that they’ve established their nest/home in the tree. This depicts how in nature life is created and nourished like that of the robins living in the tree, and nature is a place that is home to all types of life. Just how we look to our environment and daily lives as a community and home, nature provides that for many living beings within it. Nature is a home, a home which is both spiritual and deserving of respect.

Question: What ideas about Nature are conveyed in this poem? Choose one idea and explain how you came to that idea. Use quotes in your response.

In the poem “Trees”, by Joyce Kilmer, the author conveys the connection between God and his creations, in a form of a tree. He praises God’s power and ability to create such magnificent objects that outshines the other elements on this planet. The quote in line 6, “And lifts her heavy arms to pray,” represents a tree as a woman, who prays to God for creating such an enticement for the world to ponder. Furthermore, this poem reveals that beauty is outside the tree, but the roots are what give it the power. The author illustrates that nature which has been created by God himself is incomparable to other manmade objects. It can be inferred the poet is very religious and strongly believes in a supernatural entity known as God. Ultimately, the poem depicts nature is very powerful and enticing due to being a direct creation of God.

Writing Prompts

Trees Poem Questions

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To The Cuckoo Questions and Answers


Introduction: The poem titled To the Cuckoo is a wonderful poem by William Wordsworth. In this poem, William. Wordsworth is respecting the spring in the most exquisite way. He says that when the spring begins, a feathered creature, which he later named as cuckoo begins singing in the most cheering way. This is a poem comprising of eight stanzas. It has a customary, simple rhyme scheme of abab.

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This a notable pastoral poem with elaborate stanzaic formations.

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