Class 11-12, First Paper, Model Questipns, SUMMARY and THEME

Summary and theme

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  1. From September 1, 1939
  2. Dreams
  3. She Walks in Beauty
  4. Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind
  5. Out, Out
  6. Time, You Old Gipsy Man
  7. I Have Seen Bengal’s Face
  8. The Traffic Police
  9. I Died for Beauty, but was Scarce
  10. The School Boy
  11. From September 1, 1939
  12. The Lake Isle of Innisfree
  13. The Charge of the Light Brigade

 

  1. Summarise the following poem.                                            10

 I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee

And live alone in the bee loud glade.

 

 And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow

Dropping from the veils of the moing to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 

 I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

 

 Theme:  

“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” expresses a set of desires familiar in the modern world: to escape, to achieve peace and solitude, to be at one with nature. Yeats says almost nothing in the poem about what he would like to escape from, but his reader can easily imagine the stressful conditions of modern, especially urban, life. Such desires have been common themes in Romantic literature since the beginning of the nineteenth century, and “Innisfree” is a good example of late nineteenth century Romanticism.

This poem is about a man who dreams of going back to nature with a view to finding some peace. The man will build a small cabin there. He’ll have a little bean garden and a honeybee hive. He wants to live alone in peace with nature and the slow pace of country living sounds and with sparkle and violet blaze. In the last stanza, the man again states and explains that every night he hears the water lapping sound of the lake by the shore. Even though he lives in an urban place with roads and pavements, he can hear the rural sounds of the Lake Isle of Innisfree.

 

2. Summarize the following poem.          10

            All people dream, but not equally.      

            Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind,

            Wake in the morning to find that it was vanity.

            But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people,

            For they dream their dreams with open eyes.

            And make them come true.

Theme:

From David Herbert Lawrence’s perspective, all people on Earth usually dream though not equally. There are two kinds of dreamers. One dreams at night and other dreams in the day. The people who dream at night in the pensive mood, treat the dream to be a total emptiness, and never act upon them, they don’t struggle to achieve their dreams; they look at them with a closed mind. On the other hand those who dream by day with their eyes keeping open, are dangerous because they prefer their dream to be materialized.

The ones who dream at night while they’re sleeping, wake up to find that their dream was only fantasy and filled with vanity.The ones, who dream in the day, make their dreams turn into reality. His use of the word “Dreamers” in the second stanza is seen differently than in the first stanza. His approach suggests that the dreamers in the second stanza are going after their inner dreams to make it reality. The people who dream in the first stanza and his use of the word dream is taken at a more literal approach, suggesting that the only dream to just dream. It separates the two different types of dreamers; the ones who simply dream of vanity and the ones who go after their dreams.

 

3. ‘Out, Out-‘ by Robert Frost

The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard

And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,

Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.

And from there those that lifted eves could count

Five mountain ranges one behind the other

Under the sunset far into Vermont

And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,

As it ran light. or had to bear a load.

And nothing happened : day was all but done.

Call it a day. I wish they might have said

To please the boy by giving him the half hour

That a boy counts so much when saved from work.

His sister stood beside him in her apron

To tell them ‘Supper’. At the word, the saw.

As if to prove saws knew what supper meant.

Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap

He must have given the hand. However it was,

Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!

Theme: 

Shifting from enthusiastic to a more depressing mood in “Out, Out”, Robert Frost uses direct personification, graphic imagery, accidental repetition, prospective to one’s feelings, irony, moral standards and time-period diction in order to criticize the social acceptance of the dangers of such an industrialized society.

A young man is cutting firewood with a buzz saw in New England. Near the end of the day, the boy’s sister announces that it is time for dinner and, out of excitement, the boy accidentally cuts his hand with the saw. He begs his sister not to allow the doctor to amputate the hand but inwardly realizes that he has already lost too much blood to survive. The boy dies while under anesthesia, and everyone goes back to work.

 

4. Time, You Old Gipsy Man  by Ralph Hodgson

TIME, you old gipsy man,

Will you not stay,

Put up your caravan

Just for one day?

All things I’ll give you

Will you be my guest,

Bells for your jennet

Of silver the best,

Goldsmiths shall beat you

A great golden ring,

Peacocks shall bow to you,

Little boys sing,

Oh, and sweet girls will

Festoon you with may.

Time, you old gipsy,

Why hasten away?

Last week in Babylon,

Last night in Rome,

Morning, and in the crush

Under Paul’s dome;

Under Paul’s dial

You tighten your rein—

Only a moment,

And off once again;

Off to some city

Now blind in the womb,

Off to another

Ere that’s in the tomb.

Time, you old gipsy man,

Will you not stay,

Put up your caravan

Just for one day?

Summary: In this poem, ‘Time, You Old Gipsy Man’, the poet Ralph Hodgson told about time. He said that time never stays. It always runs and runs. For this, he names the time “Old gipsy man”. To stop the time, he offered the time things such as belts for its jennet of the best silver, a big golden ring etc. He told time that peacocks will bow, little boys will sing songs, sweet girls will festoon the time with may. He requested the time to put up its caravan just for one day, but the time never stays.  It passes and passes. Nobody can stop its ever-busy frigate even for a second. We know how precious thing is time for us. If we don’t use it properly, it will run away and never come back. So, we need to use the time properly.

 

5.

“I Died for Beauty, but was Scarce” by Emily Dickinson

I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth, -the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.

And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.

 

 

The poem begins with a paradoxical tone of a dead person speaking. Here the dead comprises the beauty. The first stanza speaks about the burial of beauty in a proper manner. She is being adjusted in the tomb carefully and lovingly. As she is laid, a company arrives beside her tomb. “Truth” is her new neighbour.

The second stanza is a discourse between the one who died for beauty and the one who died for truth. Sensing the presence of beauty beside his tomb, truth enquires about her cause of death. He addresses her slowly and genuinely, understanding that he was touching on a sore topic. He speaks softly to Her. Then “beauty” gives her reply, listening to which “truth” connects himself to the cause. He calls them “brethren” as both of them had given up their life for the fundamental they believed in.

The bond formed between the duos is discussed in the final stanza. Though they had only met, they began to share a relation of kinsmen immediately. Like a long lost sibling, they continue talking for a long time. But finally they had to stop as their mortal body starts decaying and gets covered with moss.

6.

I Have Seen Bengal’s Face

Because I have seen Bengal’s face I will seek no more;

The world has not anything more beautiful to show me.

Waking up in darkness, gazing at the fig-tree, I behold

Dawn’s swallows roosting under huge umbrella-like leaves. I look around me

And discover a leafy dome-Jam, Kanthal, Bat, Hijol and Aswatha trees-

All in a hush, shadowing clumps of cactus and zedoary bushes.

When long, long ago, Chand came in his honeycombed boat

To a blue Hijal, Bat and Tamal shade near the Champa, he too sighted

Bengal’s incomparable beauty. One day, alas. In the Ganguri,

On a raft, as the waning moon sank on the river’s sandbanks,

Behula too saw countless aswaths bats besides golden rice fields

And heard the thrush’s soft song. One day, arriving in Amara,

Where gods held court, when she danced like a desolate wagtail,

Bengal’s rivers, fields, flowers, wailed like strings of bells on her feet.

 

Theme
This poem ‘I Have Seen Bengal’s Face’ written by Jibananda Das is one of the masterpieces in the Bengali Literature. This poem depicts the façade of Bengal with the myriad images and mystiques forms. The central theme of the poem is to admire the beauty of nature of Bengal which is full of cultural and natural elements. He connects the inanimate with the living as well. The poem opens with the dawn time when the morning bird is sitting beneath a big leaf. The poet can see a lot of other trees and herbs. He names some of the least looked upon shrubs. Then he makes us remember of the heritage of the area. He says that this beauty of the Bengal shall be forever. This is eternal.

 

7.

She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

 

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

 Theme

“She Walks in Beauty” is a love poem written by Lord Byron in 1814. In this poem, Byron describes a woman’s extraordinary beauty. Throughout the poem, he explains the woman’s physical beauty as well as her spiritual and intellectual beauty. It was clear that Lord Byron was writing about a woman whom he thought very highly of. Lord Byron’s first verse had convinced that the woman in his poem was one whom he’d merely caught a glimpse of. The poem is about an unnamed woman. She’s really quite striking, and the speaker compares her to lots of beautiful, but dark, things, like “night” and “starry skies.” The second stanza continues to use the contrast between light and dark, day and night, to describe her beauty. We also learn that her face is really “pure” and “sweet.” The third stanza wraps it all up – she’s not just beautiful, she’s “good” and “innocent,” to boot. The mention of her sweet, pure thoughts and her innocent heart provided the possibility that Lord Byron loved this beautiful woman. 

 

“The Charge of the Light Brigade”

Lord Alfred Tennyson

 

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;

Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade ?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Summary

The poem tells the story of a brigade consisting of 600 soldiers who rode on horseback into the valley of death for half a league (about one and a half miles). They were obeying a command to charge the enemy forces that had been seizing their guns. Not a single soldier was discouraged or distressed by the command to charge forward, even though all the soldiers realized that their commander had made a terrible mistake. The role of the soldier is to obey and not to make reply, not to reason why. The 600 soldiers were assaulted by the shots of shells of canons in front and on both sides of them. Still, they rode courageously forward toward their own deaths. The soldiers struck the enemy gunners with their unsheathed swords and charged at the enemy army while the rest of the world looked on in wonder. They rode into the artillery smoke and broke through the enemy line, destroying their Cossack and Russian opponents. Then they rode back from the offensive, but they had lost many men. Canons behind and on both sides of the soldiers now assaulted them with shots and shells. Soldiers and horses collapsed but few remained to make the journey back. The world marvelled at the courage of the soldiers. Indeed, their glory is undying. The poem states these noble 600 men remain worthy of honor and tribute today.

 

8.

From September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden

 

I sit on one of the dives

On Fifty-second Street

Uncertain and afraid

As the clever hopes expire.

Of a low dishonest decade:

Waves of anger and fear

Circulate over the bright

And darkened lands of the earth,

Obsessing our private lives;

The unmentionable odour of death

Offends the September night.

 Summary

“September 1, 1939” is a poem by W. H. Auden written on the occasion of the outbreak of World War IIThe day that Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. W. H. Auden uses the occasion to write a farewell to the 1930’s and to meditate on the social and psychological causes of war.

The poem is written in the first person, with the poet addressing the reader directly. Auden claims to be writing the poem in a bar in midtown Manhattan. While the setting may seem, at first, inappropriate for a serious subject, it is typical of Auden, as well as of many other modern poets, to take a detached point of view—even when their subjects are profoundly important to them. The mood or tone of the entire poem is established in the first stanza. The poet reports directly his feelings of uncertainty and fear for the future, as well as his distrust of the socialist schemes of the 1930’s that failed to prevent the recurrence of war.

 

The School Boy
by William Blake

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the sky-lark sings with me.
O! what sweet company.

But to go to school in a summer morn,
O! it drives all joy away;
Under a cruel eye outworn.
The little ones spend the day,
In sighing and dismay.

Ah! then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour,
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learnings bower,
Worn thro’ with the dreary shower.
How can the bird that is born for joy,
Sit in a cage and sing.
How can a child when fears annoy.
But droop his tender wing.
And forget his youthful spring.

O! father & mother. if buds are nip’d,
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are strip’d
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care’s dismay.

How shall the summer arise in joy.
Or the summer fruits appear.
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy
Or bless the mellowing year.
When the blasts of winter appear.

 

The theme of the poem

The poem “ The School Boy” was written by William Blake, it is part of his “ Songs of  Innocence” published in 1789. In the poem the poet talks about a child that wakes up in the morning and all the hapiness he feels disapears when he realizes that he has to go to school. The main theme is the sorrow that the boy feels having to go to school, when he wants to enjoy summer. He has the obligation to go to a close space, but he wants to go outside. Another theme is nature, the freedom that it represents for the boy and the opression of the class. This repression is also represented by the boy´s parents who force him to go there. It is written in first person, the word “I” is quite present in the poem and refers to Blake himself.

William Blake, when he wrote the poem as an adult, he still remembered an experience of his childhood. He wrote the poem from a child´s viewpoint. He wrote his child feelings in a summer morning and in a way, he complaint to his parents. Maybe, now he as an adult has voice and he uses it, because if you are a child everybody ignores you.

 

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,

Thou art not so unkind

As man’s ingratitude ;

Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,

Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly:

Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then heigh-ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,

That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot:

Though thou the waters warp,

Thy sting is not so sharp

As friend remembered not.

High-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly…

 

Vocabulary  checkpoint

Unkind -Cruel
Tooth- biting cold of winter
Rude- rough, coarse
High-ho- An expression of joy
The green holly- An evergreen bush or tree which is a symbol of the everlasting friendliness of nature.
Feigning- Pretending, deceiving
Bite so nigh- Bite sharply or deeply (to the bone)
Nigh- near
Waters warp- Referring to the wind curling and ruffling the sea. Water turns to ice.
As benefits forgot- as the attitude of those who, after receiving favours, prove thankless.
As friend remember’d not- as is a man’s ungrateful behaviour in forgetting a friend.

Critical appreciation

The winter wind can blow as much hard as it likes because it is not so harsh and rude like man’s nature of being ungrateful. The attack of the winter wind is not so sharp because it is not visible although it is bitingly cold. The poet here says that the friendship is only a pretence and loving is nothing but absurdity and foolery. The poet asks the frosty sky to freeze because it won’t cause him deep pain as caused by his friends who forget his favours instead of being thankful.

The main idea of the poem is that the poet keenly observed the shrewdness, hypocrisy, treachery, betrayal and sinfulness of human beings. Here the poet thinks that human friendship is also feigning and hypocritical. It has no depth or significance. So he glorifies winter wind and invites it to blow. He thinks that winter wind is not as unkind as man’s ingratitude. That’s why, he prefers winter wind, which has no sensation, to human beings.

The first stanza of this poem affirms that the effect of man’s ingratitude is more unkind than the biting effect of the winter wind, because the wind remains unseen, whereas the man guilty of ingratitude stands before us in all his repulsive humanity as a permanent focus for our bitter feelings. The second stanza compares man’s ingratitude to freezing temperatures, which, though able to ‘warp water’, ie freeze water, do not ‘bite so nigh’ as a man who forgets favours done. The first six lines in each stanza are followed by the same jolly six line refrain which make the generalisation from these particular observations ‘most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly’.

 

Ode On Solitude

By Alexander Pope 

Happy the man whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breathe his native air

In his own ground. 

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire,

Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter fire. 

Bless’d who can unconcern’dly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away,

In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day; 

Sound sleep by night: study and ease

Together mix’d; sweet recreation;

And innocence, which most does please,

With meditation. 

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,

Thus unlamented let me die;

Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

 

Theme: To be in a state of solitude means that one has withdrawn from the world and has taken up a life of seclusion. This could be for various reasons, as one may have been born this way, one may have lost care for the world’s troubles, or one may just want to have a quieter life. This poem talks about how a life of isolation is still a happy and quiet life, and to maintain this peace, one must not only remain out of the world, but also remain so secluded that others cannot pester with the world’s problems. This poem has an overall happy, content, and peaceful, yet a bit hopeful, mood. The happy mood is seen mostly in the first stanza. The content mood is seen in the first three stanzas. In the first, third, and fourth stanzas, one can see the peaceful mood, and the hopeful mood can be seen in the fifth stanza. This poem also has an air of self-sufficency or accomplishment about it.

 

I Died for Beauty

The general moral of this poem is that one should not waste their entire life trying to reach a goal that the ultimate failure of a long sought-after goal is death. The other person mentioned in the poem died searching for some truth while the speaker died searching for lost beauty. The speaker of the poem has died and explains that they have died for beauty. The speaker died for a purpose but failed in their objective. They both conclude that death is a form of failure. The other supposes he also dies for truth and that truth and beauty are one in the same. The two believe that since they have failed in life, they are almost like brothers. They spend the rest of eternity conversing about their failure. Finally they had to stop as their mortal body starts decaying and gets covered with moss.

 

Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead – Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The poem relates that grief must be expressed, or it will do terrible damage. Tears must be shed to provide closure so that life can go on without the person you lost. This is evidenced by the wife’s realization that she must continue on: her child depends on her. This poem by Tennyson can be considered as one of the war poems written during the period in which pessimism and anti-war mood is apparent. The father of the family was killed leaving after him a widow and a little child. His family, neighbours and friends all cry his death. But unexpectedly his wife never cried and kept stoic. Till the last moment when his wife was solid but suddenly she broke into tears when she was given her child over lap. She never wept nor died as was expected. First the dead warrior is praised to be noble and brave. But then praise was given to the wife who first never cried her dead warrior and then she saw the warrior in the child whom she will live for. She is totally loyal. And the poem ends with words of the widow announcing her devotion to her child’s life.

 

From September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden

“September 1, 1939” is a poem by W. H. Auden written on the occasion of the outbreak of World War II. The day that Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. W. H. Auden uses the occasion to write a farewell to the 1930’s and to meditate on the social and psychological causes of war.

The poem is written in the first person, with the poet addressing the reader directly. Auden claims to be writing the poem in a bar in midtown Manhattan. While the setting may seem, at first, inappropriate for a serious subject, it is typical of Auden, as well as of many other modern poets, to take a detached point of view—even when their subjects are profoundly important to them. The mood or tone of the entire poem is established in the first stanza. The poet reports directly his feelings of uncertainty and fear for the future, as well as his distrust of the socialist schemes of the 1930’s that failed to prevent the recurrence of war.

 

Ode On Solitude By Alexander Pope

Theme: To be in a state of solitude means that one has withdrawn from the world and has taken up a life of seclusion. This could be for various reasons, as one may have been born this way, one may have lost care for the world’s troubles, or one may just want to have a quieter life. This poem talks about how a life of isolation is still a happy and quiet life, and to maintain this peace, one must not only remain out of the world, but also remain so secluded that others cannot pester with the world’s problems. This poem has an overall happy, content, and peaceful, yet a bit hopeful, mood. The happy mood is seen mostly in the first stanza. The content mood is seen in the first three stanzas. In the first, third, and fourth stanzas, one can see the peaceful mood, and the hopeful mood can be seen in the fifth stanza. This poem also has an air of self-sufficency or accomplishment about it.

 

Time, You Old Gipsy Man

The central idea of Time, You Old Gipsy Man of Ralph Hodson is that time waits for none. This poem has been written to make the readers realize the importance of time. A person can only be successful in life if he/she will value time. He said that time never stays. It always runs and runs. For this, he names the time “Old gipsy man”. To stop the time, he offered the time things such as belts for its jennet of the best silver, a big golden ring etc. He told time that peacocks will bow, little boys will sing songs, sweet girls will festoon the time with may. He requested the time to put up its caravan just for one day, but the time never stays.  It passes and passes. Nobody can stop its ever-busy frigate even for a second. We know how precious thing is time for us. If we don’t use it properly, it will run away and never come back. So, we need to use the time properly.

 

William Davies’ “Leisure” Main Theme

Williams Davies’ ‘Leisure’ unveils the richness of life as embodied in nature and wants us to avoid falseness of life as exemplified in our daily pursuits. The poem has an important theme that is to change our attitude to nature; from that of indifference to seriousness. The main theme is that we should abandon our material pursuits and establish a firm contact with nature to lead a rich and diverse life. He reminds us that even animals have time to look at things; then moves on to looking at animals and then to broader pictures like the wonders of the night sky and finally Beauty itself – personified as a dancing girl. So by the end of the poem we’ve realized that if we don’t forget our pursuits, we miss everything – all the beauty, joy and movement of life. Thus the writer has criticized modern man for his leisureless material life devoid of natural beauty. Man should be less dependent on machines and technology and start appreciating and involve natural things to surround his life. And he should turn to natural things to give him pleasure…only then it is LIFE well lived!

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