LEISURE – Critical Appreciation of the Poem & Exercises

LEISURE – (William Davies)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM

Leisure by Davies moves us emotionally and provides a food for thought. The poet has criticized the life of a modern man. The poet has based this poem on the personal experiences of his life. The evils of modern civilization are the topic progress of science has made man machine like. It has turned him into a material beast. It has deprived him of two things. First it has deprived him to freedom and secondly it has made him greedy and ambitious. Man has become a slave of time. Each breath of his life is spent in collecting wealth.

Davies suggests that a very important factor of human life is enjoyment from various objects of nature scattered in our surroundings. But in just of wealth and status man has lost happiness and peace of mind. He is deadly busy in his worldly pursuits. He has no time to stand and stare at the beautiful and green branches of trees. In this regard, his lot is worse than animals. Even cows and sheep have spare time to enjoy the beauties of nature. He laments that man himself is the author of his tragedy.

Man crown of creature. But unfortunately his life is miserable. The poet feels very sad at man’s indifference to nature. Night looks beautiful with its shining stars on the sky. The reflection of the stars in the water of stream is a sight to be fully enjoyed. The broad day light is charming in its effects. Man is not blind to the ugliness of wealth but blinds to the liveliness of nature. The sight of the squirrels hiding their nuts in the grass contains many enjoyable points. All these sights of nature are inviting and tempting.

Man is more than a robot and computer having no aesthetic sense. The poet sums up the poem by saying that our life is full of worries and hardships. We must have some leisure time to enjoy life and its joys. We have no time to enjoy the loving eyes and dancing feet of young maiden.

TECHNICALITIES OF THE POEM

The use of personification in the poem increases its beauty, appeal and importance. The diction is very simple and quite appropriate to the subject-matter of the poem. The tone of the poem is satirical.

EXERCISE

What are some of the simple delights we miss in our rushed life?
OR
Point out the beauties of nature that can be source of pleasure for man in his day to day life.

Some of the enjoyments which I personally miss because of shortage or lack of time are my visits to Northern areas of my country. I often make plan to move out of my city towards paradise like areas like Swat, Naran, Kalam, Muree and Skardu which possess simple and innocent beauty of nature. Alas! I cannot go there because of my busy life. I miss viewing the grandeur of the mountains, trees and flowers and flowing streams and fountains in these valleys.

I also miss the joys of novel reading due to my busy life. I spend these hours in money earning programs. I also miss sports very much.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. Why do you think the poet has given this title to his poem when he is talking about life full of cares with no time to stand and stare? (100-150 words)
2. What is the poet trying to say in the last two lines? (60-70 words)
3. Write a note on the beauties of nature. (150 words)
4. Point out where has personification been used in this poem.
5. Write down the pairs of rhyming words in the poem.

Quotations and references for this poem

1) One impulse from vernal wood
May teach you more of man
Of moral, evil and good
Than all the sages can.
(William Wordsworth)

2) Getting and spending we lay waste our powers.
Little we see in nature that is ours.
(William Wordsworth)
3) When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! When work is duty, life is slavery”.
(Maxim Gorky)
4) One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
(Shakespeare)

TARTARY – Critical Appreciation of the Poem & Exercises

TARTARY – (Walter De la Mare)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM

Water De la Mare is pure poet who is known as the poet of images and impressions. He always aims at providing imaginative pleasures to his readers instead of teaching them some moral or social lesson.

Like all romantic poets, he escapes into an idea and longed for world. It has always been a desire of man to consider him all powerful and mighty to attain power. He uses all means, foul or fair to gain endless power. The poets are sensitive people. They do not have the skill and art to attain power and derive pleasure out of this image of glory. Walter de la Mare also dreams of having great powers after becoming the lord of Tartary. It is the figment of poet’s imagination. The poem is a journey into the realm of imagination.

The poem is romantic in its essence. The land of Tartary has been painted by the poet with various attractive and sensuous images. He imagines himself the lord of a land rich with all worldly resources. Like all the ancient kings, he longs to have an ivory bed and throne of beaten gold. His court will be attended by peacocks. The peacocks will walk and dance in his court. Fish will swim in his pools and tigers roar in his forests. In this way, he longs to rule not only men but animals and beats also. He wants to be monarch of all he surveys.

The main idea of the poem is that every person wants to get rid of his worried and artificial world. Like all royal and lofty kings of the past, he wants to enjoy all the comforts of his life. He wishes to eat his meal with the announcement of a bugle. In the evening, his place will be illuminated with lamps, ‘yellow as honey’ and ‘red as wine’. He longs to enjoy the charming notes of music in the evening.

Slowly and gradually the poet creates an imaginary pleasure place for his satisfaction and consolation. As a lord of Tartary, the poet longs to wear gorgeous dress, decorated with jewels. Jewels will be of white, gold and green colour and they will be clustered thick as seeds. In the morning, he would put on his royal robes with a sword in his belt. His carriage will be driven by ‘zebras seven’, through dark glades of Tartary.

Although this heaven-like wonder may not be feasible to achieve yet it is certainly possible and desirable of every person to enjoy it intellectually. The land of Tartary would be remarkable for its rich and abundant growth of fruits. It is rich in its resources. Its hills and rivers will add to its beauty. Its valleys and forests are green and dark with trees. It is known for its scented breeze and overflowing lakes. The chirping birds with their beautiful songs will transport the soul of man into happiness. It is a fertile land full of flowers, greenery and fruit.

EXERCISE

Tartary is a romantic poem. Discuss it.

Like all romantic poets, he escapes into an idea and longed for world. It has always been a desire of man to consider himself all powerful and mighty to attain power. He uses all means, foul or fair to gain endless power. The poets are sensitive people. They do not have the skill and art to attain power and derive pleasure out of this image of glory. Walter de la Mare also dreams of having great powers after becoming the lord of Tartary. It is the figment of poet’s imagination. The poem is a journey into the realm of imagination.

The poem is romantic in its essence. The land of Tartary has been painted by the poet with various attractive and sensuous images. He imagines himself the lord of a land rich with all worldly resources. Like all the ancient kings, he longs to have an ivory bed and throne of beaten gold. His court will be attended by peacocks. The peacocks will walk and dance in his court. Fish will swim in his pools and tigers roar in his forests. In this way, he longs to rule not only men but animals and beats also. He wants he wants to be monarch of all he surveys.

Although this heaven-like wonder may not be feasible to achieve yet it is certainly possible and desirable of every person to enjoy it intellectually. The land of Tartary would be remarkable for its rich and abundant growth of fruits. It is rich in its resources. Its hills and rivers will add to its beauty. Its valleys and forests are green and dark with trees. It is known for its scented breeze and overflowing lakes. The chirping birds with their beautiful songs will transport the soul of man into happiness. It is a fertile land full of flowers, greenery and fruit.

The images used in the poem are highly romantic and colorful. The images of an ‘ivory bed’, ‘golden throne’, ‘dancing peacocks’ etc. make the poem romantic. The image of the lord of Tartary, with a gorgeous dress sitting in a carriage, driven by seven zebras is a romantic picture.

Discuss De la Mare as a lover of nature with reference to his poem ‘Tartary’.
OR
Give your impression of Walter de La Mare as a poet after reading his poem ‘Tartary’.

Walter De La Mare is a romantic poet like Wordsworth. As such, his poetry deals with common place things. To make Tartary an ideal land, the poet has given a good proof of his love for nature. He believes that the beautiful scenes of nature and its enchanting sound are a precious treasure of delight and wonder for man. The poet has no liking for the industrial and mechanical life like William Davies. So the poet does not ignore the soothing and pleasing function of nature while giving the concept an ideal life.

The poet wishes that his kingdom of Tartary should have all the variety of natural society. There should be thick forests, deep valley and tall hills. The sky of his country should be decorated with shining stars. It should be a land dazzling rivers, trembling lakes and foamless seas. He loves to have abundance of fruit trees that delight the birds and inspire them to sing cheerfully. On every morning he would love to ride through the dark glades of Tartary to enjoy the beauties of nature. In stead of driving an air conditioned Mercedes car, he likes to sit in an open coach driven by seven zebras. He likes to hear the songs of birds and to feast his eyes on the beauty of the green world. His dream of happy life remains incomplete without such aesthetic pleasure driven form, the world of nature.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. What is the importance of the word ‘Tartary’.

Tartary was the paradise like region ruled by Changez Khan. This region was spreading over Turkey, Iran, Kashmir, Tibet and Afghanistan. This region was considered very prosperous and peaceful. On the same pattern Walter De la Mare wants to build his own imaginary state. It is an ideal land full of beautiful lands with difference fruits and crops of many colors.

2. What do you find similar between Davies and De La Mare?
3. Pick out all the colorful words the poet has used.
4. Do you like poet’s philosophy of escapism? If not why?
5. Write 50 words about he diction and rhyme scheme of the poem.
6. What are the images and impressions?

Quotations and references for this poem

1) “Imagination is the one weapon in the war against vanity”. (Jude De Gautier)
2) “To dream is a very pleasant exercise of fancy.”
3) “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
4) “Existence would be intolerable if we were never to dream.”

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION – Critical Appreciation of the Poem & Exercises

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION – (Elizabeth Sewell)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM
OR
What are the three resolutions which the poetess wants to make at the arrival of New Year?
OR
How does the poetess welcome the New Year?
OR
What is the real beauty of the poem, ‘New Year Resolutions’?
OR
The poem is very brief, but is a master piece literature.
OR
The poem can be reduced to one sentence but it is still estimated as the highest form of literary expression. Discuss it.

‘New Year Resolution’ may be taken as a precious piece of advice to lead a good and successful life in this society. Three sound and solid resolutions which the poetess makes at the even of the next year sum up the golden principles of a respectable life.

According to the poetess, the life must be spent consciously and with a sense of discipline. It is absurd to spend lie in a care free and jovial manner. We must take stock of our good and week point through out the year. We should try to correct our weaknesses by self-examination. It is our accountability by our own conscience which corrects our life.

The poetess does not welcome the New Year in a traditional manner. In this brief but thought-provoking poem, she urges us to examine our own ‘self’ in the beginning of every year. She wants to drink deep at the fountain of thoughts. It is only in quietness and moments of calm that she can search her own soul search in moments that she will purge out the sins and shortcomings of herself. This meditation may become a means of cleansing herself. It is with clean mind and soul that she will welcome the New Year.

The poetess is a realist. She does not run away from the harsh realities of life. She wants to know her identity and nature quite impartially. She wants to know abut herself and her duties to her fellow beings and to her God. In solitude man comes to know about his obligations in society. Being a husband, father, mother, brother, son, friend and citizen of a country he has different responsibilities. Again as a farmer, businessman, and a soldier and as an administrator or a clerk etc. one has to perform various kinds of tasks.

Idealistic and unrealistic attitude of life create a lot of worries and troubles in our life. Although reality is bitter, ugly and painful yet we should accept it and learn to live with it. Therefore the poetess declares that she would like to pas the whole night in the ‘bony arms of Reality’.

As a result of the fulfillment of the above-mentioned resolutions she will be satisfied and comfortable.

EXERCISE

What new resolutions do you make?

At the arrival of a new year different persons make different resolutions. Being a student I make my own resolution. I stop for a while in the journey of life to ponder upon what I have lost and what gained. Different calculations tell me that I have lost much as compared to what I have gained. Thus I begin to endeavor for improvement to make my personality better. Every time I find myself making resolutions to check the way of temptations.

Every year I have resoled to avoid backbiting, flattery, lie and dishonesty. As long as I possess the owner of resolutions I avoid all these evils. Some times I feel myself weak but I get energy by my will power.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. Do you find this different form other poems you have read?
2. Where has personification been used in this poem. Point it out.
3. Which one of the resolutions do you like most and why?
4. Compare the last stanza of this poem with the escapism of the king of Tartary. Write 120 words.

Quotations and references for this poem

1) Speech is silver, silence is gold.
2) “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
3) “Never tell your resolution beforehand”.
4) “You may be whatever you resolve to be. Determine to do something in the world and you will be”.

WOMAN WORK – Critical Appreciation of the Poem & Exercises

WOMAN WORK – (Maya Angelou)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM
OR
Write a character sketch of a woman in ‘The Woman Work’.
OR
How far it is correct to say that the poetess in this poem has idealized female nature and role of woman in human life?

The woman in this poem has been presented as a universal woman. This is the true role of a woman which has been given to her by God and by nature. A woman is responsible to maintain her home and contributes her love and energy to the peaceful life of home. The maintenance of home is not easy. It is possible only because a woman devotes herself completely to the small chores which apparently do not seem much important and valuable.

The woman has to perform different duties at her home. The first duty of a man is to maintain her home and contribute her time and energy for running it. She has to perform manifold duties in and outside her home to run it properly.

She works for the welfare of her family from dawn to dusk. She prepares breakfast for her children and makes them ready for school. She presses their cloths and makes them spick and span. She dusts her home and keeps it neat and clean. She goes to the market to shop for her home.

Her miseries do not end here. A woman has to work in the garden where she roots unnecessary grass and makes the land fit for cultivation. She sows seeds in the land, waters it and harvests it.

Though she feels her life dull, drab and mechanical she is so noble that she endures it silently. She expresses her desire to live among the objects of nature. She dreams of spending her time in the company of snow, rain, sunshine, seas and moonlight. These elements of nature will be freshness and calm to the fever of daily life. Her only recreational activity is to enjoy the open sunshine or to expose herself to strong wind. They will give her strength to bear the hardships and drudgery of life. We see that her contribution for the uplift of the family is very great. Without her services and cooperation domestic life cannot be smooth and enjoyable.

EXERCISE
How can nature be a source of relief and refreshment for a domestic lady?

OR
Describe briefly the poet’s deep love of Nature as shown in her poem ‘Woman Work’.

The woman in this poem shows great love and appreciation for the beautiful scenes of nature. Nature leaves soothing effect upon her soul when the woman gets tired after performing her domestic chores. She wishes to seek charm and variety in its company.

Though she feels her life dull, drab and mechanical she is so noble that she endures it silently. She expresses her desire to live among the objects of nature. She dreams of spending her time in the company of snow, rain, sunshine, seas and moonlight. Theses elements of nature will be freshness and calm to the fever of daily life. Her only recreational activity is to enjoy the open sunshine or to expose herself to strong wind. They will give her strength to bear the hardships and drudgery of life. We see that her contribution for the uplift of the family is very great. Without her services and cooperation domestic life cannot be smooth and enjoyable.

In short, the exhausted and tired domestic woman turns to the blessing of Nature to sustain, nourish and refresh her.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. Do you think that a woman in service or doing a job can perform all her duties at home properly? Write in 100 words.
2. Do you think that a woman working all the day wants to escape from the shores at home? How?

Quotations and references for this poem

1) “When work is pleasure, life is joy! When work is duty, life is slavery”. (Maxim Gorky)
2) “Iron rusts from disuse stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen: even so does in action sap the vigor of the min”. (Leonardo Da Vinci)
3) One impulse from vernal wood may tech you more of man of moral, evil and good than all the sages can. (William Wordsworth)
4) Getting and spending we lay waste our powers, little we see in nature that is ours. (William Wordsworth)

THE REBEL – Critical Appreciation of the Poem & Exercises

THE REBEL – (D. J. Enright)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM
OR
Write a character sketch of the rebel in this poem.
OR
What does D. J. Enright want to say in this poem?
OR
What makes a young man rebellious? What should be our attitude towards him?

‘The Rebel’ is a humorous poem motivated by a serious idea. Through the character of rebel the poet wants to emphasize the importance of individual liberty. Their eccentric behaviour has psychological reasons. They suffer from inferiority complex due to being the victim of neglect, and try to attract attention and appraisal of other people. The rebels are serious and solemn in themselves but they look funny and non-serous to us.

The rebels in this poem the poem gives us the views, habits and manners of a young man, who is different from other people in every matter. Such a young man is called rebel by the poet. The rebel tries to assert his individuality everywhere. He is completely different from other people. For example, he grows long hair, when other people have short hair. When every body has long hair, the rebel cuts his hair short. When every body talks during the lesson the rebel remains silent. When every body is silent in the class the rebel keeps on speaking and produces a disturbance in the class.

When the people wear a uniform or simple dress, the rebel wears fantastic and colorful cloths. When he sits in the company of dog lovers, he speaks in favour of cats. When he sits in the company of cat lovers he gives his reference to dogs.

When every body goes to some function or meeting, he stays at home and reads a book. When every body stays at home and reads a book, he goes to attend meeting. His behaviour is quite different from other people in every matter. When other people say ‘yes please’ to some matter, the rebel says, ‘no thank you’. When every body says, ‘no thank you’ to some matter, he contradicts him and says, ‘yes please’.

In the end of the poem, the poet expresses his liking for the presence of a rebel in society. He says that the presence of the rebels in society breaks the boredom of society. We should not follow the social evils blindly. In the last two lines the poet has masterly hit the blind followers. The poet emphatically suggests that the rebels should not be tolerated but appreciated in a progressive society. Because all development in our culture and civilization depends on constant change towards betterment and not on blind following and opposing change.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. Discuss the element of humour and satire in this poem. Which is being satirized the behaviour of rebel or that of the normal people? Write in 100 words.
2. Do you think to become a rebel is a difficult task or an easy one? 100 words.
3. Do you approve rebels or not? Give proper reasons. 120 words.

Quotations and references for this poem

1) When all speak none hear.
2) “There is no conversation more boring that the one where every body argues”. (Robert Jacob Good kin)
3) “It matter no how straight the gate how charges with Destiny the scroll I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
4) “The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.”
5) “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

PATRIOT INTO TRAITOR – Critical Appreciation of the Poem & Exercises

PATRIOT INTO TRAITOR – (Robert Browning)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM
OR
What does Robert Browning want to say in this poem?

This poem gives us the picture of a political leader who suffers a downfall in his career quite dramatically. The frustration of the political leader has been described in a graphic and realistic manner.

The poet tells us about the reaction of the people that the common uneducated people have poor and immature sense of judgment and cannot judge justly the right from wrong. The people welcome the political leader with great enthusiasm. But due to some sudden stroke of luck or political crisis in country, they discredit his deeds. He is labeled as a traitor and his deeds are judged as misdeeds. This shows that the political leaders become a victim of the judgment of the common masses. The poem tells us many things about the immature and shaky judgment of common people. The uneducated common people are passionate and partial in thinking.

The poem is also a criticism on the power-worship. This poem is a good example of unreliability of Time and public fame. Circumstances of life are always beyond the control of man. They take unexpected turn and may devastate all his enviable achievements. All these ideas have been illustrated through a political leader. As long as he is in power every one supports and loves him. He is respected and loved. But when he is out of power, all his supporters leave him. The political leader is welcomed with great love and enthusiasm as he steps into power. When he is taken to the gallows, he is left alone and is deserted by every one.

Browning’s poetry is full of hope and optimism. The most important feature of Browning’s poetry is the optimistic attitude of life. Browning tries to console the people by pointing out that if they get the rewards of their efforts in this world they will get nothing from God in the next world. He wants to assert man’s faith in God. The heroes of his poetry do not lose hear in the face of hardships and trials. His poetry advises us to face the hardships of life courageously in every odd situation. The condemned leader in this poem tries to console oneself by thinking that he will get his true reward in the next world. God is the best judge of his actions and true intentions, and will reward him justly and suitable. Therefore, he is far better than those people who die after receiving full reward of their wordy deeds in this life. They will have nothing to demand from God on the Day of Judgment. As compared with them, he can hope to benefit largely in the life hereafter. So Browining’s poetry gives us hope and courage to face life.

The political leader in the poem is humiliated and disgraced in the end. He is going to be stoned at. But he still has faith in the reward of God. He thinks that people have not rightly judged his good deeds. They are sadly mistaken at it. But he hopes hat God will reward him for his service to the public in the world hereafter. He accepts the gallows with the power of conviction and faith.

EXERCISE

What is dramatic monologue? Discuss this poem as a dramatic monologue.

In a dramatic monologue on character speaks, while there are other characters on the scene. This poem is also a dramatic monologue. The unfortunate political leader is made to tell his story of rise and fall. He continues on speaking to some imaginary and silent listener. There is no one on the stage to interrupt him or answer his queries.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. Do you think that while reading this poem you are reading the political history of your country? Write in 100 words.
2. How can the democratic institutes be made strong? Write your own assessment in 100 words.
3. Do you think that political leader is corrupt or otherwise? How? 120 words.

Quotations and references for this poem

1) “Prosperity gains friends, adversity tries them.”
2) “They are never alone that are accompanied by noble thoughts”. (Sir Philip Sydney)
3) “People hates as they love unreasonably”.
4) He makes no friends never made a foe.
5) Your character cannot be essentially injured, except by your acts; and if any one speaks ill of you, let your life be such that none will believer him.

THE HUNTSMAN – Critical Appreciation of the Poem

THE HUNTSMAN – (Edward Lowbury)

CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE POEM
OR
What does Edward Lowbury want to say in this poem?

The present poem is based on a Kenyan folklore and carries a moral lesson that one should not talk too much. The poem narrates the story of a tragedy of a hunter. He is a hunter of lions, but the stroke of luck, he becomes a prey. The poem throws light on the fact that lie is a complicated affair. It is full of unexpected situations and mysterious facts. Sometimes it happens that the hunter becomes the hunted. The poem also points out that talking is a good thing but one should not talk too much. A man must be careful before he speaks. He must think before he speaks.

The poem hint at the fact the Kagwa should not have spoken to the king. Kagwa spoke to the king to a carelessness and foolishness manner. That is why, he met his death. Kagwa did not know this fact. Had the known this fact, he would not have met his misfortune.

The poem contains the elements of sick humour. It is also full of the elements of suspense and supernatural. The presence of the talking skull inspires dread in us. We try to know the mystery of the talking skull but fail. The end of the story of Kagwa is tragic indeed. The hunter becomes the hunted and his tragic death has a shocking effect on the mind of the reader. Deep irony runs through the poem. The irony of the poem is hidden in the fact that the hunter in the end and has to lose his life. Like all folk tales, it has a hidden message to convey to the readers. The poet suggests that we must be careful in our conversation with others.

EXERCISE

The poet uses very beautifully the elements of irony and suspense in the poem. Comment.
OR
Relate briefly how the huntsman becomes a victim of cruel fate.

Irony is literary device which shows the reversal of the situation. It is also meant to show the unexpected results of an action based on innocence and good intentions. The huntsman Kagwa was a great hunter instead of hunting a new prey and he himself becomes a victim of his cruel fate. It is his ignorance of the naked realities of life that leads him to his ultimate ruin.

The poem describes that he is simple person. He has good health. He is physically strong but he lacks wisdom. When he sees talking skull, he is emotionally excited. He must have control over his sentiments. He does not know that kings are trustworthy people. He goes to the king and tells him about the talking skull. The talking skull has told him about the reason of his death. He must have realized that he same loose and careless talk could have brought death to him. He talks to the king in a carefree manner and does not keep in mind the advice of the talking skull. This becomes the basis of irony in the story. If he had been wise, he must not have told the king about the talking skull.

The suspense of the story is quite obvious in the last lines of the poem. ‘Talking brought met here’. It was careless and loose talk which was responsible for the death of the talking skull. This secret has been unfolded by the talking skull. Kagwa does not follow his advice. He tries to learn the same secret at the cost of his own life. This is the suspense of the story. The reader waits a long for the end of Kagwa’s story. His story ends with the end of his life.

CREATIVE EXERCISES

1. Do you know that fate is cruel? How?
2. Do you find any element of fear in the poem? Write you own assessment in 60 words.

Quotations and references for this poem

1) “Speech is silver, silence is gold.”
2) “When a man wants to hunt a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger kills him he calls it ferocity”.
3) The wise man knows that he knows nothing; the fool knows he knows all.
4) Sorrows, like babies, grow bigger by nursing.
5) Give every man thy ear, but few to thy voice.

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