Random Poetry questions sent by Mishi
“It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.”
Q. What melted and what strange thing did it create before it melted?
“It” stands for the sheet of ice which he had picked up from a drinking trough.
Before it melted it created a strange and distorted vision of the world which made the poet drowsy.
(At a deeper level the lines mean that the fascination of death always mystified him, right from his childhood days.)
Q. What is the significance of the form of his dream?
The poet can tell about what the dream is going to be like because a person’s dream usually relates to his daily activities. In his dream he sees magnified fresh and beautiful apples.
The apples are the very ideal of apples- they are larger than life. Many critics point out that this dream signifies the picture of heaven or immortality.
Q. How does the poet show his skill for description in the extract by paying attention to details.
The poem is full of sensuous details that bring out the poet’s penchant for realistic details.
The melting of the ice-sheet, the magnified apples, described in detail, the stem end and the blossom end of the apples, the russet coloured flecks—the mention of all these evince the poet’s skill of description.
Q. In the other extract, “The ladder is sticking through a tree towards heaven but at the same time, it sways as the boughs bend.” Give the symbolism of these two happenings.
These things symbolize that as one aspires towards heaven, the load of daily activities keep one occupied. The load of the apples is so heavy that it sways the ladder.
Q. Referring to the poem in general, state what is likely to interfere with the sleep of the narrator.
His dreams are likely to be going to interfere with his sleep.
Poem Last Duchess:
“I said ‘Fra Pandolf’ by design………ask thus”
Q. Explain the above lines.
These lines are spoken by the Duke of Ferrara to the visitor from the Count whose daughter the Duke wants to marry. The Duke asks the visitor to sit down and take a look at the portrait of his last duchess and admire it as a work of art. The visitor is awe-struck by the portrait and the Duke feels that the visitor is wondering why the Duchess has such a passionate expression on her face.
He purposefully gives the artist an imaginary name- Fra Pandolf- because he does not want people to know the name of the real artist who painted the portrait. No stranger gets a chance to view the portrait because the face displays a deep and passionate earnestness which the Duke does not want anyone else to see. A curtain is drawn over the portrait and visitors ask him questions about it. If the curtain was unveiled the visitors would perhaps ask him, if they could muster enough courage to do so, that why was the Duchess’ expression so passionate? The Duke thus tells the present visitor that he need not apologise for he is not the first to have such questions in his mind.
Q. How can u conclude from the above stanza that the Duke was a crafty person?
The word “design” means plan/purpose. As the Duke says that he purposefully does not mention the name of the real artist, it is clear that he is a crafty person.
Q. Give the meaning of the following:
“Her mantle drops over my lady’s wrist too much..”
The blush on the Duchess’ cheek may have been caused by a casual remark of the artist who might have told her that her cloak had slipped and was covering her wrist.
Poem: Govinda’s Disciple
Q. Give the spiritual significance of :
“The daylight faded”
“Daylight” symbolizes knowledge.
The given expression signifies that Raghunath was in the water for a long time, trying to find the lost bangle. It signifies his deep attachment to material possessions and his inability and foolishness in understanding the value of detachment.
Q. “water held, hid and stole the bangle”
Why are the actions of the water symbolic in terms of spiritual values? How does the expression“stole” enrich the language?
The water is represented as a thief who stole the bangle and hid it. In terms of spiritual values this is symbolic because the water is like a teacher who is trying to teach a lesson to Raghunath.
The expression “stole” is an instance of the use of metaphor and personification and produces a beautiful image in the reader’s mind.