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The Poetry of Earth

Show, after Keats, that the poetry of earth never comes to an end. /How
does Keats establish continuity through the voice?/ Identify the voices of
the poetry in the poem "The poetry of Earth". How does Keats establish
continuity through the voices?

Ans: In the poem "The Poetry of Earth", the voices of poetry are the voice of
the birds, the Grasshopper and the Cricket.

In summer, the birds feel tired by the scorching heat of the Sun. Then
they take rest in the cool shadow of trees. But music of summer cannot be
stopped. The grasshopper takes the lead. The song of grasshopper runs from
hedge to hedge. Being tired the grasshopper take rest beneath some
pleasant weed. The cricket carries the music in winter. The song of the
cricket introduces warmth in the forest. Thus Keats establishes the
continuity of nature's music through these voices.

Write the substance of the poem “The Poetry of Earth”.


Ans:-The Poetry of Earth is a very beautiful poem in which the poet has
shown the never ending music of earth. The first part of the poem, the
octave, celebrates the earth in all its forms. It says that the poetry of earth is
never dead. The earth provided poetry in the form of the songs of the birds
or the calls of the beasts. However, when the summer sun is too hot and
strong, the birds find it difficult to keep up their routine. They find shelter
from the scorching heat in trees that provide ample shade and hence, are
‘cooling’. But the grasshopper does not cease its song. Its voice runs
throughout the freshly mown meadows untiringly. Even in the sultry
summer days, he never stops his chants. The grasshopper does not feel
‘faint’ under the sun. For him, even the summer is a time for joy. Hence,
when he has had his fill of fun, he finds comfort under some weeds or long
grass stalks.
The sestet begins with the earlier declaration that the poetry of earth is
forever, it is never ending. During the cold, harsh winters, when one is
numbed by the cold, only one voice is heard that calls out to one in drowsy
evenings by the fire (stove) and that is of the cricket. The poet tells us that
during the winters, instead of growing quiet of the cold, the cricket finds a
corner in some kitchen near a stove and belts out its song. The warmth
coming from the stove mingles with the warm tones of the cricket who tries
to keep one entertained. This song perhaps reminds one who’s half asleep
that the grasshopper is probably out on some grassy hill, singing its heart
out. Thus the music of earth never ceases.

Critically analyse the poem “The Poetry of Earth”.


Ans:-First and foremost, this poem is about the poetry of the earth. This
‘poetry’ that Keats talks about can be read variously. Literally speaking, the
poetry of earth indicates the various sounds found in the natural world, be it
the calls of birds or beasts, or insects. These natural sounds are the voices of
nature; this is how nature communicates with us. The poetry of earth is then
the language of the earth. At the same time it is also about the beauty of
that language. The poem is descriptive of the physical world and its natural
beauty. The poetry of earth is at once an emblem of beauty and endurance.
The poet wishes to impart that like the poetry of the earth, hope never dies.
That no matter how harsh the trials and tribulations of life are, they can be
overcome. There is beauty in even the harshest temperatures. Similarly,
there is hope in the bleakest of times. This poem is above all, a repository of
the calls of nature, the voice of the grasshopper, of the cricket, and of the
songs of the birds. The poem also encompasses two extreme climates, the
extreme hot and the extreme cold. Summer and winter are expressed as
two unbearable entities, each an imposing, strong figure that has to be
fought with. The poetry of earth perhaps is akin to the poetic impulse of

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Keats himself. Keats mirrors his own innermost thoughts when he expresses
the immortality of poetry. The imposing figures of summer and winter can
be read as the critics who taunted Keats for his youthful abandon and less
than aristocratic blood. In the poem he says that the poetry of earth will
endure all harshest circumstances. He believed his poetry should be
reminded long after his death just like he believed poetry could never die.

He takes the lead " -Who takes the lead ?


When does he take the lead ? How does he take the lead ?
Ans: In the poem The Poetry of Earth, the Grasshopper takes the lead.
In summer, the birds are tired with the hot sun. Then they take rest in the
cooling shade of trees. At that time the Grasshopper takes the lead.
The Grasshopper takes the lead by singing delightfully. He sings from
hedge to hedge. He enjoys the luxury of summer. When he gets tired, he
takes rest beneath some pleasant weeds. After some time he starts his song
and makes the nature living. The hot din cannot resist his song.

Show, after Keats that the poetry of earth never come to an end./What is
the theme of the poem ?/What is the message of the poem?/Justify the
aptness of the title "The Poetry of Earth".
Ans: The poetry of earth knows no death. It exists in all seasons. In summer,
being very weary, the birds stop singing. But according to the poet the music
of the earth is not stopped. Thus the music of the earth is going on without
any interruption. Then winter turns up after summer. At that time the
atmosphere remains dull and lifeless. Silence prevails there for the frost of
the winter evening. There is no music all around and all the people take rest
sitting at home. But suddenly the song of the cricket is heard. So a man who
is half asleep near fire, it seems to be a continuation of the Grasshopper's
song among some grassy hills. (Thus we can find the music of earth

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throughout the poem. Hence the title of the present poem " The Poetry of
Earth" is apt.)

“The poetry of earth is never dead”- What does the poet mean by it?
Ans: By this, the poet means that the songs and music of nature will never
stop. It would go on without any break. Nature and poetry i.e. music are so
linked that they will continuously evolve. Any change in season or the
weather will not affect the continuity of the music of Nature. In summer, the
songbirds, being tired with the hot sun, take shelter in cooling shade and
stop singing. Still, then the songs of nature are heard. The tiny Grasshopper
sings merrily as he moves about from hedge to hedge in the meadow. He
luxuriates in the gaiety and abundance of the season. Similarly, in the midst
of frosty, silent, bleak winter evening the poetry of the earth continues. The
shrill cry of the Cricket breaks the silence of the winter evening. Thus, the
poetry of earth never ceases.

“When all birds are faint…”- Why are all birds faint? What do the birds do?
Who plays the role of the birds and how?
Ans: All birds are faint and feel tired because of the scorching heat of the
sun in the summer season.
The birds are the natural poets of the earth. They sing in joy and express the
mood of the season. But, here, the birds are exhausted by the intolerable
heat of the summer. So they take shelter in the shady trees and keep silent.
When the birds take shelter in the cool places and stop singing, then, the
void is filled up by the Grasshopper. He sings merrily and expresses immense
joy as he moves from hedge to hedge in the freshly-mown grass in the
meadow. In the absence of the singing birds, he becomes the bard of
summer.

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“A voice will run…”- Whose voice is this? Where will the voice run? What is
the significance of the voice?
Ans: This is the voice of the Grasshopper in Keats’ sonnet, The Poetry of
Earth.
The voice will run from the hedge to hedge in the freshly- mown grass in the
meadow.
In the summer, song birds are exhausted by the intolerable heat of summer
and take shelter in the cool shade of the leafy trees and stop singing music
of the summer. The grasshopper takes the role of the poet and sings songs
of the summer. Thus, the poetry of the earth is sustained.

“ …from the stove there shrills/ The Cricket’s song”. What role does the
Cricket play here?
Ans: In this sonnet, the Cricket performs the role of the poet in the winter.
Winter comes with its icy touch. The forest makes the winter evening silent.
Nature is now bleak and desolate. In such a frosty and silent weather, the
Cricket, the tireless bard of winter, keeps the music of the earth alive.

What is Keats’ observation on the songs of the Grasshopper and the


Cricket?
Ans: This poem reveals the poet’s love of nature. Keats finds beauty in all
things, trivial or magnificent. Both the Grasshopper and the Cricket are the
tiny insects, but the poet has used them as powerful singers of nature. The
poet helps us to enrich our understanding of nature. He provides us with the
knowledge and foresight that all things have a purpose. He shows how the
balance of nature is sustained and the music of the earth is alive.

“…when the frost/ Has wrought a silence”- What picture does draw here?
Ans: Here, the poet draws the picture of a lone evening. Keats uses the
words like ‘The cricket song’, ‘silence’ and ‘the frost’ to represent a picture

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of the winter. The frost makes the winter silence. Nature is now bleak and
desolate and in such a weather the Cricket has become the bard of the
winter. In the background of silence and lifeless, the Cricket infuses new
energy and introduces new hopes.

“…he has never done/with his delights”- Who is ‘he’? What does he do?
What does the extract mean?
Ans: Here, ‘he’ is the Grasshopper.
In the summer, when all birds are tired and take shelter in the cool shade of
the trees, then the Grasshopper comes forwards and sings in joy. He keeps
the flow of the song of the Nature alive. He expresses immense joy and
becomes the bard of the summer.
The extract shows the tireless effort of the Grasshopper in making Nature
vibrant with his songs. He is very much delighted. His delight never comes to
an end. Therefore, he goes on singing joyfully, keeping the poetry of the
earth even continuing.

“He rests at ease…”- Who is ‘he’ here? Where does he rest? How does he
enliven Nature?
Ans: Here, ‘he’ is the Grasshopper in this poem.
In the absence of the song bird, The Grasshopper fills up the void in nature
by his song. But whenever he feels tired, he takes rest beneath some
pleasant weed only to resume his song with renewed energy.
When all songbirds stop singing, the Grasshopper continues the poetry of
the earth. He moves from the hedge to hedge in the meadow singing the
delightful song of the summer luxury. Thus, When the whole countryside
seems to be tired and exhausted, the Grasshopper only brings joy.

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Very Short Types Questions
What type of poem is The Poetry of Earth?
Ans:-The Poetry of Earth is a sonnet.It is a type of Petrarchan sonnet.
What is the rhyme scheme of the sonnet The Poetry of Earth?
Ans:-The rhyme scheme of the sonnet The Poetry of Earth is ABBA ABBA in
the Octave and CDECDE in the sestet.
What is the symbol used by John Keats in the poem The Poetry of Earth?
Ans:-In the poem The Poetry of Earth John Keats has used Music as a
symbol.
What does Keats represent in the Octave of the poem?
Ans:-The music of Summer through the voice of the Grasshopper has been
represented in the Octave of the poem.
What does Keats represents in the Sestet of the poem?
Ans:-The music of winter through the voice of the Cricket has been
represented in the Sestet of the poem.
When does the Grasshopper lead the music of Earth?
Ans:-The Grasshopper leads the music of Earth in Summer.
When does Cricket lead the music of Earth?
Ans:-The Cricket leads the music of Earth in winter.
Which season is represented by the Grasshopper?
Ans:-The Grasshopper represents Summer.
Which season is represented by the Cricket?
Ans:-The Cricket represents Winter.
Where does the Grasshopper take rest when he is tired out of fun?
Ans:-The Grasshopper takes rest beneath some pleasant weeds when he is
tired out of fun.
Who invites Keats to compose the poem “The Poetry of Earth”?

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Ans:- One of the Keats’ friends, Leigh Hunt invited him to compose this
poem.
What does Keates present as the music of winter in this poem?
And:- In this poem, the poet represents the songs of the Cricket as the music
of winter.
Why do the birds hide in cooling trees?
Ans:- The birds hide in cooling trees because they are exhausted by the
scorching heat of the summer and hence they want to take a rest.
Which insect carries the song of the winter in this poem?
Ans: In this poem, the Cricket carries the song of winter.

Textual Grammar
Do as Directed
1. He takes the lead in summer luxury. ( Change the voice)
Ans. The lead in summer luxury is taken by him.
2. The frost has wrought a silence.( Change the voice)
Ans. A silence has been wrought by the frost.
3. All the birds are faint with the hot sun. (Change the voice)
Ans. The hot sun faints all the birds.
4. The poetry of earth is never dead. (Change into affirmative)
Ans. The poetry of earth is always alive.
5. He takes the lead. (Make it negative)
Ans. He does not remain from taking the lead.
6. The poetry of earth is never dead. (Turn into a complex sentence)
Ans. The poetry that belongs to earth is never dead.
7. He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. (Rewrite using the
adjective form of the underlined word)

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Ans. He rests an easeful manner beneath some weed.
8. He rests beneath some pleasant weed.(Make it Complex sentence)
Ans. He rests beneath some weed which is pleasant.
9. The poetry of earth is ceasing never. (Turn into an affirmative sentence)
Ans. The poetry of earth is always alive.
10. He has never done with his delights. (Change into interrogative form)
Ans. Has he ever done with his delights?
11. That is the Grasshopper who takes the lead in summer luxury.(Split the
sentence into two Simple sentences)
Ans. That is the grasshopper. He takes the lead in summer luxury.
12. All the birds are faint with the hot sun. They hide in cooling trees. ( Join
the sentences)
Ans .
Complex: When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, they hide in cooling
trees.
Simple: Being fainted with the hot sun, all the birds hide in cooling trees.
Compound: All the birds are faint with the hot sun and so they hide in
cooling trees.
13. He rests at ease beneath some pleasant.(used adverb form of ease)
Ans. He rests easily beneath some pleasant weed.
14. The poetry of earth is never dead.(Turn into an interrogative sentence)
Ans. Is the poetry of earth ever dead?

Prince Rabiul Islam

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