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The grasshopper and the cricket


The whole poem is an example of Petrarchan sonnet. It consists of 14 lines.
The full poem is Iambic Pentameter. The rhyme scheme of the poem is abba
abba (octave) and cde cde (sestet). The first 8 lines are called Octave and rest
six lines are called sestet. The ninth no line is called Volta.

Question 1:

Discuss with your partner the following definition of a poem.

A poem is made of words arranged in a beautiful order. These words, when

read aloud with feeling, have a music and meaning of their own.


Very true. Poetry is different from prose because it arranges best words in a
musical order. However, a poem being short, musical and interesting is easy to
learn by heart and to remember for a long period.

Question 2:

The poetry of earth’ is not made of words. What is it made of, as suggested in
the poem?


The poetry of earth is made of the chirping of birds in trees, and a

grasshopper’s sound. They sing joyfully without a long break.

Question 3:
Find in the poem lines that match the following:

(i) The grasshopper’s happiness never comes to an end.

(ii) The cricket’s song has a warmth that never decreases.


(i) He has never done with his delights.

(ii) The cricket’s song in warmth increasing ever.

Question 4:

Which word in stanza 2 is opposite in meaning to ‘the frost’?



Question 5:

The poetry of earth continues round the year through a cycle of two seasons.
Mention each with its representative voice.


The two major seasons in a year are summer and winter. Both are rich in
music. In summer, the representative voice is that of the birds and the
grasshoppers. In winter, the cricket is the prime singer.

Question 1:

Which insect is the music provider in summer?

The grasshopper is the music provider in summer.

Question 2:

What do birds do in winter? Why?


Birds remain silent and hide in the winter. It is because they don’t feel
comfortable in the cold weather.

Question 3:

Which insect breaks silence of the winter? How?


There is silence all around in the winter. This silence is broken by crickets.

They start singing for merry making.

Following are the literary devices used in the poem - On the

Grasshopper and the Cricket by John Keats:

Personification: When the poet gives human characteristics to animals,

plants or other non-living things. In the poem, the poet the Grasshopper using
the word “he”. One more example is “the frost has wrought a silence” Frost is
symbolised as something living.

Metaphor: It is the direct comparison of two or more things. In the poem,

the poet compares earth’s poetry with the singing of grasshopper and also
compares the singing of grasshopper with that of cricket.
Oxymoron: It is a figure of speech in which two contradictory terms are
combined. e.g. “pleasant weed”. Weed is an unnecessary thing. However the
poet calls in pleasant because it is a part of nature.

Alliteration: It is the repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in

successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words. e.g. “a voice
will run”, “from hedge to hedge”, “…winter evening, when…”.