Get summary, workbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, pdf, and extras to the poem “Coromandel Fishers” by Sarojini Naidu, which is a part of Class 9 English syllabus for students studying under the Manipur Board (BSEM).
The poem depicts the exciting life of the fishermen living along the Coromandel coast in India. In the early morning, the skies are waking up and the dawn light is spreading. The wind is resting peacefully like a child that has cried all night.
The speaker, who is one of the fishermen, calls out to his fellow fishermen to rise and gather their fishing nets. They must set their catamarans (fast sailing boats) free and go out to capture the plentiful fish that come with the tide. He declares that they are the kings and masters of the sea.
There should be no more delay – they must hurriedly follow the calls of the seagulls out into the open sea. For the fishermen, the sea is like their mother who nurtures them, the clouds are their brothers, and the waves are their friends and comrades. Even if they get tossed about by storms at sunset, they are protected by the God who controls the winds and waves.
The fishermen also love the cool coconut and mango groves on shore, the sandy beaches, and the delighted chatter of their loved ones. But sweeter than anything is the exhilaration of riding on the waves and sea spray.
The speaker urges them to row out to the point where the sea meets the sky – the farthest horizon. This summarises the exciting yet dangerous life of the Coromandel fishermen who battle storms yet revel in the freedom of the seas.
Rise, brothers, rise the wakening skies pray to the morning light
The speaker calls out to his fellow fishermen, urging them to wake up as the early morning skies brighten with the rays of the rising sun.
The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all night
The wind is resting peacefully in the embrace of the dawn, just as a child would sleep comfortably after crying for a long time the previous night.
Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set out catamarans free / To capture the leaping wealth of the tide, for we are the kings of the sea!
The speaker tells the fishermen to collect their fishing nets from the shore and set their catamaran boats out to sea in order to catch the plentiful fish that jump with the tides. He declares proudly that they are the masters of the sea.
No longer delay, let us hasten away in the track of the sea gull’s call, / The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrade all
They should waste no more time and quickly follow the cries of seagulls out to sea, because for the fishermen the sea nourishes them like a mother, the clouds are their kin, and the waves are their friends.
What though we toss at the fall of the sun where the hand of the sea–god drives? / He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives.
Even if storms toss their boats around at sunset in the spot where the sea-god commands the waves, they remain unafraid. The god who controls the winds and storms will protect their lives.
Sweet is the shade of the coconut glade, and the scent of the mango grove, / And sweet are the sands at the full o’ the moon with the sound of the voices we love,
The fishermen also love the cool shade of coconut palms, the fragrant mango orchards, the sandy beaches under the full moon, and the chatter of their dear ones back home.
But sweetest ,O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild foam’s glee
But sweeter than anything to them is the exhilaration of sea spray on their faces and riding the joyful, wild waves.
Row, brothers, row to the edge of the verge, where the low sky mates with the sea.
Finally, the speaker tells them to row out powerfully all the way to the horizon, where the sea meets the sky.
(A) Based on your understanding of the poem tick the correct answer
I. The wind is
a. crying like a baby. b. being made to sleep by its mother. c. having a disturbed sleep. d. asleep comfortably.
Answer: d. asleep comfortably.
II. The sea is mother to the fishermen because she
a. provides them means of livelihood. b. protects them from danger. c. is source of water to them. d. is worshipped by them.
Answer: a. provides them means of livelihood.
III. Who is the speaker in the poem?
a. The poet. b. The village leader. c. A fisherman. d. A fisherman’s wife.
Answer: c. A fisherman.
(B) Answer the following questions briefly
a. By what means do the fishermen go out to the sea?
Answer: The fishermen use catamarans to go out to the sea.
b. How will the fishermen know which direction in the sea they should take?
Answer: Fishermen follow the sea gull’s call to determine their direction at sea.
c. Do the fishermen feel that their work is free from danger? What assures them of their safety?
Answer: While aware of the dangers, fishermen feel assured of their safety because they believe in a higher power protecting them.
d. How are the fishermen ‘kings of the sea’?
Answer: The fishermen are considered ‘kings of the sea’ due to their mastery and control over the sea while fishing.
e. Why should the fishermen not delay?
Answer: The fishermen should not delay because they need to seize the opportunity provided by the ideal conditions of the sea and weather.
f. ‘What though we toss at the fall of the sun.’ Why do the fishermen not care even if they are tossed at the fall of the sun?
Answer: The fishermen are undeterred by the risks of being tossed in the sea at sunset, as they trust in their skills and protection by a higher power.
g. Where is the place where the hand of the sea-god drives?
Answer: This refers to the deep sea or challenging areas in the sea where the forces of nature are most powerful.
h. What places do the fishermen love on land?
Answer: The fishermen love the shade of the coconut glade and the mango grove on land.
i. What place is sweeter than land to the fishermen?
Answer: For the fishermen, the sea is sweeter and more beloved than land.
Think and Answer
(a) How will you describe the pace, i.e., the movements of the lines in the poem—quick, moderate, or slow? Try to write a few lines explaining why the poet has made it so. See if it has something to do with the activity of the sailors described.
Answer: The pace of the poem can be described as quick, reflecting the urgent and dynamic nature of the fishermen’s lives and work. The rapid movement of the lines mirrors the swift and energetic activities of the sailors as they navigate the sea, emphasising the immediacy and intensity of their experience. This quick pace aligns with the poem’s theme of the vibrant and vigorous lives of the fishermen.
(a) In the second line of the poem, ‘dawn’ is compared with a child who has cried all night. Write a few lines elaborating on the comparison.
Answer: The comparison between ‘dawn’ and a ‘child that has cried all night’ in the poem conveys a sense of calm and relief. Just as a child’s crying subsides, leading to a peaceful sleep, the dawn represents the end of the night’s darkness and turmoil, ushering in a new day with hope and tranquilly.
(b) What do you understand by the expression ‘the leaping wealth of the tide’ in the fourth line?
Answer: The expression ‘the leaping wealth of the tide’ metaphorically describes the abundant fish that emerge during the tide, symbolising prosperity. This vivid imagery highlights the vital connection between the fishermen’s livelihood and the bountiful sea, where the rising tide brings both physical and economic sustenance.
Does the poem describe some aspect of Indian life? How? Discuss in your group for presentation to the whole class.
Answer: Yes, the poem describes an aspect of Indian life, specifically focusing on the lives of fishermen on the Coromandel Coast. It captures their daily experiences, their relationship with the sea, and their dependence on it for livelihood. This portrayal reflects a significant part of coastal Indian culture and lifestyle.
In the last stanza, the poet describes some beautiful scenes on the land. Try to describe some beautiful scenes from your own experience in a few lines.
Answer: Visiting Loktak Lake, I was mesmerised by the tranquil beauty of the floating phumdis, a unique feature of the lake. The serene water, reflecting the soft hues of the sunrise, created a picturesque canvas. Traditional fishing boats gently glided, harmonising with the calm rhythm of nature. The distant hills, shrouded in mist, added a mystical charm to the landscape. This enchanting scene, with its blend of natural elegance and cultural simplicity, left an indelible impression on my heart.
1. Where are the Coromandel fishermen located?
A. Near a lake B. Beside a river C. Along the seashore D. By a mountain
Answer: C. Along the seashore
2. What does the poet compare the wind to?
A. A crying child B. A sleeping baby C. A tired mother D. A playful brother
13. Who are called ‘comrades’ of the fishermen?
A. The clouds B. The waves C. The birds D. The nets
Answer: B. The waves
Extra Questions and Answers
1. Where are the Coromandel fishermen located?
Answer: The Coromandel fishermen are located along the seashore of the Coromandel Coast.
10. How does the poem bring out the adventurous spirit of the fishermen’s lives?
Answer: The poem conveys the adventurous spirit of the fishermen’s lives through images like “capture the leaping wealth of the tide” and “where the low sky mates with the sea.” It shows their love of venturing out into the dangerous, open waters to harvest the sea’s bounty.