Get summary, workbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, pdf, and extras to the poem “Silver” by Walter De La Mare, which is a part of Class 9 English syllabus for students studying under the Manipur Board (BSEM).
The poem describes a moonlit night scene in which the moonbeams turn everything silvery. The moon is personified as a lady dressed in silvery white, slowly and silently walking across the night sky and peering down to see the effects of her light on the earth below.
The moonlight falls through the windows (“casements”) of houses, shining on the straw roofs (“silvery thatch”). A dog rests (“couched”) in its kennel, its fur turned silver by the light. White doves sleep (“in silver feathered sleep”) in their nest (“cote”), which is in shadow but the doves’ breasts glow white and silver.
A harvest mouse scampers by, its claws and eyes glinting silver in the moonlight. Fish remain still (“moveless”) in a stream, gleaming silver by the silver reeds.
The poem creates a magical, dreamlike scene where the moonlight transforms everything it touches. The repeated use of the word “silver” and soft “s” sounds adds to the hushed, lyrical quality. The moon is portrayed as a beautiful, almost ethereal being, who casts a spell of shimmering silver over the world as she passes by.
Slowly, silently, now the moon
The moon is moving slowly and quietly across the night sky.
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
The moon is personified as a lady walking at night wearing silvery shoes.
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
The moon looks this way and that, peering down and seeing
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
The moonlight makes the fruit and trees appear silvery.
One by one the casements catch
The windows (“casements”) slowly begin catching
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
The moonbeams shining on the silvery straw roofs;
Couched in his kennel, like a log;
Lying curled up in his kennel, like a log;
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
The dog’s paws are turned silvery in the moonlight as he sleeps;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
From their dark nest we can see just the white breasts
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
Of doves sleeping, their feathers made silvery by the moon;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
A harvest mouse runs quickly by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
Its claws and eyes turned silver by the moonlight;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
And fish stay still in the water, gleaming
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
Next to the silvery reeds in the shimmering stream.
(A) Based on your understanding of the poem answer the following. Tick (✓) the correct answer.
I. In the poem, the moon is described as a lady wearing
a. colourful dress. b. golden dress. c. silvery white dress. d. silvery pink dress.
Answer: c. silvery white dress.
II. ‘Of doves in silver feathered sleep’
‘Silver feathered sleep’ means
a. the doves are turned silver by moonlight. b. the doves are dreaming of silver. c. doves are by nature silver coloured. d. the cote is silver coloured.
Answer: a. the doves are turned silver by moonlight.
III. The moon in the poem is described as
a. inclined on a bed. b. walking hurriedly. c. staying unmoved. d. walking slowly.
Answer: d. walking slowly.
(B) Answer the following questions in a sentence each
I. What does ‘silver shoon’ refer to in the poem?
Answer: ‘Silver shoon’ refers to the moon’s silver shoes in the poem.
II. ‘One by one the casements catch’ What do the casements catch?
Answer: The casements catch the moon’s beams.
III. Describe the effect of the moonlight on the dog.
Answer: The moonlight turns the dog’s paws silver as it sleeps.
IV. How does the poet describe the harvest mouse? What turns its claws and eyes silver?
Answer: The poet describes the harvest mouse as scampering with silver claws and eye, turned silver by the moonlight.
V. Explain ‘moveless fish’.
Answer: ‘Moveless fish’ refers to the still fish in the water, appearing motionless under the moonlight.
(C) Answer the following questions briefly
I. Describe the way the moon walks.
Answer: The moon is portrayed as walking slowly and silently in the night.
II. What are the effects of the moonlight on the dog?
Answer: The moonlight turns the dog’s paws silver, and it appears to be sleeping like a log in its kennel.
III. Why is the cote shadowy while the doves are white and silvery?
Answer: The cote is shadowy due to the surrounding darkness of the night, while the doves appear white and silvery under the moonlight.
Think and Answer
(a) Write in a few lines how the world will look like if the sun becomes blue.
Answer: If the sun were to become blue, the world would likely appear in varying shades of blue and its hues. The natural light, predominantly blue, would alter the colours we perceive, casting everything in a surreal, monochromatic blue tint. This change would dramatically affect the appearance of landscapes, architecture, and even the perceived colours of flora and fauna, creating an otherworldly, ethereal ambiance.
(b) You have noticed that the poem has a painting like quality. What is the dominant colour in the painting of the scene described?
Answer: The dominant colour in the painting-like scene described in the poem is silver. This colour permeates throughout the poem, symbolising the moonlight’s transformative effect on the night landscape. The silver hue imparts a serene, mystical, and ethereal quality to the entire scene, vividly painting a picture of a world bathed in moonlight.
a. You must have noted that the word ‘silver’ plays a very effective role in the poem. Count how many times it occurs in the poem. You will also notice that the sound ‘s’ is predominant in the poem. Discuss its effect in your group and present it to the whole class.
Answer: The word ‘silver’ occurs nine times in the poem. The repetition of the word ‘silver’ and the predominant ‘s’ sound creates a soft, smooth, flowing effect, which adds to the dreamy, lyrical mood of the poem. The sibilant ‘s’ sounds help paint an auditory image of the silent, shimmering scene.
b. Identify the rhyming words in the poem.
Answer: The rhyme scheme of the poem is AABB.
Discuss in your group
(a) The poem suggests a magic spell cast by the moon on all objects in the night. How will you describe the difference of the same scene during a moonless night?
Answer: The poem vividly portrays a landscape transformed by the moon’s magic, casting everything in a silvery glow. In contrast, a moonless night would strip the scene of this enchantment. Without the moon’s light, the same setting would appear darker, less defined, and more sombre. The magical, serene ambiance created by the moon’s silver light would be replaced by a sense of mystery and obscurity as details became shrouded in shadows, making the scene feel more mysterious and perhaps even a bit eerie.
1. Who is the author of the poem “Silver”?
A. John Keats B. William Wordsworth C. Walter de la Mare D. Robert Frost
Answer: C. Walter de la Mare
8. What makes everything seem silver in the poem?
A. Actual silver B. Moonlight C. Morning dew D. A spell
Answer: B. Moonlight
Extra Questions and Answers
1. Who is the author of the poem “Silver”?
Answer: Walter de la Mare, an English poet and novelist who wrote many poems for children.
10. What is the effect created by the predominant use of the ‘s’ sound in the poem ‘Silver’?
Answer: The predominant use of the soft ‘s’ sound creates a gentle, soft, soothing effect which adds to the romantic, dreamy atmosphere evoked by the moonlight in the poem.
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