Get here the notes, questions, answers, textbook solutions, summary, extras, and PDF of BSEM or BoSEM (Manipur Board) Class 10 Additional English poem (Chapter 4) “The Stream’s Song” by Lascelles Abercrombie. However, the provided notes should only be treated as references, and the students are encouraged to make changes to them as they feel appropriate.
Poet Lascelles Abercrombie’s “The Stream’s Song,” tells the story of a stream’s unafraid challenge to forces that are usually greater in strength and size. As it flows onward, the stream asks whether or not the rocks and boulders it passes are afraid of it with a triumphant song. The story of tenacity up against conventional power makes for an interesting metaphor. It’s true that rocks and boulders are more durable and enduring, but water’s tenacity proves greater, and the lines “crumble, crumble voiceless things; no faith can last that never sings” demonstrate that water is destructive in its ardent persistence.
The poem’s structure, with its stanzas made up of four short lines each, gives the reader the impression that they are being propelled rapidly from one place to another. The image of a rushing stream between rocks comes to mind. The poem begins with language that is inquisitive and almost cautious, asking if the rocks are afraid of the water, but it quickly shifts to a more forceful and exultant tone, declaring that the rock shall be carried away and the stream will continue laughing forever more. In this metaphor, the stream keeps flowing, gaining power as it erodes the channel it’s in.
1. Say whether the following statements are true or false:
a) The stream is powerful because of its song.
b) The stream sings a sad song
c) Nothing can obstruct the stream.
d) Everything that sings is powerful.
e) Things that have no joy, cannot last for long.
2. a) What happens to the rocks and boulders against the current of the stream?
Answer: Over time, the stream’s jubilant song wears down the rocks and boulders that stand in its path.
b) How does the stream clear its way?
Answer: The stream is able to clear its path with the help of its upbeat song. The strong song of the stream will triumph over the stubborn resistance of the stones, rocks, and boulders.
c) What is the stream’s challenge to the “voiceless things”?
Answer: Even if the “voiceless things” are incredibly resilient, the stream dares them to try and resist its jubilant song for very long.
d) “The steadfast perish.”
The songs do not perish because
a) Music is eternal.
b) Other streams will continue to sing.
c) The power of the stream will rewind the world of the song.
(choose the appropriate answer from the alternatives.)
Answer: (c). The power of the stream will rewind the world of the song.
1. “Way” and “play” end in similar sounds. They rhyme in the first stanza; the first and third lines, the second and the fourth line rhyme. If one rhyme is ‘a’ and second ‘b’ then the arrangement of rhyme is abab. Find the rhyme arrangement (scheme) of the other stanzas.
Answer: The rhyme scheme of the other stanzas is abab (second stanza) and abcb for the rest of the stanzas.
2. In this poem, the stream is speaking to the stones. The stream is not a living being, but it is made to behave like a person\human being. When non- living things are treated like human beings, this is known as “personification.” Here, the stream has been personified .Go through the other poems in your course and find another example of personification.
Answer: Shakespeare personifies winter’s rage and fury to paint a vivid picture of the season’s harshness in “A Requiem” Also looming over the action is a human representation of death. Robert Southey’s poem “Traveller’s Return” depicts the gales as jovial, playful beings who surround the weary traveller and bring him happiness.
3. In this poem, the stream itself speaks. Hence, the use of ‘I’, or the first person. Compare the use with “we” in Robert Herrick’s poem “To Daffodils.” Is that a case of Personification?
Answer: Yes, the daffodils in Robert Herrick’s poem “To Daffodils” are personified in that they are portrayed as having a voice and referring to themselves in the first person plural (“we”). In personification, inanimate objects or abstract concepts are imbued with human characteristics such as speech and action. In this case, the daffodils are portrayed as a collective entity, with the pronoun “we” replacing the more usual “I” to evoke a sense of the flowers growing in bunches and moving as one.
4. Other poems using ‘I’ are William Wordsworth’s “The Daffodils”, “To the Cuckoo”, ‘Island’ by Nissim Ezekeil, Christina Rossetti’s “When I am dead My dearest’ and “True Love” by William Shakespeare (all out of syllabus). Are these personifications?
Answer: The use of “I” in poems like “The Daffodils” and “To the Cuckoo,” by William Wordsworth, “Island” by Nissim Ezekiel, “When I am dead My dearest,” by Christina Rossetti, and “True Love” by William Shakespeare does not necessarily imply personification. Literary personification involves imbuing inanimate objects with human characteristics. In these cases, the subject of the poem is not being personified despite the use of first-person pronouns. Poems written from the first-person perspective are said to be “autobiographical” or “autoethnographic.” The use of “I” in the first person creates a sense of immediacy and intimacy with the poem’s subject, but this is not the same thing as giving the subject a human form.
5. In the poem, two sets of words occur: one refers to joy and happiness; the other refers to strength and seriousness. In your exercise book, make two columns, number them 1 and 2. Under 1, write down all the words in the poem that relate to joy and happiness. Under 2, do the same for words showing strength and seriousness.
|Play, laughter, joy, song, glee, sings, delights.||Thwarting stones, shoulders, wear out, solemn, strength, cumber, crumble, steadfast, perish, razed.|
1. Write the summary (substance) of the poem.
Answer: The poem “The Stream’s song” written by Lascelles Abercrombie, tells the story of a stream’s courageous efforts to overcome obstacles that are larger, more powerful, and more numerous than it. The river continues its journey with a happy song in its heart. Stones, rocks, and boulders that are silently in its way are told to move aside. It wonders if the rocks and boulders can hear its joyful songs, or if its powerful songs would scare them away. The boulders and rocks will eventually wear down and give in to the stream. The roaring sound of the stream’s current striking against the shoulders of those rocks becomes much less than before, to almost half the original extent, in the final moment of victory, rendering the delight of the stream a mixed blessing. The poet is arguing that there is no point in living if there are no challenges to overcome. He doesn’t want things to be simple because he’s young, full of life, and full of confidence in his ability to triumph over adversity.
2. Imagine you are a bird which flies around in joy. The wind, houses and trees disturb flying. Write a paragraph saying how they disturb flying and how you will not be stopped by them.
Answer: There’s nothing like the feeling of taking to the air as a bird. The wind, the houses, and the trees frequently obstruct my path. Extreme wind gusts make it hard to maintain flight control. The tall houses and trees make me switch my route. But I refuse to allow anything to prevent me from reaching for the stars. There must be a way to get around them so that I can continue on my journey. I can fly through the air and avoid obstacles like buildings and trees thanks to my powerful wings and lightning-fast reflexes. Despite all of this, I will continue to soar and fly with joy, for I cannot let anything keep me from enjoying the wonders of the sky.
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