Get here the notes, questions, answers, textbook solutions, summary, extras, PDF of BSEM or BoSEM (Manipur Board) Class 10 Additional English poem (Chapter 2) “To the Cuckoo” by William Wordsworth. However, the provided notes should only be treated as reference, and the students are encouraged to make changes to them as they feel appropriate.
William Wordsworth finds a rare power in nature that not only satisfies humans but also has the power to turn this planet into a home for fairies and other supernatural beings. His poem “To the Cuckoo” serves as proof.
The poet was exploring the valley on foot. He heard a cuckoo’s lilting call. He was ecstatic. Seasonally, it was spring. The valley was covered in stunning flowers. The valley was calm and pleasant due to the clear sunshine. In his utter joy, the poet refers to the cuckoo as “Blithe New-Comer.” When spring finally arrives on Earth, the cuckoo first appears. It joyfully sings.
The poet heard the cuckoo’s song while he was lying on the grassy field. He thought the song was made up of two shouts, possibly cuckoo and cuckoo. He continued to hear the song being echoed by the hills nearby.
Although he could hear the cuckoo in the valley, it reminded him of his childhood. The poet hears the song and its echo and is taken back to his earlier days. Nonetheless, he was unable to locate it. He refers to the cuckoo once more as the spring’s darling. The poet cannot see the bird. He only hears its voice. The production of a voice by a bird that cannot be seen is puzzling.
The poet recalled a similar, enigmatic incident that had occurred when he was a young boy. He was thrilled when he then heard a cuckoo’s voice. He was intrigued and wanted to see the bird. In bushes, trees, and the sky, he looked for the bird. But he failed to locate the bird. He was still compelled to see the bird, though. To find the bird, he walked through a field and through some woods. For the poet at the time, the bird had developed into a lovely hope and a pleasant love. He searched for the bird out of love and hope, but he never found it.
The poet never gives up on seeing the bird. He finds great pleasure in the cuckoo’s voice. The thought of his boyhood experiences makes him happy. The cuckoo uses his voice as a conduit to revisit his past and experience pleasure. His boyhood was the best time of his life.
Even though the specified time has passed, the cuckoo’s voice causes him to feel the same way right now. The cuckoo is referred to as a lucky bird. It has the attributes of an angel or a fairy. It spreads happiness and joy throughout the world.
1. Where does the poet hear the cuckoo’s song?
Answer: Hearing the cuckoo’s song echo through the hills brings back the poet’s fondest childhood memories.
2. Why is the cuckoo called a “newcomer”?
Answer: The cuckoo gets its name from the fact that it ushers in spring before any other birds do.
3. Where was the poet when he was listening to the bird?
Answer: The poet was listening to the bird while he was lying on the lush grass.
4. What does the cuckoo fill the valley with?
Answer: The cuckoo’s lilting song reverberates throughout the valley, transporting him back to his childhood.
5. What does the song mean to the poet?
Answer: The poet has no idea what the song is about, but listening to it always brings back fond memories. It’s like he’s been whisked away to a place of perfect happiness.
6. What did the poet do as a boy when he heard the song of the cuckoo?
Answer: As a young boy, he enjoyed listening to the cuckoo’s song. It captivated his imagination, leading him on a quest across bush, tree, and sky, and through woods and green valleys.
7. What does the song remind the poet of?
Answer: The poet’s golden childhood memories are stirred up by the song.
8. Why does the poet say that the earth appears to be an “unsubstantial, fairy place”?
Answer: The cuckoo’s song transforms our planet into an “unsubstantial, fairy place,” a fitting environment for a mysterious wandering bird.
9. Why does the poet describe the song as “at once far off and near”?
Answer: The poet perceives the cuckoo song as being two folds too short. Sometimes it travels far away, and other times it gets too close. Its voice follows the hills as it moves.
10. Why is the bird called “a hope”?
Answer: In his early years, the poet would desperately look for the cuckoo in every possible hunt. However, he hasn’t given up yet and still has faith that he will find the cuckoo bird. Because of this, the poet refers to it as “a hope”
11. Why is the bird called a “wandering voice”?
Answer: The bird’s voice can be heard roving from hill to hill, which is why it is known as a “wandering voice.” The poet enjoys the cuckoo’s voice but has never actually seen the bird.
12. Why does the poet call the bird “blessed”?
Answer: Because the bird possesses an angelic or fanciful quality, the poet refers to it as “blessed.” Its voice transforms this materialistic world into a happy and joyful place by bringing joy and happiness into it. The earth becomes a home for a mysterious spring cuckoo as well as satisfying human needs.
1. In your own words, write one paragraph about what the poet says in stanzas 1–4 of the poem.
Answer: The poet’s welcoming cuckoo notes signal the beginning of the poem. He finds the cuckoo’s sweet song to be charming. He ponders whether to call it a bird or if it will just continue to be a voice that wanders. The two-fold cry’s song can be heard by the poet as he is curled up in a ball on the lush green grass and listening to it. The poet acknowledges how the bird’s song about the flowers and sunshine inspires an imaginative story of love and romance in his mind. Its song is a catalyst for the recollection of pleasant memories from the past. He acknowledges that he has never seen the bird and has only ever heard him speak. Since an invisible bird produces the cuckoo’s voice, it continues to be a mystery to the poet.
2. Write a paraphrase of stanzas 5–8 of the poem.
Answer: The same charming cuckoo song that the poet first heard as a young student is heard by him once more. The poet recalls the sweet times he spent frantically looking for the cuckoo in every place he could, whether it was in the bushes, trees, or sky. Despite his current lack of progress, the poet is still optimistic that he will find the cuckoo bird. His golden childhood memories are brought back by hearing the same voice today. The fact that it makes the materialistic earth into a place fit for the enigmatic spring bird makes him refer to it as a blessed bird.
3. Is there any bird in Manipur that you associate with the spring? Write a paragraph on what you feel when you hear it sing.
Answer: The Asian Koel is the bird that Manipur natives associate with spring. Its mellow call announces the arrival of spring and infuses the atmosphere with a sense of rebirth and revitalization. The sound of the bird serves as a reminder of time’s fleeting nature and the beauty of nature. I experience feelings of hope for the future as well as nostalgia and longing for the past when I listen to the Asian Koel sing. The bird’s call serves as a reminder that nature’s beauty endures despite the passage of time. It makes me feel peaceful and content and serves as a reminder to savour and value the present.
4. Do you know any other English poem about any bird? Ask your teacher to help you find such a poem. After you find it, read the poem and find what similarities and differences there are compared to the poem.
Answer: There are a lot of English poems that I am familiar with that are about birds. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is one of these poems. In this poem, the speaker encounters a raven that keeps saying, “Nevermore,” which causes the speaker to reflect on his or her own experiences with loss and grief.
“To the Cuckoo,” has a lighter tone, whereas “The Raven” is darker and more menacing. Both poems include birds as their subjects, but the cuckoo is praised for its lovely song and springtime migration, while the raven is connected to loss and sorrow. Both poems employ personification, with the raven speaking and the cuckoo using the pronoun “thou”
Although both poems use birds as a symbol for deeper feelings and concepts, their themes, tones, and literary devices vary.
5. Bring out the thoughts of Wordsworth about the cuckoo when he hears the song of the bird.
Answer: The poet is mesmerised by the cuckoo’s song. Its voice triggers in him memories of his formative years, which he refers to as “golden times” or “visionary hours.” The poet is always on the lookout for birds. He would saunter in the plains and forests in search of it. However, he has persisted to this point, demonstrating just how much he values being a cuckoo. Although he claims to have never actually seen the bird, he is mesmerised by its voice. Its voice acts as a source of motivation, magic, love, and hope, transforming the planet on which we live into a fanciful wasteland that is suitable for the mystifying cuckoo to call home.
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