Q1. Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here or gently pass!
(i) Identify the speaker and the listener.
(ii) He is asking them ....................
(iii) The poet is asking them to do so because.................
(i) What is the solitary reaper doing?
(ii) Why does the poet ask the readers to gently pass?
(iii) What is the effect of the reaper's song on the poet?
Ans. (i) The poet William Wordsworth is the speaker and the passers-by are the speakers respectively.
(ii) The poet is asking them to come and relish the moment quietly or to pass by without disturbing the peasant girl.
(iii) the Highland lass is singing attentively and he does not want them to divert her attention.
(i) The solitary reaper is singing a song while reaping the crops.
(ii) The poet says so as he thinks that the girl might get disturbed and hence stop singing.
(iii) The poet is spellbound by the melodious song of the girl.
Q2. Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain: O listen! for the vale, profound Is overflowing with the sound.
(i) Identify 'she' in the current stanza.
(ii) She is.....................
(iii) She is singing......................
(i) What is she doing?
(ii) What is the meaning of the expression 'vale profound'?
(iii) What is the meaning of 'a melancholy strain'?
Ans. (i) She refers to the solitary reaper.
(ii) harvesting and singing.
(iii) a sad song.
(i) She is cutting, binding and singing.
(ii) The expression 'vale profound' refers to the vast deep valley.
(iii) "A melancholy strain' means a sad song.
Q3. No nightingale did ever chant More welcome notes to weary bands Of Travellers in some shady haunt, Among Arabian Sands.
(i) Identify the poetic device used in the last line.
(ii) The speaker quotes the example of the nightingale as...........................
(iii) What do you understand by 'some shady haunt'?
Ans. (i) The poet has used alliteration in the last line.
(ii) he wants to establish that her voice is more enchanting than that of the nightingale.
(iii) It refers to an oasis in the deserts of Arabia which is frequented by travellers.
Q4. A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard In spring-time from the cuckoo bird Breaking the silence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides.
(i) Identify the poetic device used in the last two lines.
(ii) The speaker compares the voice of the reaper with that of the cuckoo because
(iii) What wonder does the voice of the solitary reaper has?
(i) What are 'the farthest Hebrides'?
(ii) Whose voice has been mentioned in the above lines?
(iii) Why has the cuckoo bird been mentioned? What does the poet want to convey?
(i) Name the poem and the poet of these lines.
(ii) What is the poetic device used in this stanza?
(iii) Why does the poet compare the song of the reaper to that of a cuckoo?
Ans. (i) Alliteration is used in the last two lines 'Silence of the Seas.'
(ii) he wants to establish that her voice is more thrilling and enchanting than that of the cuckoo.
(iii) The voice of the solitary reaper reaches a very long distance, as far as 'the farthest Hebrides'.
(i) The farthest Hebrides' refers to the remote group of islands that lie to the North-West of Scotland.
(ii) The voice of the solitary reaper has been mentioned here.
(iii) The cuckoo bird has been mentioned to compare the solitary reaper's voice. The poet wants to convey that the voice of the solitary reaper is more melodious than that of the cuckoo.
(i) Poem-The Solitary Reaper; Poet William Wordsworth.
(ii) Alliteration-'Silence of the Seas' is used in this stanza.
(iii) The poet wants to convey that the voice of the solitary reaper is more melodious than that of the cuckoo.
Q5. Will no one tell me what she sings? Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow For old, unhappy, far-off things, And battles long ago.
(i) The poet speaks the first line because The poet conjectures about the song that it may be about....................
(ii) 'Plaintive numbers' means ....................
(i) What do the above lines convey about the poet?
(ii) What do you mean by 'plaintive numbers'?
(iii) What are the 'plaintive numbers' about?
Ans. (i) the poet is unable to comprehend what the solitary reaper is singing.
(ii) the sad song of the reaper.
(i) The poet though mesmerised by the reaper's song, is unable to understand it.
(ii) 'Plaintive numbers' refers to the sad song of the reaper.
(iii) The 'plaintive numbers' are about some unhappy happenings of the past.
Q6. Or is it some more humble lay, Familiar matter of today? Some natural sorrow, loss or pain, That has been and maybe again?
(i) The poet conjectures about.......................
(ii) Lay here means what?
(iii) Explain the last line.
(i) Who is singing and where?
(ii) What is the poet trying to guess?
(iii) What does 'humble lay' stand for?
Ans. (i) the subject matter of the song of the reaper.
(ii) It means the song.
(iii) The reaper could be singing about the loss or pain which has already occurred and may occur again. This sorrow is of universal nature.
(i) The solitary reaper is singing in the field.
(ii) The poet is trying to guess the theme of the song.
(iii) 'Humble lay' stands for the song of the reaper which may be about a common thing.
Q7. Whatever the theme, the maiden sang As if her song could have no ending; I saw her singing at her work, And o'er the sickle bending;
(i) Explain' whatever the theme'.
(ii) The speaker calls her song having no ending because............................
(iii) Which line suggests that she is still harvesting?
(i) Whose song is being referred to here?
(ii) Why cannot the poet understand the theme of the song being sung?
(iii) How did it affect the poet?
Ans. (i) She is singing in an unknown dialect and the poet does not understand the theme of the song.
(ii) his heart was filled with the song even after his departure.
(iii) The last line suggests that she is still harvesting and singing.
(i) The song of the solitary reaper is being referred to here.
(ii) Perhaps he is unaware of the native dialect in which the girl was singing.
(iii) The song had an indelible impression on the poet's heart and he could hear it even when he was far away from the solitary reaper.
Q8. How does the poet describes the song of the solitary reaper?
How does Wordsworth brings out the sweetness of the solitary reaper's song?
Ans. The poet is greatly fascinated by the sad tone of the solitary reaper. He feels that her voice and melody have outshone even the voices of the nightingale and the cuckoo. The song fills the farthest corner of the valley, entering into the heart of the listeners.
Q9. Why has William Wordsworth compared the solitary reaper's song with the song of a nightingale and the cuckoo?
Comment on the comparison of the solitary reaper's song with the other birds as given in the poem.
Ans. The voice of the solitary reaper is incomparable and has surpassed that of the nightingale and the cuckoo. It is more melodious than that of the nightingale, that can soothe the weary travellers in the Arabian desert. Her voice is better than even the sweetest song of the cuckoo that sings at the break of every spring.
Q10. What request does the poet make to the passers-by and why?
Why does the poet want the passers-by to stop or gently pass?
Ans. The reaper is deeply engrossed in harvesting and singing so that she is completely forgetful of her surroundings. According to the poet, such dedication and preoccupation need not to be interrupted or she might stop singing. So, he requests them either to pass silently or to stop and listen to her song.
Q11. Having failed to understand the lyrics of the song, what does the poet wish?
Why did the poet ask someone to tell him what the solitary reaper was singing?
Ans. As the solitary reaper belongs to the highland region of Scotland, she is singing in Gaelic, which the poet does not comprehend. Yet, his soul is mesmerised by her beautiful voice. When he does not understand the lyrics of the song, but is greatly influenced, thereby he wishes someone could explain to him the contents of her song.
Q12. What are the guesses the poet makes with regard to the solitary reaper's song?
What are the probable themes of the song being sung by the solitary reaper? or Wordsworth did not understand the words of the song sung by the reaper. However, he raises a few possibilities- what are these?
Ans. The poet is not able to comprehend the dialect of the reaper's song. But it appeared melancholic to him. He makes some guesses. According to him, she may be singing about some unhappy events of the past or about the war fought years ago. She may be singing about some current familiar topic or some natural misfortunes.
Q13. Why do you think Wordsworth has chosen the song of the nightingale and the cuckoo for comparison with the solitary reaper's song?
Ans. Wordsworth has chosen the song of the nightingale and the cuckoo for comparison with the song of the reaper to highlight the incomparable sweetness of the reaper's song. The poet wants to convey that the voice and song of the solitary reaper are both sweet and wonderful.
Q14. In the first stanza, some words or phrases have been used to show that the girl working in the fields is alone. Which are those words and phrases? What effect do they create in the mind of the reader?
Ans. The words 'single' and 'solitary' and the phrase 'all by herself reflect the solitude of the girl working in the fields all by herself. These are enough to invoke awe in the minds of the reader, as they enrich the scene with a feeling of romance.
Q15. justify the title of the poem, 'The Solitary Reaper'.
Ans. The title of the poem is an apt one. The title indicates that the contents of the poem relate to a harvester who is all alone and who is the protagonist of the poem. The word solitary also reflects her untold pain of loneliness and evokes our sympathy with the reaper.
Q16. What effect does the song of the reaper has on the poet? or What is the effect of the solitary reaper's song on the poet William Wordsworth?
Ans. The poet was captivated by the reaper's melancholic song. He stood motionless and heard it in rapt attention. The song left a long-lasting impression in his heart. He bore her music in his heart for a long time afterward even when he could not hear the song.
Q17. Music doesn't know boundaries. Wordsworth was not able to understand the dialect of the song of the reaper and even though it was melancholic, it left a long-lasting impression in his heart. Describe, in your own words, how music can soothe the tired one even if one doesn't understand it.
Ans. Wordsworth was on his way when he heard the 'melancholic strain' of the solitary reaper, which totally mesmerised him. He was awestruck even though the song was a sad one and he could not understand the language in which the girl was singing. This is what music does. It doesn't know boundaries. It affects all and the source of the sound doesn't matters. In the deserts, the nightingale's song welcomes the tired travellers. In springtime, the cuckoo bird breaks the silence of the seas. Music is above the barriers of language and tones. It affects us and enchants us.
Q18. Imagine yourself as the poet Wordsworth. You had a wonderful experience listening to the song of the highland girl while out for a walk in the countryside. Write an article expressing the feelings evoked by her song.
Ans. The Song I Can't Forget By William Wordsworth I have heard a good number of melodies, sung by veteran singers in my life. But the song I heard on that day while travelling in the valley of the Scotland hills, by a reaper, really mesmerised me. The voice, tune, and lyrics all sounded quite wonderful. Perhaps she was singing from the depth of her soul. Her voice outshone that of the nightingale and the cuckoo. That voice was a lullaby for the infants, solace for the tired souls and a feast for music lovers. I wish I could hear that voice daily.
Q19. Describe the theme of the poem, 'The Solitary Reaper'.
Ans. The poem conveys the theme of the ironic beauty of melancholy over more positive feelings such as joy, projected through the song of a highland girl. He writes specifically about a real human tune heard in a pastoral background. The poet hears the girl singing and finds the song really wonderful. Even though he does not understand her song, he is struck by the beauty of her song and admits that he carried it in his heart long after he couldn't actually hear it anymore. To an extent, this poem ponders the boundaries of language but praises the beauty of music and the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings that Wordsworth has identified at the heart of poetry.
Q20. Describe the style of the poem, including the use of poetic devices.
Ans. The solitary reaper is a short lyrical ballad. The poem is bifurcated into four stanzas, having eight lines each. The poem is dominated by one central figure, a Scottish girl, standing alone in afield harvesting grain and singing melodiously.. The poem is written in the first person and can be categorised as pastoral, describing a scene from country life.
Each stanza follows a rhyme scheme of ababccdd, though in the first and last stanzas the 'a' rhyme is off (field/self and sang/work). The literary devices lend richness to the poem. Hyperbole is a type of figurative speech. It is an exaggeration. In the current poem, 'breaking the silence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides' is an example of hyperbole. There are also several instances of Alliteration.