Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Solitary Reaper: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

Who was the solitary reaper? What inspired the poet to write The Solitary Reaper?
The solitary reaper was a Highland girl who was cutting the crop in the field in the Highlands of Scotland, and whom the poet William words-worth saw in one of his long solitary walks. The girl was working by herself in a field at the bottom of the valley and was singing a beautiful song in a mysterious language. Her melodious singing, which excelled the singing of the two song-birds, was breaking the silence of the calm hills. The poet was captivated by her singing and listened to the singing till she went away. It was the melody in her voice that inspired the poet to write this poem.

Which two song-birds are mentioned in the poem? What similarity does the poet find between the birds and the solitary reaper?
The two song-birds are nightingale and cuckoo. These birds are known for their sweet and melodious singing. The singing of the nightingale in the Arabian deserts fills the hearts of the tired travelers with joy as it announces the presence of an oasis. The other song bird cuckoo is the messenger of the spring season. It sings in the Hebrides at the onset of the spring season. So this bird too brings joy and happiness for the dwellers of Hebrides.

The poet feels far greater joy than the weary travelers and the people of the Hebrides feel when they listen to the two song-birds. The singing of the girl is more melodious than the singing of the two song-birds. 

What was “the highland lass” singing about? What assumptions did the poet make about the burden/theme of the song?
The poet was unable to understand the song because the highland girl was singing in a language unfamiliar to the poet. She was singing in Gaelic, the language spoken among the Highlanders. The poet thought that probably she was singing about some everyday events or happenings; or she was expressing her sadness over the battles that took place long ago; or she was grieving the loss of dear ones through death; or she was sadly singing about some suffering that had left a scar on her soul and that would strike again. However, there was a melancholic touch to the song, and it left a deep impact on the poet’s heart.

Why was William Wordsworth unable to understand her song?
The Highland girl was singing in Gaelic, a Celtic language still spoken in the Highlands of Scotland and the Hebrides. Being not familiar to the language, Wordsworth was unable to understand what the girl was singing about; however he made quite a few guesses about the theme of her song.

Briefly describe the incident that led Wordsworth to write The Solitary Reaper?
The solitary reaper was a Highland girl who was cutting the crop in the field in the Highlands of Scotland, and whom the poet William words-worth saw in one of his long solitary walks. The girl was working by herself in a field at the bottom of the valley and was singing a beautiful song in a mysterious language. Her melodious singing, which excelled the singing of the two song-birds, was breaking the silence of the calm hills. It was her singing that inspired the poet to write this poem.

What has inspired Wordsworth to compose the poem, The Solitary Reaper?
In one of his walks, the poet William words-worth saw a Highland girl cutting crops in a field, surrounded by mountains, in the Highlands of Scotland. She was working alone and was singing a beautiful song in a mysterious language. Her melodious singing was breaking the silence of the quiet hills. The poet was captivated by her singing, which excelled the singing of the two singing-birds cuckoo and nightingale. He stood on the mountain –top and listened to the singing till she went away. It was the melody in her voice that inspired the poet to write this poem.  

What does the poet William Wordsworth mean by the given lines? Explain in your own words
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.
The given lines are from Wordsworth's The Solitary Reaper. In the highlands of Scotland, the poet came across a highland girl who was reaping the crop and singing. She was working alone and her singing was echoing in the valley. Her singing was so melodious that the poet was reminded of the two singing birds, cuckoo and nightingale. According to him, the pleasure he was feeling is far greater than the pleasure people feel at the singing of these birds.  The poet was captivated by her melodious voice. He felt immense pleasure at her singing and stayed there long after she was gone. Though the musical singing had ceased but he had it in his heart and carried it with him. So we can say "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

How does the poet compare the song of the reaper with the song of the two birds in the poem The Solitary Reaper?
The two birds nightingale and cuckoo are known for their sweet and melodious singing. The singing of the nightingale in the Arabian deserts fills the hearts of the tired travelers with joy as it announces the presence of an oasis. The other song bird cuckoo is the messenger of the spring season. It sings in the Hebrides at the onset of the spring season. So this bird too brings joy and happiness for the dwellers of Hebrides. The poet feels far greater joy than the weary travelers and the people of the Hebrides feel when they listen to the two song-birds. The singing of the girl is more melodious than the singing of the two song-birds.

What does Wordsworth guess about the theme of the girl's song in the poem The Solitary Reaper?
The poet was unable to understand the song because the highland girl was singing in a language unfamiliar to the poet. She was singing in Gaelic, the language spoken among the Highlanders. The poet thought that probably she was singing about some everyday events or happenings; or she was expressing her sadness over the battles that took place long ago; or she was grieving the loss of dear ones through death; or she was sadly singing about some suffering that had left a scar on her soul and that would strike again. However, there was a melancholic touch to the song, and it left a deep impact on the poet’s heart.

Explain the lines:
No nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
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.
In the lines, Wordsworth exclaims with wonder for the deep rooted impacts of the song of the Highland girl. In fact, the moving melody of the song has transported him to the world of fairies and fantasies. He compares the song of the girl to that of the nightingale’s melody, greeting tired travellers which immediately refreshes them. But the girl’s song is more appealing and enchanting. The poet further compares this song to that of cuckoo bird’s singing. The famous song bird cuckoo is the harbinger of spring season which brings whirl and fast flow in the icy Hebrides. The cuckoo, here stands as a life-generating and revitalizing force. But again, the girl’s enchanting melodious song superseded the cuckoo’s refreshing song.

Explain the lines:
Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of today?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again!
In the lines given for explanation, Wordsworth declares his strangness for the subject matter of the song. The song is in Gaelic language, so it remains incomprehensible to the poet. The poet, however, makes speculations that perhaps it is some sad song concerning some unhappy events as wars in the past. The poet adds that the girl might be compaining for some natural sorrow or grief; or it may be the matter of daily life. All these presumptions lead to the fact that it is a beautiful song and it lament over the tragedy befallen her life. The remarkable thing is that his lack of knowledge for the language of song didn’t hinder him enjoying the touching and sublime impacts of the song. It kept him intact till the last moment of the song went on.

Explain the lines:
O, listen! For the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
In the lines, Wordsworth being over-joyed, admires the melody of th song. The moving melody, the beat of rhyme and the harmony of rhythm have left deep-rooted mpacts on the poet. He says that it doesn’t rejoice only the poet, but the whole location has come under the spell of that masterpiece. The poet says that the whole valley is flled with the raptures of the girl’s bewitching voice.

Explain the lines:
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.

In the lines, Wordsworth appears to be unconcerned to the theme and subject matter of the song. The most important thing to him is the impact of the song. It seems to him that the song could never end. He listens to the song motionless. He climbs up the hill when the song is no longer audible. The poet preserves the music in his heart. After sometime, when the memory of the beautiful experience touched him, he felt a thrill of joy. The fresh wave of delight is brought about by the recollections of that pleasant moment of the past. Though the musical singing had ceased but he had it in his heart and carried it with him. So we can say "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

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