Thursday, October 27, 2022

Use of imagery in Ode to the West Wind.

Ans. Imagery constitutes the most important feature of Shelley's style. He brings in a host of dazzling images to illustrate a single point. They add to the beauty and super-excellence of his poems. As Court hope rightly says, "If greatness in poetry consisted of a succession of dazzling images and a rapid flow of verse, Shelley would be entitled to almost the first place in English literature."

Ode to the West Wind teems with dazzling images. The theme of the poem the activities of the west wind on land, sea and in air-is developed through images. And what is striking about Shelley's imagery is that material and concrete phenomena are sought to be explained by means of images drawn from abstract, imaginary, spiritual and celestial phenomena.

The first section of the Ode describes the activities of the wind on land. The activities are two-fold: it sweeps away the dead leaves of autumn and scatters the seeds that sprout up in spring. Shelley brings in a host of images to explain these activities. The west wind is compared to the breath of autumn to show that it is the most vital and necessary aspect of autumn's activity. What breath is to a living creature the west wind is to autumn. The west wind sweeps away withered leaves of trees as quickly and mysteriously as ghosts vanish from the visible presence of a magician (uttering powerful incantations). Here an actual fact is explained by an unreal image. In order to illustrate the change of colour of autumnal leaves the poet brings in the image of a dying or diseased person. The west wind drives the ripe autumnal seeds underground where they lie buried all the winter. The underground seeds are like so many dead bodies in the graves. The image of "chariot" is a significant one. A chariot carries a king with due ceremony; likewise the wind conveys the seeds amidst splendid dusty display. The spring wind will wake nature from her winter sleep and make trees and plants sprout out in leaves, just as the archangel's trumpet will wake men from the sleep of death, so that they might appear before God for their last trial. The image of the archangel blowing clarion is biblical. The vernal west wind will force the sweet-smelling buds to come out of their scales and appear on the branches to draw nourishment from the air, just as a shepherd drives his sheep out of their folds to the open fields so that they may graze on grass. The wind is compared to a shepherd, the buds to sheep, the scales enclosing the buds to sheep-folds and the air to the pasture.

Images come crowding in the second stanza, and get entwined like "the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean." Shelley brings in the images to describe not only the mighty rush of the west wind in the air but also the mass of clouds in the sky. The sky which apparently slopes up (steep) from the sea-horizon is imaged as a forest on a mountain slope. The rushing mass of wind is a stream flowing down this slope. The loose clouds driven by the wind are compared to the decayed leaves that have been shaken down on the stream. The dense piles of clouds that hide the horizon and mingle the sky and the sea are pictured as the intertwined branches of the two trees of Heaven and Ocean. Thus the sky is imaged not only as a forest agitated by the wind but also as a tree from whose boughs the leaves are shaken down. Shelley employs the mythological image of the fierce Maenad, one of the frenzied woman-worshippers of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine to describe the violent movement of the clouds over the whole expanse of the sky from the faintly discernible line of the horizon to the very zenith. The dark masses of moving clouds are imaged as the glossy hair of a Maenad streaming up from her head as she dances in religious frenzy. These disorderly, wavy, dark masses of clouds scurrying in the wind are also compared to the disheveled hair on the head of the storm-god. In the second half of the stanza the images are drawn from the world of death and destruction. The black night-sky covered with the dense masses of clouds and vapour is pictured as the cupola of the tomb which is to receive the year's dead body. Thus the second stanza presents a series of extremely complicated, interwoven images. These images which in any other poet would have been fantastic conceits become in Shelley the high water-mark of triumphant imagination.

In the third stanza the rush of imagery slows down. The two principal images used here are those of a man asleep and dreaming and of a man afraid. The calm Mediterranean in summer is imaged as a man sleeping comfortably and dreaming of the past glorious days. Again, at the approach of autumn submarine plants lose their green colour, just as a man loses his bright colour when fear grips him. In the fourth stanza Shelley uses the image of the autumnal forest with trees shorn of leaves to describe his present impotent and helpless condition. In the last stanza the autumnal forest is imaged as a lyre. The poet asks the west wind to draw out from his mind the music that has been lying latent in him, just as it draws the latent music from the forest-trees. The poet brings in the image of a dying hearth to describe his mind. He compares his mind to a hearth. His mind is glimmering with revolutionary ideas as an almost burnt-out hearth sparkles with sparks of fire. He requests the mighty west wind to cast far and wide his own ideas burning with hopes for the regeneration of humanity, just as it scatters ashes and sparks from a hearth. The poem ends with the image of the cycle of seasons of spring following on the heels of winter: This image suggests that autumnal decay and the barrenness of winter may make the world desolate indeed, but beyond lies waiting the spring of another year.

Comment: Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind is a journey from anguish to hope. / Comment on the observation that Shelley's Ode to the West Wind is a journey from anguish to hope.

Ans. Just as Ode to a Nightingale is the spiritual autobiography of Keats, so also Ode to the West Wind is the spiritual autobiography of Shelley. It records Shelley's journey from anguish to hope. After describing the mighty sweep of the west wind Shelley describes his anguish caused by his wretched condition. He laments the falling away of his power-his boyish impetuosity that enabled him to accompany the west wind in its movements across the sky, and made him think that he could run faster than it moves through the sky. He is not now what he has once been-an impatient idealist who wanted to sweep at one stroke all the ills and evils of society-the ills of tyranny, slavery and exploitation and the evils of ignorance and superstitions and usher in a period of liberty and equality for all irrespective of caste, creed and religion. But the evils of society and the ills of his personal life have bent him down and crushed his spirit of reckless defiance and challenge to what seeks to poison man's life. He falls into painful circumstances and suffers intensely. As he himself says,

"I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too, like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud,"

But the sight of the west wind sweeping over the earth and heaven drives away the clouds of anguish off his mind, and he conjures the wind to pass through his mind and awaken all its latent and enchained ideas so that he could sing of his impatience with the oppression, bondage, inequality, etc. which today darken humanity. His mind burns, though dimly, with unrealized ideals about freedom, justice and equality and if these ideals are scattered to men all over the world, they will create in them a change of heart, so that a new regenerated society might be the future outcome:

"Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind."

The poem closes on a note of hope. Destruction precedes reconstruction. Decay and desolation of autumn are followed by the new birth of nature in spring. So also Shelley hopes that the present society with its foolish, soul killing traditions and customs will pass away, yielding place to a new society based on love, freedom and equality.

"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

Thus Ode to the West Wind shows Shelley's journey from anguish to hope.

How does Shelley present nature in Ode to the West Wind?

Ans. Nature is a perennial source of inspiration to Shelley as it is to the other poets of the Romantic Revival. But his treatment of Nature is different from that of Wordsworth, the high-priest of Nature. While Wordsworth deals with the simpler and humbler aspects of Nature, he treats its majestic and gorgeous aspects-rocks, caves, cliffs, skies, storms, etc. As a critic says, he presents, like Turner, the pomp and splendour of the evening skies, the wind and the changeful glory of atmospheric effects, the terror of tempest, those rare and more awful manifestations of Nature when she puts on a supernatural grandeur...." He often etherealizes Nature and makes her vague and indefinite. His love of that which is indefinite and changeful makes him enjoy and describe better than any other English poet that scenery of the clouds and sky which is indefinite, elusive and hazy.

Shelley presents Nature as a continuous stream that goes on endlessly untouched by human calamities. Nature suggests to Shelley a relative immortality and as such she is to him greater than man subjected to death and decay.

Shelley makes nature the mere image of his own feelings, the creature of his mood. In other words, he identifies himself with nature. Here he is poles asunder from Wordsworth who always distinguishes himself from her.

Ode to the West Wind illustrates Shelley's treatment of Nature. It treats such mighty, changeful and indefinite aspects of nature as the west wind, the clouds and the seas. It describes the mighty activities of the west wind as it sweeps along in the upper region of the sky scattering the patches of clouds from the horizon to the zenith. The west wind ruffles the calm and transparent waters of the Mediterranean sea and lashes up the Atlantic into rolling waves. The descriptions of the underwater scenes are lazy and misty :

"And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day"
....while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean."

Shelley seeks an identification with the west wind by making it an instrument of himself. He wishes the west wind to spread his revolutionary and reformative ideas all the world over. The west wind, by blowing away the decayed leaves of autumn, brings about the rebirth of vegetation in spring. Similarly it can scatter all over the world his hitherto ineffectual thoughts, and thereby pave the way for the new set of ideas and ideals based on liberty, equality and fraternity. The west wind scatters ashes and sparks from smouldering hearth. Let it similarly cast far and wide his revolutionary ideas now lying almost dead in him, but capable of causing a conflagration in the society, so that the old world with its evils and inhumanities will go, yielding place to a new world, free from exploitations and oppressions-the golden millennium. In short, Shelley wants the wind to help him sound the trumpet of the prophecy that he wants to destroy the present society in order to usher in the millennium.

Shelley presents the west wind as a continuous stream that goes on endlessly untouched by human calamities. It has an everlasting lease of life as compared with man subject to decay and death. The west wind remains as it was in the poet's boyhood. But the poet is not what he was before. He has lost his energy-his boyish impetuosity which made him sufficiently swift to be able to accompany the wind in its violent movements across the sky, Had he the energy of his boyhood,

".........I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need."

But the west wind has not changed a bit. It goes on sweeping over the earth, sky and sea as before.

What is an ode? Consider Ode to the West Wind' as an ode and compare it with other odes - particularly the odes of Keats included in your syllabus.

Ans. The word Ode is simply the Greek for 'song, and was applied by the Greeks to any kind of poetic composition that was written to be sung to music, from a dirge to drinking song - that is to say, to any kind to lyric verse. The Greek idea of lyric poetry was simply "poetry written to be sung to music", i.e., the lyric. Greek odes were of two kinds: those written for a single voice, such as the lyrics of Sappho and Alcaeus, and those written for a choir, of which the best examples are the Odes of Pindar. The former were regular and fairly simple in metre, the latter highly elaborate.

The great English writers of odes before Shelley and Keats were Spenser, Milton, Dryden, Gray, Collins and Wordsworth. The idea of musical accompaniment was lost. It is now applied to one type of lyric poetry. So the definition may be restated as "a lyric poem of elaborate metrical structure, solemn in tone, and usually taking the form of an address", very often to some abstraction or quality.

English odes fall roughly into three classes: regular and Pindaric, regular and simple, and irregular. Gray's Progress of Poesy and The Bard belong to the first group. To the second group belong Spenser's Four Hymns, Milton's Nativity Hymn. Collins' Ode to Evening. To the third group belong Spenser's Epithalamion and Prothalamion, Dryden's Song for Saint Cecilia's Day and Alexander's Feast and Wordsworth's Ode on the Intimations of Immortality.

Shelley's To a Skylark and Ode to the West Wind are written in regular stanzas. Keats' odes are also written in regular stanzas. They consist of a group of stanzas of highly complex structure, but regular, or nearly regular, in their resemblance to one another. Ode to a Nightingale consists of regular stanzas of ten lines each: all lines are lambic Pentameter except the eighth in each stanza, which is Iambic Trimeter. The last line of the second stanza is an Alexandrine i.e., Iambic Hexameter. The Ode to the West Wind is an ode of regular type-stanza consisting of fourteen lines with intricate rhyme scheme ending with a couplet. The poem has the solemn grandeur, the stately march of music that characterise the ode. But by its intense personal note, its sweep of elemental passion and magnificent self-revelation, it is a lyric. Keats' Ode to a Nightingale, like Shelley's Ode to the West Wind is a lyric par excellence, rather than the formal type of the ode. It is a poem of genuine personal emotion, enshrining the longings that wring the poet's inmost soul. Ode to Autumn has, however, the objectivity and equable temper of an ode. Here subjective element is totally absent and the poet has made his imaginative surrender to Autumn. Keats, like the Greeks personifies Autumn in the figures of the reaper, the gleaner, cider-maker and a musician. Shelley's Ode to a Skylark is characterised by intense personal emotion than an ode.



Q.1. How does Shelley address the west wind? How it compared? 

Ans. Shelley addresses the wild west wind of Autumn. It is described as the breath of Autumn's being Autumn is thus personified.

Q.2. What is meant by 'hectic red' and 'pestilence-stricken multitudes'? 

Ans. 'Hectic red' means redness produced by decay. It suggests the pale colour which is caused by some consumptive diseases.

'Pestilence-stricken multitudes' mean that the autumnal leaves are afflicted with decay like men suffering from some consumptive diseases.

Q.3. What is meant by 'chariotest' in the context of the poem? 

Ans. 'Chariotest' means drivest (from drive). The word comes from noun chariot, a vehicle for movement. It is used here as verb.

Q.4. Thine azure sister.

        To what does it refer?

Ans. The west wind of spring that blows under a blue clear sky is called the azure sister of the west wind of autumn that blows violently.

Q.5. How are leaves of Autumn described? 

Ans. The leaves of autumn are yellow, black and pale and hectic red. They will be dead when winter comes.

Q.6. Why is the west wind of Autumn called Destroyer and preserver? 

Ans. Violent west wind of Autumn destroys the dead leaves but drives the seeds flying to the black soil in which the seeds lie throughout winter in order to be quickened to life in spring.

Q.7. Explain the simile of flocks and the first stanza. 

Ans. Just as the shepherd takes his flock in spring to feed them, so the spring wind will drive buds from seeds to develop them in air.

Q.8. What is corpse? In what connection is this word used?

Ans. Corpse is the dead body. The seeds lie cold and low in the black soil like dead bodies throughout winter and they develop into life in spring.

Q.9. What role does the west wind of autumn fulfil?

Ans. The west wind of autumn is the destroyer and the preserver. The images of death and rebirth are announced in the first stanza.

Q.10. Who are the angels of rain and lightning? 

Ans. Clouds that gather in autumn are messengers of rain and lightning,

Q.11. How is the west wind compared as it blows in the sky?

Ans. The west wind is compared to a stream on which the clouds are borne, just as a stream carries on its current and leaves of trees are scattered by wind. 

Q.12. The tangled boughs of Heaven and ocean. What is implied here?

Ans. Heaven and ocean are imagined as trees whose boughs are intertwined and clouds like trees are shed from them. The sky and sea seem to meet together.

Q.13. Who is Maenad?

Ans. Maenad is a frenzied woman worshipper of Bacchus, the Greek God of wine.

Q.14. Thou dirge of the dying year. To which Shelley refers? Why is it called dirge? 

Ans. The west wind of autumn is called the dirge. Dirge means funeral song. The year is dying is Autumn. Nature is dead in winter.

Q.15. What is meant by pumice isle?

Ans. It is an island in the bay of Bais on the western coast of Italy between Ostia and Naples. The island is formed by the deposit of lava from vesuvius.

Q.16. The Atlantic's level powers. What is meant by 'level powers'? 

Ans. Level powers mean smooth waves. In summer the seas are calm. The Atlantic flows smoothly.

Q.17. Cleave themselves into chasms. About which is it said?

Ans. The smooth waves of the Atlantic ocean are agitated by the west wind leaving deep hollows between them.

Q.18. What is suggested by 'the oozy words' and 'sapless foliage'? 

Ans. Oozy woods mean marine forests, the vegetation at the bottom of the sea.

Sapless foliage means the leaves and stalks are without sap.

Q.19. The impulse of thy strength. Whose strength is suggested?

Ans. The strength of the west wind of autumn. Impulse here means the violence of the west wind.

Q.20. Why does Shelley pray to the west wind?

Ans. Shelley prays to the west wind to inspire him with strength and impulse so that he can sing the song of liberty of mankind from tyranny. 

Q.21. If my leaves are falling like its own. With whose leaves does Shelley compare? What does he compare?

Ans. The leaves of Autumnal trees are falling due to decay. Similarly, Shelley's strength is decaying due to the struggle with the society.

Q.22. What is meant by dead thoughts? To which they are compared? 

Ans. Dead thoughts mean the thoughts latent in his mind. They are compared to withered leaves.

Q.23. When did Shelley write the Ode to the West Wind what did he say about his actual experience?

Ans. Shelley wrote the ode near Florence in 1819. Shelley writes: this poem was conceived and chiefly written in a wood that skirts the Arno near Florence and on a day when the tempestuous wind was collecting the vapours which pour down autumnal rain. Rain was attended by magnificent thunder and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions.

Q.24. Like ghosts from an enchanter. Explain the simile.

Ans. The west wind is the enchanter (magician) and autumnal leaves are ghosts. Ghosts flee away from a magician. Similarly, dry autumnal leaves flee away from the wild west wind.

Q.25. What is clarion? Who blows it?

Ans. Clarion is the high-sounding bugle. The poet supposes that the west wind of spring blows over the earth which sleeps in winter and all nature is again filled with life, colours and fragrance. The rebirth image is suggested.

Q.26. Will be the dome of a vast sepulcher. Whose sepulcher is referred to? How will the dome of a sepulcher be formed?

Ans. Sepulcher means tomb. The tomb of the dead year is referred to? The vault of the tomb will be formed by the accumulated mass of vapours in the sky. Vapours rise from water particles and they are converted to clouds from which rain, thunder and lightning burst.

Q.27. Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams. About which is it said? What is meant by coil by his crystalline streams?

Ans. This is said about the calm Mediterranean which is imagined as sleeping in summer. It is caught up in the whirling round of its clear and transparent water.

Q.28. I fall upon the thorns of life I bleed. What is meant by thorns of life?

Ans. Shelley refers to the miseries of his life. He was abandoned by the society and howled down by the critics. Here is the christ image. Christ wore the crown thorns and bled.

Q.29. A heavy weight of hours. What does Shelley mean by it?

Ans. Shelly means the weight of ages miseries and wrongs done to him. He is weakened now. He does not have the strength and impulse which he had before.

Q.30. What is Shelley's prayer to the west wind?

Ans. The withered leaves of autumn burst into new life in spring. In Nature there is the process of death and regeneration. Shelley prays to the west wind to give him strength (he seeks strength from Nature) to awaken his latent thoughts and spread the message of new hopes of regeneration for mankind.

Q.31. What does Shelley mean by trumpet of a prophecy?

Ans. Shelley wishes to scatter his ideas and thoughts like a trumpet just as the west wind blows with tremendous sound. He will scatter his prophetic ideas to regenerate mankind who are now sunk in despair.

Q.32. What is Shelley's hope?

Ans. Shelley is an idealist. He hopes that just as after winter comes spring, so also the rotten world will go and a new order full of fresh and sweet promises will come to redeem the suffering humanity.

Q.33. What is an ode? What kind of ode is Ode to the West Wind?

Ans. The word ode is simply the Greek for song. Greek odes were of two kinds - the lyrics of Soppho and Alcacus and those written for choir of which the most important are those of Pindar. There were regular odes i.e. that is of regular stanzas and elaborate. Shelley's odes are written in regular stanzas of fourteen lines with intricate rhyme scheme.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

YouTube Videos for Lucy Poems by Wordsworth



For YouTube videos, Click on the Below links

1. "Strange fits of passion have I known"

4. "Three years she grew in sun and shower"

5. "A slumber did my spirit seal"

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Bengali Meaning of the poem "Brotherhood" by Octavio Paz. বাংলায় ব্রাদারহুড কবিতা।

Brotherhood: Homage to Claudius Ptolemy

Octavio Paz

Original name of Poem 


Originally written in

Mexican Language

Translated by 

Elliot Weinberger, American Novelist

Published in 

1987 in “Octavio Paz: Collected    Poems”

Written In

Blank Verse. It is a philosophical poem

Brotherhood: Homage to Claudius Ptolemy

Octavio Paz

I am a man: little do I last

and the night is enormous.

But I look up:

the stars write.

Unknowing I understand:

I too am written,

and at this very moment

someone spells me out.


অক্টেভিও পাজ 

আমি একজন মানুষ: আমি অল্প দিন বাঁচবো

এবং মৃত্যুর পরবর্তী জীবন বা মহাবিশ্ব অসীম

কিন্তু আমি হাল না ছেড়ে উপরের দিকে তাকালাম

দেখলাম তারা গুলি লিখে রেখেছে

না জেনেই আমি বুঝে গেলাম

তখন আমাকে দিয়ে লেখানো হল

এবং ঠিক ওই মুহূর্তে

কোন একজন আমায় বুঝলো বা জানলো

ব্যাখ্যাঃ জীবনের বিশেষ একটি পর্যায়ে এসে আমাদের কবি উপলব্ধি করলেন যে মানুষ জাতি হল পৃথিবীর মধ্যে শ্রেষ্ঠ জাতি। কিন্তু এই মানুষের আয়ু খুব ক্ষুদ্র। কবি এটাও বুঝতে পারলেন এই মহাবিশ্বের সাপেক্ষে আমরা কতটা তুচ্ছ এবং আমাদের মৃত্যুর পর যে জীবন শুরু হয় সে জীবন আমরা ভোগ না করতে পারলেও সে জীবন অসীম। এই উপলব্ধি থেকে কবির খুব আফসোস হল এই ভেবে যে আমরা পৃথিবীর মধ্যে শ্রেষ্ঠ জীব হওয়া সত্ত্বেও আমাদের জীবিত কাল খুব ক্ষুদ্র এবং মহাকাশের সাপেক্ষে আমরা খুবই তুচ্ছ। মৃত্যুর পর আর কেউ কবির কথা মনে রাখবে না। তখন কবির মধ্যে অমরত্ব লাভের ইচ্ছা জাগলো। তিনি তখন ব্যর্থ হয়ে উপরে আকাশের দিকে তাকালেন। আকাশের দিকে তাকিয়েই কবি অমরত্বের চাবিকাঠি খুঁজে পেলেন। কবির কাছে এই আকাশটি হলো একটি খাতার পাতা এবং তারা গুলি হল ওই পাতার উপর লেখা অক্ষর। সেই তারা গুলি কি যেন লিখে রেখেছে। কবি বুঝতে পারলেন লক্ষ কোটি বছর আগে বিগ ব্যাং এর মাধ্যমে আমাদের এই মহাবিশ্ব সৃষ্টি হয়েছিল এবং সেই ঘটনাটিকে অমর করে রাখার জন্য তারা গুলি সৃষ্টি হয়েছিল। এই বিষয় থেকে কবি উপলব্ধি করলেন অমরত্ব লাভের একমাত্র উপায় জীবিত কালে কোন কিছু সৃষ্টি  করে যাওয়া। সঙ্গে সঙ্গে তিনি অনুভব করলেন মানুষ মরণশীল কিন্তু তার সৃষ্টিকর্ম অমর। তাই তিনি সঙ্গে সঙ্গে কবিতা লিখতে শুরু করলেন। যদিও কবিতার মধ্যে লেখা আছে কবিকে দিয়ে লেখানো হলো। এখানে কবি যদিও নিজেই কবিতা লিখলেন তবুও কবিতার দেবীর প্রতি সম্মান জানানোর জন্য তিনি বললেন "আমাকে দিয়ে লেখানো হলো।" ঠিক যেই মুহূর্তে কোন একজন পাঠক কবির এই কবিতাটি পড়বেন সঙ্গে সঙ্গে পাঠক কবিকে জানতে পারবেন। এই জানতে পারা থেকেই কবির সাথে পাঠকের মধ্যে একটি সম্পর্ক স্থাপন হবে। এই সম্পর্কের নামই হল ভাতৃত্ব এবং এই ভ্রাতৃত্বের মধ্যে দিয়েই কবি চিরকাল অমর হয়ে থাকবেন।

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Question answer of the poem 'To A Skylark' by Shelley.

1. Shelley in 'To A Skylark', describes skylark as 'bird thou never wert'-- What does the skylark symbolise in this poem?

Ans. Here the skylark symbolises a divine, mysterious spirit and it represents absolute joy and happiness. Shelley's concept of the skylark is something abstract and transcendental. It is a power which would enable the poet to create a new and better world.

2. In 'To a Skylark' Shelley compares the skylark with different objects. Mention some of them.

Ans. The poet compares the skylark with a star of heaven, with a poet hidden in the light of his thought, with a high born maiden in a palace tower. Shelley also compares the skylark with a golden glow-worm and a rose concealed in its own green leaves.

3. Among all the imagery used by Shelley in this poem which one do you like most and why?

Ans. Shelley compares the song of the skylark with moonbeams that rains through 'One lonely cloud' and floods the entire sky. The lonely cloud symbolically expresses the unique nature of the skylark's song, and, the sky flooded with moonlight denotes the effect of the skylark's song on the minds of people.

4. Shelley calls the skylark's song 'unpremeditated art'. What does he mean to say?

Ans. Here 'unpremeditated" means spontaneous or effortless. The skylark is not merely a bird. It is a divine spirit whose art needs no preparation or effort like the arts produced by human beings. On the contrary, it spontaneously flows like a stream because the skylark was born with the natural ability to sing melodies 'unpremeditated'.

5. "Like a cloud of fire,
The blue deep thou wingest"-What does the expression suggest?

Ans. The delightful shower of melody sends a thrill of exquisite joy in the heart of the poet. "Like a cloud of fire" does not refer to the actual appearance of the skylark, but to its continuous motion in upward circles.

6. "Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun" -Bring out the significance of the extract.

Ans. Shelley describes here the effortless flight of the bird. High up in the air, the bird has become invisible. Its presence is indicated and its movement made known by its song. As the song gives expression to joy and its source is invisible, Shelley calls the bird "an unbodied Joy", the disembodied spirit of joy.

7. Like a star of heaven
In the broad daylight" -What is being compared with a star of heaven'? Bring out the appropriateness of the comparison.

Ans. The skylark which is not a bird, but the symbol of a divine, mysterious a spirit is being compared here with a star of heaven'.

The comparison implied here is quite appropriate and significant. Like a star concealed in the heaven in the presence of daylight, the skylark also hides itself from the views of men. It remains unseen but its delightful music pervades the entire atmosphere.

8. "Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear." -What does the 'silver sphere' refer to? When 'intense lamp' narrow?

Ans. Here the 'silver sphere' refers to the bright Venus.

At the time of dawn it loses its brightness and looks dim. Because, the bright rays of the rising sun conceal it from our view.

9. "What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?"-Whom does the poet address in this manner? Why is it so difficult to know what it is?

Ans. The poet here addresses the skylark in this manner. For him, the skylark is not merely a bird but a divine, mysterious spirit that exercises a benevolent influence on the human world.

It is something mysterious and divine and lies far beyond the scope of human understanding. It is the symbol of perfect joy and happiness that always remain beyond the reach of ordinary mortals.

10. "As when the night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd." -Bring out the comparison involved in these lines.

Ans. See Ans. to Q. 3.

11. "Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought" -What does the extract signify?

Ans. Shelley here compares the skylark singing sweetly in the sky to a great poet who is completely absorbed in his lofty idealism, singing prophetic songs to inspire people to high ideals. The skylark resembles an unknown poet, living in the realm of his majestic idealism, creating a stir in the sleeping conscience of mankind.

12. 'Like a high-born maiden
In a palace tower" -Bring out the aptness of the simile.

Ans. Shelley's exquisite simile represents the high water-mark of pure romanticism. Shelley compares the skylark to a high-born maiden living in the tower of a palace. She consoles her aching heart by singing Oto herself in seclusion.

13. "Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves". -What does it' refer to? Who are the 'heavy-winged thieves' and why are they so called?

Ans. It refers to a rose concealed in its own green leaves.

The 'heavy-winged thieves' are the winds which 'deflowered the www.rose. They are called so because the winds steal the fragrance of the rose and its motion is supposed to be slowed down with the burden of that fine fragrance.

14. "All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass." -What music is being referred to? What joyous, clear and fresh things does the poet have in mind? How does the music referred to here surpass them?

Ans. The music or song of the skylark is being referred to here.

The poet has in mind the sound of spring showers on the waving grass and the flowers washed with the fresh drops of rain.

All such things are imperfect and subjected to decay and destruction. But the skylark's song is perfect and immortal and infinite by its very nature. So, it surpasses everything that is joyous and beautiful, yet subjected to death and decay.

15. "Teach us Sprite or bird," -Does Shelley consider the skylark to be a bird or a spirit?

Ans. Shelley considers the skylark to be a spirit. It is a divine, mysterious power that could inspire men to create a better world. This is a heavenly spirit that does not share with man the joys and sorrows of an earthly life. Shelley's characterization of the skylark is clear from the expression 'bird thou never wert'.

16. What did Shelley want to learn from the Skylark?

Ans. Shelley wanted to learn from the Skylark "half the gladness" that prompts such wonderful melody in the Skylark's song. If he can imbibe even half the ecstasy of the bird, be too would be able to keep the world spellbound by the incantation of his verse.

16. Why does Shelly compare 'The Skylark' to a poet?

Ans. A poet always immerge himself in his thoughts a creation. A poet's creation always has a deep impact in the reader's mind. 'The Skylark' also motivates mankind through its eternal music.

18. "A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want." -What is meant by 'a thing"? What hidden want is felt to be in it? Is there anything in which there is no such hidden want?

Ans. A thing here refers to hymeneal chorus or a triumphal chant.

Though these songs are joyous and delightful, they are imperfect, as all human creations must always be. They lack perfection and immortality. This has been referred to as a hidden want. According to Shelley, there is no such hidden want in the skylark's song because it is the symbol of perfect joy and everlasting happiness.

19. What according to Shelley, could be the sources of the skylark's 'happy strain'?

Ans. Shelley asserts that we mortals cannot even imagine those things that inspire the skylark's heavenly song. To sing such a divine song, the skylark must be ignorant of all kinds of pain and suffering. It must never have experienced the feeling of annoyance and disappointment. This utter ignorance of pain and suffering might be the source of its divine inspiration.

20. 'What love of thine own kind? What ignorance of pain? -Why does Shelley ask this question?

Ans. Shelley is very anxious to know what inspires the skylark to sing such a joyful song. It may be that the real cause of its spontaneous melody is that it is free from mortal pain or sorrow. Man's life is darkened by suffering and his happiness is clouded by pain. The skylark is blissfully unconscious of pain and sorrow.

21. "Thou lovest but ne'er knew love's sad satiety" -Throw light upon the truth conveyed here.

Ans. Shelley contrasts the happiness of mankind with that of the skylark. Love is, no doubt, a delightful emotion but at a certain stage, even love loses all its charm and pleasure. But the love of the skylark is eternal and uniform. It knows no satiety or surfeit. In fact, the skylark enjoys the pleasure of love without knowing its sad and cloying satisfaction.

22. "Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought." -What is meant here by 'song'? Do you consider this statement to be true? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans. 'Songs' here refer to literature in general, and to poetry in particular.

The history of literature in any language confirms Shelley's view. It is common knowledge that we like tragedies better than comedies. The greatest literature in any language deals with human sorrows and sufferings rather than with the joy and happiness of life.

23. Shelley calls the skylark 'the scorner of the ground'. What does he really mean to say? Another famous poet objected to this view. Who is he, and what did he say?

Ans. Shelley really means to say that the skylark is a heavenly, divine spirit which for ever remains far away from this dungy earth. It is something perfect and absolute and so it never comes down to this imperfect world of misery, suffering and destruction.

The other poet is William Wordsworth.

In his 'To The Skylark', Wordsworth objected to this view. He said that the skylark was a "pilgrim of the sky" but it always maintained a "never-failing-bond" between heaven and its earthly nest. It was not a 'scorner of the ground' but remained "true to the kindred points of Heaven of Home".

24. "The world should listen then-as I am listening now". -What attitude of the poet is revealed here?

Ans. Shelley requests the skylark to teach him half of the raptures and sweetness, so that inspired by this divine madness, he too might sing such enchanting songs that may elicit spontaneous praise from people of the world. Like Keats, Shelley was also severely criticized by the critics. Therefore, Shelley seems to be smarting under the pain caused by the utter indifference of people towards his poetry, so, he requests the skylark to teach him half of its rapture and melody.

25. How does Shelley paint of human life in his poem "To A Skylark?"

Ans. Shelley in this ode speaks of man as a victim of pain, sorrow and imperfect happiness. A poet gives brilliant thoughts to his fellowmen but himself remains unknown. High-born maidens living in palace suffer from pangs of unfulfilled love. Men sing praises of love and wine, celebrate occasions. But their songs are always wanting in something.

26. What is the secret of the melodious madness of the skylark?

Ans. All sorrows and worries which shadow human life are unknown to the skylark. The skylark understands the nature of death better than human beings. Human beings are always afraid of death. Men cannot get rid of pride, fear, jealousy. These are unknown to the skylark.

27. How does "To A Skylark" differ from "Ode to the West Wind"?

Ans. In To A Skylark" the skylark is an embodiment of a spirit bringing to man joy because of its song. It sings of an unearthly bliss. In "Ode to the West Wind" the poet invokes the West Wind in its two fold capacity as a destroyer of all that is old and a preserver of all that makes for growth. In the former there is a rhapsodic flow of inspiration [fic que. The latter, rich in prophetic ideas is in terzarima.

28. Write a note on the structure of the ode "To a skylark'

Ans. To A Skylark' falls into five parts. The first part gives us the description of the skylark as it sings in its flight in the heavens. The second part gives us a series of similes to bring out the sweetness of the song of this invisible bird. The third part makes the poet wonder at how the bird is inspired to give expression to an unmixed joy in its song. In the fourth part the poet contrasts this unmixed joy with the happiness of human beings. In the fifth part, the poet urges the skylark to teach him the art of happiness unmixed with pain.

29. What is the prophetic idealism of Shelley in his ode "To A Skylark"?

Ans. "To A Skylark" is a lyric full of prophetic idealism of Shelley. Here he implores the Skylark to teach him half the gladness of the Skylark so that he can inoculate the world with the serum of joy and elixir of happiness.