Class 10, CBSE English (Communicative) - Interact in English Literature Reader
Unit 5 (Poetry), Ode To The West Wind
NCERT Answers of English Literature Reader - Textbook Exercise
Q.III: Answer the following questions:
1. What season of the year is presented in the poem?
2. What will happen to the dormant seeds once the West Wind’s sister blows her clarion?
3. What will happen as all the clouds are gathered by the wind? (In line 23.)
4. Throughout stanza II, the poet describes the approaching storm and its elements that the West Wind will bring. Describe the storm in your own words.
5. The blue Mediterranean lies calm all summer. What comes to waken it?
6. In lines 53-54, the poet has “(fallen) upon the thorns of life . . .” He wishes he could be free of life’s burdens. Quote how he phrases his desire to escape the “thorns of life” in these lines.
7. In lines 55-56, the poet says he used to have strength like the West Wind but now how does he describe himself?
8. The last line of the poem is often quoted. What do you understand the line to mean - other than that one season follows another?
1. The Autumn season is presented in the poem.
2. When the West Wind’s azure sister of the spring blows, the dormant seeds sprout and grow into plants yielding multicolored flowers with sweet smell.
3. The gathered clouds indicate an imminent storm.
4. The West Wind blows very fast. It scatters clouds in the sky in the same way as it sheds decaying leaves on earth. The dark clouds cover the whole of the sky as if they are being shaken out of a celestial tree. The poet compared the locks of the approaching storm with the open locks of Maenad, a follower of God Bacchus. The storm moves the clouds fast and the sky looks like the dome of a vast sepulcher made of water vapours. Thus the West Wind brings torrential rain, lightening, hail-storm in its trail.
5. The West Wind, which blows in autumn, comes to waken the peaceful sleep of the blue Mediterranean.
6. He says: “Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!”
7. He describes himself as “tame less, and swift and proud’ in the past. But now that strong person feels chained and bowed by the heavy burdens of life.
8. This time contains a beautiful and optimistic message to suffering humanity. The dark, difficult days of sufferings will not last for ever. Soon the bright, warm days will bring joy, beauty and colour in our lives. As darkness is followed by light, similarly sorrows and suffering will yield to joys and merry-making.
In one sentence, the last line means that after wintry days of misfortune, the spring of good fortune and happiness comes.
Q.IV: Given below are some characteristics of an ode. How does ‘Ode To The west Wind’ reveal these characteristics?
(a) An ode is an elaborately structured lyric . . . . . . . . . . to the accompaniment of a musical instrument.
Answer: (a) ‘Ode To The west Wind’ is a beautiful ode. It is an elaborately structured lyric poem of five stanzas. Each stanza 14 lines with a definite rhyme scheme. The poem has been addressed to the west wind which has been personified as a powerful spirit and called the life-breadth of autumn. The West Wind is praised and glorified. It is very powerful and moves everywhere on the earth, the sky, and the sea. The mighty West Wind can bring havoc in the three worlds. It destroys plants and leaves on the earth. It rouses the Mediterranean from its sleep. Even the level waves of the Atlantic recognize its might. The plants and foliage at the bottom of the sea grow gray with fear, tremble and shed their leaves. The description in the first three stanzas is purely objective and intellectual.
The personal note in the fourth and fifth stanzas only serves to highlight the strength and power of the West Wind, which can be a destroyer as well as preserver. The poem can be set to music. Finally the poet presents the West Wind not as a mystical phenomenon, but as an essentially tangible force in nature with which he can identify.
Q.V: In this poem the poet has personified the West Wind. Who do you think he has personified the West Wind as?
Answer: P.B. Shelley personifies the West Wind as the breadth of autumn’s being. It is the life-breadth or spirit force that is behind all the activities of autumn e.g.,
“ . . . .Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit !”
Q.VI: In ‘Ode To The West Wind’ the West Wind is symbolic of death and re-birth. Find instances from the poem to bring out this symbolism.
Ans: Instances which make the West Wind symbolic of death -
(a) The winged seeds lying like corpses,
(b) The poet calls the wind a dirge and the approaching storm a sepulcher.
Instances which make the West Wind symbolic of re-birth -
(a) The sea blooms,
(b) The poet asks the West Wind to spread his dead thoughts over the universe as it scatters the dead and decayed leaves,
(c) The poet asks the West Wind to scatter his message among the sleeping mankind. He appeals to the West Wind to act as the trumpet of the prophecy of the onset of spring and winter.
Q.VII: read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow:
1. Oh, lift me . . . . . . . . .thorns of life! I bleed!
(a) What is the mood of the poet?
(b) What is his appeal to the West Wind?
(c) What does the poet mean by ‘the thorns of life’?
2. The trumpet . . . . . . . . be far behind?
(a) What do the spring and winter stand for?
(b) Which of the following emotions of the poet is expressed in these lines: (i) optimism (ii) pessimism (iii) realism?
(c) Who will blow the trumpet of prophecy?
(a) The poet is in a cheerless, melancholy and despondent mood. He gives vent to his sorrows, suffering and personal misfortunes.
(b) He makes a lyrical outburst and fervent appeal to the West Wind to come to his help and rescue him from his present miserable state. He appeals to the West Wind to lift him up in the same way as it carries away a wave, a leaf or a cloud.
(c) ‘Thorns of life’ stand for the difficulties and miseries faced by the poet.
(a) Spring and winter are here used metaphorically. Winter stands for dark and difficult times that often come in one’s life. It thwarts and stops all activities - human or natural. Spring stands for vitality, rejuvenation, peace and optimism. It brings new activity, life and colour with it.
(b) These lines express sound optimism of the poet. He is confident that the period of suffering and pain will be followed by one of enjoyment and pleasure.
(c) The West Wind will act as the poet’s messenger and blow the trumpet of prophecy.
Class X CBSE English (Communicative) - NCERT English Literature Reader | Ode To The West Wind | Additional Important Questions [Read]