On the Grasshopper and Cricket

John Keats

Working with Poem(Page No: 123)

1. Discuss with your partner the following definition of a poem. A poem is made
of words arranged in a beautiful order. These words, when read aloud with
feeling, have a music and meaning of their own.
Answer– Poem is supposed to be  an artistic piece of work which contains a
speech as well as a song, and is usually rhythmical. These beautiful arrangement
of words adds beauty to the essence of the poem. Poems are supposed to be read
aloud to feel the intense passion and emotion with which they have been
composed. The rhyming words in a poem put various ideas and imaginations of the
poet. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a poem can be
defined as a piece of writing in which the words are chosen for their sound and
the images they suggest, not just for their obvious meanings. The words are
arranged in separate lines, usually with a repeated rhythm, and often the lines
rhyme at the end.


2. ‘The poetry of earth’ is not made
of words. What is it made of, as suggested in the poem?
Answer– ‘The poetry of earth’ is not made of words, but of the
song and the rhythm produced by grasshoppers and crickets in various seasons.
The music of the nature never loses its charm even with changing seasons.
Summer and winter are the toughest seasons of the year. In summer it is
extremely hot and in winter it is very cold. So in these two seasons there are
rare songs of joy and music on earth. But here the poet points to the poetry of
earth during summer and winter. In summer, the grasshopper seems to be
excitedly hopping around, tirelessly, while even in lonely and dark winter
nights, one can identify the shrill voice with which the insect cricket sings.

3. Find in the poem lines that match the following.

(i) The grasshopper’s happiness never comes to an end.
(ii) The cricket’s song has a warmth that never decreases.


(i) In summer luxury — he has never done
With his delights,

(ii) The cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,

4. Which word in stanza 2 is opposite in meaning to ‘the frost’?


The word ‘frost’ in stanza 2 differs in meaning with the word ‘grassy’. Frost
has a chilly reference which means a degree or state of coldness sufficient to
cause the freezing of water. This meaning lacks a green live feeling which is
present in the word ‘grassy’. Grassy means something which is like grass or
pertains to grass.

5. The poetry of earth continues round the year through a cycle of two seasons.
Mention each with its representative voice.


The poetry of earth continues round the years through the summer and the
winter. In summer, the grasshopper’s voice represents the poetry of the earth.
While in winter the cricket’s song represents the poetry of the earth.