NCERT TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS SOLVED
Thinking About the Poem (Page 45)
Q1. Does `dyin’ really rhyme with ‘lion’? Can you say it in such a way that it does?
Ans. No, `dyin’ really doesn’t rhyme with a lion. The poet uses poetic devices like this to create a rhyming effect in the poem. So the word ‘dyin’ is used so that when we pronounce it, it rhymes with the word ‘lion’.
Q2. How does the poet suggest that you identify the lion and the tiger? When can you do so, according to him?
Ans. We can distinguish the lion and the tiger if we notice their appearances, colours of the skin and their movements. The Asiatic lion is found in the eastern countries. He is a large animal of yellowish brown colour. When he advances with a loud and terrible roaring sound one feels as if one is dying. On the other hand, the Bengal tiger is a wild beast of noble appearance. It has black stripes scattered all over his yellow skin. The tiger never gives you a chance to escape if by chance you come in front of him.
Q3. Do you think the words `Lepe and `lep’ in the third stanza are spelt correctly? Why does the poet spell them like this?
Ans. The poet always uses different devices to create a poetic effect. The words lepe and lep’ are deliberately not spelt correctly. The correct spellings are `leapt’ and ‘leap’ respectively. The poet has spelt them so that he may maintain the rhythm of the poem. When spelt in this way, so that they may rhyme with the first part of ‘Leopard’.
Q4. Do you know what a ‘bear hug’ is? It’s a friendly and strong hug — such as bears are thought to give, as they attack you! Again, hyenas are thought to laugh, and crocodiles to weep (`crocodile tears’) as they swallow their victims. Are there similar expressions and popular ideas about wild animals in your own language(s)?
Ans. A bear hug is a very intimate and powerful hug. It is a tight and strong hug. This is a kind of hug that bears are thought to give to their preys. They appear to be friendly but in reality, they can be deadly. Hyenas have a weird smile and they smile like humans before attacking their prey. Their smiles are deceptive. Similarly, the weeping of a crocodile before it swallows its victim is also very deceptive. Yes, definitely, every language has similar expressions and popular ideas about animals.
Q5. Look at the line “A novice might nonplus”. How would you write this ‘correctly’? Why is the poet’s `incorrect’ line better in the poem?
Ans. The line, “A novice might nonplus” is deliberately written incorrectly. It can be correctly written as ‘A novice might be nonplussed’. The poet’s incorrect lines suit the rhyme scheme of the poem better than the correct version. It is written so that ‘nonplus’ may rhyme with ‘thus’ in the fourth line of the fifth stanza.
Q6. Can you Lind other examples of poets taking liberties with language, either In English or in your own language(s)?
Can you find examples of humorous poems in your own language(s)?
Ans. Yes, poets generally take liberties with language to create a special poetic effect. We call it a poetic licence.
For example, in the following lines the word `press’ is used instead of ‘pressed’ to create a rhyming effect so that `press’ may rhyme with the word ‘breast’.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast.
Q7. Much of the humour in the poem arises from the way language is used, although the ideas are funny as well. If there are particular lines in the poem that you especially like, share this with the class, speaking briefly about what it is about the ideas or the language that you like or find funny.
Ans. No doubt, much of the humour in the poem arises from the way language is used. Even the ideas are funny as well. Humour is mild but not pungent. The pun of words creates the desired effect. The following lines deserve special merit in this regard. The awe of the Asiatic lion is expressed by the line:
(i)”If he roars at you as you’re dyin’
You’ll know it is the Asian Lion… “
(ii) Then the noble Bengal tiger is just noticed ‘if he eats you.’
(iii)The seemingly friendly caress of the bear is described with the deadly effect:
“If you have any doubts, I guess He’ll give you just one more caress”.
(iv)A novice may be nonplussed when he sees:
“Hyenas come with merry smiles.
But if they weep they’re Crocodiles”.
The weird smile of hyenas is contrasted with the weeping of the crocodiles when they attack their victims.
The ideas are treated humorously. Some animals may seem to be ’embracing, `hugging’ or ‘smiling’ merrily to their victims. But all such activities are deadly. Bears hug their victims by pressing them hard to death.