The Solitary Reaper (Extra Qu.)

                                          The Solitary Reaper 

Very short answer type questions-

Que1:The setting of the poem is in
1. America 2. Australia 3. New Zealand 4. Scotland
Answer:    4

Ques2:The solitary reaper was
1. sowing seeds 2. watering the plants 3. reaping the harvest 4. pulling out the weeds
Ans:    3

Que3:The singing of the solitary reaper is compared to the
1. nightingale and robin 2. cuckoo and peacock 3. nightingale and cuckoo 4. cuckoo and owl
Answer:    3

Que4:The instrument that the solitary reaper was using
1. a spade 2. an axe 3. a sickle 4. a knife
Answer:    3

Que5:The solitary reaper is written by
1. William Wordsworth 2. William Shakespeare 3. Robert Frost 4. Thomas Campbell
Answer:    1

Qu 6:What were the poet’s first thoughts when he saw the solitary reaper?
Ans:The poet was so moved by the reaper working all alone in the fields, singing her song, that he felt the scene should not be disturbed. The slightest noise would be jarring. So he stood there quietly watching her at her work.

Que7:What kind of song was the girl singing?
Ans:The girl was singing a sad and lonesome song

Que8:Why was the valley filled with music?
Ans:The song was very intense and melodious. The beauty of the girl’s voice was so deep, that the entire valley echoed with the song

Que9:To what does the poet compare the reaper’s song?
Ans:The young maiden’s song was inspiring and welcome to the poet, just as the nightingale’s song in the desert which is indicative of an oasis nearby

Qu 10:Why was the poet puzzled with the song?
Ans:The girl was singing in a language that the poet did not understand. He was puzzled about the meaning of the song.

Que11:How did the reaper’s song affect the poet?
Ans:The reaper’s song made such an impact on the poet that he carried the music with him. He could feel the beauty of the song long after he had passed the valley.

MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
Read the following extracts and choose the correct option :
1. Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain ;
O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

(a) Identify ‘she’ from the above stanza.
(i) A traveller                     (iii) Solitary reaper
(ii) The poet                        (iv) None of the above

(b) How does the poet know that the song is melancholy when he cannot understand the words?
(i) From the girl’s expression                (ii) From the words of the song
(iii) From the tune                                  (iv) From her dress

(c) What effect does the girl’s song have over the surroundings?
(i) Has no effect                                       (ii) All people desert the valley
(iii) The valley echoes with the song    (iv) The valley is indifferent
Ans : (a) (iii) (b) (iii) (c) (iii)

2. 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.

(a) What is cuckoo bird famous for?
(i) Cheerfulness                                   (ii) Thrill             
(iii)Driving away tiredness                (iv) Welcoming the spring

(b) How does the Solitary Reaper’s song score over the song of the cuckoo?
(i) It is more far-reaching                        (ii) It echoes more
(iii) It is more musical and fresh            (iv) It does not have any effect

(c) Hebrides means :
(i) a group of trees                     (ii) far off valleys
(iii) sea                                        (iv) a group of islands off near Scotland
Ans : (a) (iv) (b) (i) (c) (iv)

3. Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far off things,
And battles long ago.

(a) Explain the use of ‘perhaps’ in the second line.
(i) The poet is not sure                (ii) He is double-minded
(iii) He is indifferent                    (iv) None of these

(b) ‘Flow’, – what quality of the solitary reaper song is expressed here?
(i) Its fluidity                                (ii) Its evocativeness
(iii) Its spontaneity                     (iv) Its music

(c) What is the poet’s guess?
(i) The theme is of spring             (ii) Of happiness and forgotten things
(iii) Of battles and sad events in the past        (iv) Of stories
Ans : (a) (i) (b) (iii) (c) (iii)

4. Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of today?
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been, may be again.

(a) ‘It’ in the first line refers to
(i) the valley                                   (ii) the song
(iii) the solitary reaper                 (iv) her dress

(b) Explain ‘humble lay’.
(i) A song about ordinary events                                                              (ii) A song about extraordinary things
(iii) A song about modest things                                                               (iv) A song about rich people

(c) What does the poet wish to convey by saying ‘that has been and may be again’?
(i) A natural loss, and pain                                    (ii) A natural event
(iii) Natural sorrow which can occur again        (iv) Both (i) and (iii)
Ans : (a) (ii) (b) (i) (c) (iii)

5. Whatever the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work
And o’er the sickle bending

(a) What other activities is the maiden doing besides singing?
(i) She is ploughing                     (ii) binding the corn
(iii) cutting grass                         (iv) none of the above

(b) What makes the maiden’s song extraordinary?
(i) Its musicality                     (ii) Its eternal nature
(iii) Its theme                         (iv) Her voice

 (c) What effect does the song have over the poet?
(i) Mesmerising                     (ii) Impressive
(iii) Invigorating                   (iv) No effect
Ans : (a) (ii) (b) (ii) (c) (i)

6. I listen’d, motionless and still
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

(a) Where does the poet go?
(i) Down the valleys                                  (ii) Doesn’t go anywhere
(iii) Climbed up the mountain                (iv) Nowhere

(b) How did the song affect the poet?
(i) It impressed him                                       (ii) Served as an inspiration
(iii) Left a permanent mark on his heart    (iv) Had no effect

(c) What does the poet want to convey by “long after it was heard no more”?
(i) Music is entertaining                                                                               (ii) Music is eternal and can give pleasure even when you do not hear it
(iii) Sad music is always remembered                                                     (iv) The universal and permanent impression of music.
Ans : (a) (iii) (b) (iii) (c) (iv)

7. Alone she cuts and binds the grain,            [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
And sings a melancholy strain ;
O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

(a) ‘melancholy strain’ in the second line refers to :
(i) Sad song                     (iii) Happy song
(ii) Thrilling song           (iv) Sweet song

(b) Identify the figure of speech in the above lines :
(i) Personification                     (ii) Metaphor
(iii) Imagery                              (iv) Alliteration

(c) The last two lines mean :
(i) Her voice is resounding in the valley                                                   (ii) She is singing at a high pitch
(iii) Her voice is reaching outside the valley                                         (iv) She is asking everyone to listen to her
Ans. (a) (i) (b) (iii) (c) (i)

8. No nightingale did ever chant    [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of Travellers in some shady haunt
Among Arabian Sands
A voice so thrilling ne’ver was heard
In spring – time from the cuckoo – bird
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides

(a) According to the poet, nightingales sing :
(i) to welcome the travellers                       (ii) to please themselves
(iii) to welcome the tired travellers            (iv) to get relief from their own pains

(b) The nightingales sing :
(i) in spring season in desert of Arabia                                                        (ii) in autumn season in deserts
(iii) in spring season in deserts of Thar                                                    (iv) in spring season in deserts of Egypt

(c) The effect of the voice of the cuckoo bird is :
(i) that it refreshes the tired travellers                                                     (ii) that it is spread everywhere
(iii) that it seems to welcome travellers                                                       (iv) breaks the seas’ silence
Ans. (a) (iii) (b) (i) (c) (iv)

NON-MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
Read the following extracts and answer the questions given below :
1. Will none tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far off things,
And battles long ago.
(a) Explain the use of ‘perhaps’ in the second line.
Ans. ‘Perhaps’ is used to show that poet is not sure about the theme of solitary reaper’s song.
(b) ‘Flow’, – what quality of the solitary reaper song is expressed here?
Ans. The word ‘flow’ expresses the spontaneity of solitary reaper’s song.

(c) What is the poet’s guess?
Ans. He guesses that she might be singing about some unhappy things of the past or the battles fought long ago.

2. Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of today?
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain,
That has been, may be again.

(a) ‘It’ in the first line refers to :
Ans. ‘It’ in the first line refers to solitary reaper’s song.

(b) Explain ‘humble lay’.
Ans. It means that solitary reaper’s song may be about some ordinary people.

(c) What does the poet wish to convey by saying ‘that has been and may be again’ ?
Ans. He wishes to convey that the song may be about some natural sorrow which can occur again.

3. Whatever the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work
And o’er the sickle bending

(a) What other activities is the maiden doing besides singing ?
Ans. Besides singing, the maiden is cutting and binding the grain.

(b) What makes the maiden’s song extraordinary?
Ans. Maiden’s voice makes her song extraordinary.

(c) What effect does the song have over the poet ?
Ans. The song left an indellible mark on the poet’s heart.

4. I listen’d, motionless and still
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

(a) Where does the poet go?
Ans. The poet is climbing up the mouatain.

(b) How did the song affect the poet?
Ans. The song left a permanent mark on the poet’s heart.

(c) What does the poet want to convey by ‘‘long after it was heard no more’’?
Ans. The poet wants to say that the music is eternal and can give pleasure even when you do not hear it.
                                  
5. Alone she cuts, and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain:
O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

a. Who is ‘she’?
Ans: ‘She’ is the solitary reaper.

b. What is meant by ‘melancholy strain’?
Ans: ‘Melancholy strain’ means a sad song.

c. What does the ‘vale profound’ refer to?
Ans: ‘Vale profound’ refers to a deep valley.

6- Will no one tell me what she sings?
  Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
  For old, unhappy, far-off things,
  And battles long ago:
   a. Why does the poet ask the question in the first line?
Ans: The poet asks this question because he is unable to understand the meaning of the song, as the language in which she was singing was not familiar to the poet.
b. What is meant by ‘plaintive numbers’?
Ans:‘Plaintive numbers’ means sad songs.

c. What could have been one of the themes of the song?
Ans: One of the themes could have been about battles fought long ago or some sad event of the past.

7- I listen’d, motionless and still
    And, as I mounted up the hill,
   The Music in my heart I bore,
   Long after it was heard no more
a. How did the poet react to the song?
Ans: The poet stood very quiet and still, listening to the beautiful song.

b. Did the song affect the poet greatly?
Ans:Yes, the song made a very deep impact on the poet. He was so touched by it, that he carried the whole wonderful experience with him as he moved on.

8-No nightingale did ever chant
   More welcome notes to weary bands
  Of Travellers in some shady haunt.
  Among Arabian Sands
a. For whom did the nightingale sing? Why?
Ans:The nightingale sang to welcome the tired traveller. They are weary as their journey through the desert Arabian Desert is long and exhausting, so singing to them would help relax them slightly.

b.Why did the poet compare the song of the solitary reaper with those of the nightingale and the cuckoo – bird? What did he think of the maiden’s song?
Ans:The poet was deeply moved by the sweet melancholic song of the Highland lass. It was so profound that be compared it with the song of the nightingale and the cuckoo – bird. The nightingale sings to welcome weary travellers in the Arabian Desert – the maiden’s singing is compared to the soothing effect of the nightingales singing on the travellers. Similarly the cuckoo – bird’s song announces the onset of spring in the Hebrides island and this singing is so pleasant that it breaks the silence of the gloomy winter – the maiden’s singing has the same effect on the poet. The entire valley was overflowing with this music and the melody lingered on in the poets ears long after she had completed singing her song.

c.Where did the poet meet the solitary reaper?
Ans:In Scotland, while walking in the hills, the poet saw an ordinary Scottish girl, single in the field, reaping the crop and singing to herself. It sounded sad and melancholic. The entire valley was echoing and overflowing with her sweet song. The poet stood still and listened silently. He was greatly affected by the sheer melodiousness and found her song sweeter than that of a nightingale and the cuckoo.

SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS

1. Discuss the significance of the title of the poem.
Ans. The poem’s title and theme are based on the fact that once in the course of his walking tours of Scotland William Wordsworth, the poet, and his sister came across a solitary reaper, a young highland lass, who was reaping and binding corn as it was the harvest time. As she was working peacefully all by herself, she was singing. Her song had a touch of sadness. The memory of this lone girl and the melancholy notes of her song remained with the poet for all time. Wordsworth’s poem “The Solitary Reaper” somehow immortalises her.

2. ‘Solitary Reaper’ is a poem that depicts a simple peasant girl gifted with an extraordinary voice. What qualities make the girl unforgettable?
Ans. The melodious voice of the Solitary Reaper is unforgettable. It has tender melancholic strains, the sweetest human voice ever heard that haunted the poet for all time. He could not understand the dialect, nor the theme of her song. Her musical notes ran like water and surpassed the beauty of the songs of the nightingale and the cuckoo. The intensity and the enchanting quality of her song left an everlasting impression on the poet mind.

3. Give two examples of hyperbole and alliteration from the poem.
Ans. ‘Silence of the seas,’ and ‘sings a melancholy strain’ ‘perhaps the plaintive numbers flow,’ these poetic repetition of the ‘S’ sound and ‘P’ sound is a device used by poets called alliteration. Hyperbole in also a poetic device in which something written or described is made to sound more exciting, better or dangerous. “O’ listen! for the vale profound is overflowing with the sound”. The sound of the reaper’s song is so powerful that it fills the deep valleys, it is an exaggeration.

4. Why is the song of the solitary reaper compared to the nightingale’s song?
Ans. The nightingale is acclaimed as a song bird endowed with a sweet voice who is supposed to sing in a melodious and soothing way. The solitary reaper’s voice is also sweet and melodious. Her song is so sweetly melancholy that it leaves an indelible mark in the poet’s mind. Shady haunt is a cool resting place in an oasis in the Arabian desert where weary travellers are resting.

5. What arrested the attention of the poet out for a walk in the countryside ? [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
Ans. While walking in the countryside, the poet heard the solitary reaper’s song. He was struck by the fact that the girl was cutting the harvest alone and on a happy occassion singing a melancholy song. It was so melodious that it once caught poet’s attention. He finds her song sweeter than a nightingale and more thrilling than a cuckoo bird.

6. How could the poet hear the song of the Solitary Reaper, when it could be heard no more? [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
Ans. One day, while climbing up a hill, the poet hears solitary reaper’s song. The song reminds him of a nightingle and a cuckoo. He finds the song so enchanting that it leaves an indelible mark on the poet’s mind and he believes that the memory of the song will remain with him forever. This also shows that music has a universal appeal.

7. How do we know that the highland girl was engrossed in her work? [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
Ans. Once the poet comes across a highland girl while climbing up a hill. The young girl was reaping and binding the corn as it was the harvest time. As she was working peacefully all by herself, she was singing. The whole valley resounds with her melodious voice but she is ignorant of all this and is totally engrossed in her work.

8. What guesses does the poet make about the theme of the Solitary Reaper’s song? [CBSE 2010 (TermI)]
Ans. The solitary reaper was singing the song in a dialect. The poet was unable to comprehend its meaning but was able to gauge from its sad note that it probably relates to some unhappy memories, some battles fought long ago. The poet also guesses that the song may be about the commonplace things like joys and sorrows.

LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
1. Discuss the effect of the Solitary Reaper’s song on the listeners. Why is it compared to the nightingale and the cuckoo?
Ans. The poet describes the solitary reaper’s song, filling the deep valleys, sweeter than the voice of a nightingale. It is more welcome than a nightingale’s chant heard by weary travellers in the shady haunts of the Arabian desert. It is more thrilling than a cuckoo bird’s song which in spring time can break the silence of the seas. It made the poet stand motionless and still to listen and carry it with him in his heart as he mounted up the hill never to forget it evermore. References to the Arabian sands and Scotlands Hebrides (far-off Islands) impart an exotic feeling.

2. Discuss the scenic beauty of the background. How does it highlight the musicality of the song of the solitary reaper?
Ans. The scenic beauty is captured and displayed by the poet in vale profound, overflowing with the sound (the solitary reaper’s song), “Weary bands of travellers in some shady haunts among the Arabian sands”. Breaking the silence of the seas among the farthest hebrides.

3. What impresses the poet? Why?
Ans. William Wordsworth describes and exemplifies a once ‘in a lifetime kind of memory’ that is meant to be taken out of the storehouse of memory and enjoyed forever. The poet is struck by the beauty and the melody of the mountain girl, working in harmony with her surroundings. The maiden’s song enchants the poet and the melancholy strain makes him wonder at the content of the song. The melody and enchanting quality of her song reminds him of the nightingale and the cuckoo but the intensity of her song overflows and reverberates throughout the valley. Whether she was singing about a battle or common sorrows or illness of a loved one, the poet has no idea. The solitary reaper’s song leaves a lasting impression on the poet’s mind and he believes that the memory of this song will be with him forever.

4. What message does the poet wish to convey in the poem?
Ans. What impresses the poet in the song is not its content but its emotionally expressive music. This feeling could have no ending and it communicates wordlessly something universal about human condition. Despite the ‘melancholy strain’, the poet proceeds on his way, his ‘heart’ carrying her music. For that reason the poem relates to an ‘ecstatic moment’ in which a passer-by transcends the limitations of mortality. Both the song and the poet can go on together. It also expresses the thought that the appeal and music is universal, language is not important.

5. Wordsworth had a wonderful experience listening to the highland girl while out for a walk in the countryside. He comes home and pens down his feelings in his diary immediately. Write his diary. [CBSE 2010 (Term I)]
Ans. Dear Diary,            May25,2016
Today, after a long time, I heard a song more melodious than a nightingale and a cuckoo bird. I am so thrilled that I want to pour my feelings into you. The highland lass who I heard singing while climbing the hill was so engrossed in her work of reaping the crop that she was totally oblivious of her surroundings. Although I could not understand the dialect she was singing in but from the melancholy notes of her song I was able to gauge that it related to some unhappy memories, or some battles fought long ago. I was so mesmerised and spellbound that I was held motionless and still. But the memory of her song will always remain fresh for me. It has left an indelible mark on my mind. Oh God! it is still resounding in my ears.