Class 9 English Chapter 6

The Brook


Question 1.
Can you match the following?
(a) Something that lives for one year biennial
(b) Something that lives for about two years perennial
(c) Something that lives for more than two years annual

Answer:
(a) annual
(b) biennial
(c) perennial

Question 2.
Here is a list of a few things. Can you tell how long each of them can live exist?
(a) a dog
(b) an elephant
(c) a tree
(d) a human being
(e) a star
(f) a mountain
(g) a river

Answer:
(a) A dog can live up to 20-23 years.
(b) An elephant can live up to 80 years.
(c) A tree can live for a few hundred years,
(d) A human being can live for 100-135 years.
(e) A star can live up to billions of years.
(f) A mountain can exist for millions of years,
(g) A river can exist for millions of years.

Question 3.
See textbook on page 57.

Answer:
Do it yourself.

Question 4.
After reading the poem answer the following questions:
The poet has used a number of words which indicate ‘movement’ and ‘sound’. Working with your partner make a list of these words from the poem and complete the web chart:

(c) A word or a combination of words, whose sound seems to resemble the sound it denotes (for example: “hiss”, “buzz”, etc.) is called onomatopoeia. From the words that you have filled in the blurbs above point out these words.
Answer:

(c) The onomatopoeic words are:
(i) chatter
(ii) murmur
(iii) babble
(iv) treble.

Question 5.
The following is a flow chart showing the course of the brook. Can you fill in the blank spaces with help from the phrases given below?
Answer:


Question 6.
On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice.
(a) The message of the poem is that the life of a brook is …..
(i) temporary
(ii) short-lived
(iii) eternal
(iv) momentary

Answer:
(iii) eternal

(b) The poet draws a parallelism between the journey of the brook with
(i) the life of a man
(ii) the death of man
(iii) the difficulties in a man’s life
(iv) the endless talking of human beings

Answer:
(i) the life of a man

(c) The poem is narrated in the first person by the brook. This figure of speech is
(i) Personification
(ii) Metaphor
(iii) Simile
(iv) Transferred epithet

Answer:
(i) Personification

(d) In the poem, below-mentioned lines:
“And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling ”
suggest that …..
(i) the brook is a source of life
(ii) people enjoy the brook
(iii) fishes survive because of water
(iv) the brook witnesses all kinds of scenes.

Answer:
(i) the brook is a source of life

Question 7.
Answer the following questions:
(a) How does the brook ‘sparkle’?
(b) ‘Bicker’ means ‘to quarrel’. Why does the poet use this word here?
(c) How many hills and bridges does the brook pass during its journey?
(d) Where does it finally meet the river?
(e) Why has the word ‘chatter’ been repeated in the poem?
(f) ‘With many a curve my banks I fret’—What does the poet mean by this statement?
(g) ‘I wind about, and in and out’. What kind of a picture does this line create in your mind?
(h) Name the different things that can be found floating in the brook.
(i) What does the poet want to convey by using the words ‘steal’ and ‘slide’?
(j) The poem has many examples of alliteration. List any five examples.
(k) ‘I make the netted sunbeam dance’. What does ‘the netted sunbeam’ mean? How does it dance?
(l) What is the ‘refrain’ in the poem? What effect does it create?

Answer:
(a) The brook sparkles when the sunlight and the rays fall on its watery surface. The watery surface acts as a medium and reflects the sun rays producing a sparkling effect. The brook “sparklefs) out among the fern” growing near its banks.

(b) When the brook flows out of the place of its birth and flows down, it makes a lot of noise which gives out the idea of noise bom out of ‘a quarrel’. The poet uses the word “bicker” which means ‘to quarrel’. He seems to be using the right word at the right place. The word ‘bicker’ denotes the noisy and quarrelsome sound of the flowing river.

(c) The brook passes through thirty hills and fifty bridges during its journey, before it joins the brimming river.

(d) The brook meets the brimming river by Philip’s farm.

(e) The word ‘chatter’ has been repeatedly used in the poem. The first use is, “I chatter over stony ways.” The second time it is, “I chatter, chatter as I flow.” The word ‘chatter’ means to talk quickly in a friendly way, without stopping. The poet uses the appropriate word to denote the non-stop talking sound of the brook while
it is negotiating its stony ways. Even the sound of the flowing river is repeatedly called ‘chatter’ as it is constant, non-stop and friendly.

(f ) The line ‘With many a curve my banks I fret’ expresses the aggressive mood of the flowing brook. The course of the brook is never in a straight line. When the brook strikes the jutting parts of the land it is forced to flow in curves. The water frets and fumes when it strikes and flows round the curvy course. It beats its banks in anger.

(g) The onward course of the brook is never in a straight line. It is the tendency of water to make its way wherever it can enter in the gaps. The brook flows on in a zig-zag way finding its own course. Sometimes it goes inside the creeks and fills it with water. When the area is flat, the water comes out moving in a more relaxed way widening its surface.

(h) The brook is a source of life. We find many things that can be found floating in the brook. We find blossoms ‘sailing’ over its surface. And ‘here and there’ we find a ‘lusty trout’ and ‘a grayling’ swimming in and out of its watery surface. As it travels onwards we can see ‘foamy flakes’ floating over its surface.

(i) The flowing pattern and course of the brook is never uniform. There are places where the brook steals by ‘lawns and grassy plots’. Here, it moves secretly and quietly so that its movement remains unnoticed. The brook ‘slides by hazel covers’ growing near its banks. Here the movement is easy, quiet but quicker than before. The brook flows like the journey of life negotiating all hurdles and obstructions on the way. ,

(j) Tennyson makes every effective use of alliteration to create a special poetic and sound effect. The five examples of ‘alliteration’ in the poem are:
  • ‘t’ sound in ‘twenty thorpes, a little town’.
  • T sound in ‘farm’ and ‘flow’ and ‘field and fallow’.
  • ‘w’ sound in ‘with willows-weed’.
  • ‘b’ sound in ‘bubble’ … ‘bays’ and ‘babble’.
  • ‘d’ and‘t’ sounds in ‘wind about and in and out’.
(k) The rays of the sun fall on the watery surface of the brook. The sunbeams get netted. The watery surface acts as a net or a reflector. The trapped sunbeams are reflected back. The sparkling sunbeams seem to be dancing when the water flows in the sunlight.

(l) A refrain is the part of a song or a poem that is repeated a number of times. The refrain in the poem is:
For men may come and men may go,
But 1 go on for ever.
The refrain used in the poem heightens the poetic and musical effects. It brings out the eternal existence of the brook and transitory existence of man’s life in this world. Secondly, it highlights the single idea and maintains the unity of the poem.

Question 8.
Read the given lines and answer the questions:
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever
(a) Who does ‘I’ refer to in the given lines?
(b) How does it ‘chatter’?
(c) Why has the poet used the word ‘brimming’? What kind of a picture does it create?
(d) Explain the last two lines of the stanza.

Answer:
(a) T refers to the brook in the given lines.
(b) The flowing motion of the brook creates a chattering sound. It appears as if it is talking sofly and constantly in a friendly manner with anything that obstructs its flow.
(c) The poet has used the word ‘brimming’ for the bigger river the brook is ultimately going to join in. It creates a picture of a big river filled with water up to the brim.
(d) The refrain in the poem presents a striking contrast. Men may come and go in and out of this world. Their existence is transitory. However, the brook presents a picture of eternity. It will flow forever

Question 9.
Identify the rhyme scheme of the poem.

Answer:
The rhyme scheme of the poem is


Question 10.
The poem is full of images that come alive through skilful use of words. List out any two images that appeal to you the most, quoting the lines from the poem.

Answer:
The poem ‘The Brook’ is full of images that come alive through skilful use of words. The first image that appeals to me the most is the one that recaptures its course before it joins the brimming river.

‘By thirty hills I hurry down.
Or slip between the ridges
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

The noticeable feature is the pace of the lines. When the brook is in its infancy it passes through thirty hills and its movement is very quick. It hurries down. Then it passes through the narrow ridges and here it slips between them. Then the pace is a bit relaxed when it passes through twenty small hamlets or villages, a little town and under half a hundred bridges.

The second image is the ‘chattering’ quality of the brook. The river seems to be talking constantly in a friendly way to the things that obstruct its flow. After ‘chattering’ the brook prepares itself to join the brimming river. The image of‘brimming river’ brings into our minds a river which is full of water to its brim.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river ’.

Question 11.
The brook appears to be a symbol for life.
Pick out examples of parallelism between life and the brook.

Answer:
The brook is, definitely, a symbol for life. There are many examples of parallelism between life and the brook:
(i) Infancy: There is a striking parallel between human life and the life of the brook. As an infant suddenly appears in this world, the brook makes a ‘sudden sally’ or emerges suddenly from the place of its birth.
(ii) Youth: In human beings this is the period when ‘life’ is at its peak. One is strong, full of enthusiasm and dynamism. All his movements are dynamic and full of action. Similarly, in its youth, the brook shows enthusiasm in its movement. It also shows anger.

“By thirty hills I hurry down
Or slip between the ridges. ”

The other words which express its youthful movement are ‘bickers’, ‘frets’ and ‘chatters”.
(iii) Life-Support System: The brook is symbol for life. It provides a support system to life. The brook is full of‘trouts’ and ‘graylings’ which provide food for animals and human beings.
(iv) Old Age—Leisurely Movement: Before it ultimately joins the brimming river, the brook sheds its fret and anger. It assumes a leisurely and peaceful demeanour while ‘stealing’ by grassy lawns and plots or ‘sliding’ by hazel covers.

NCERT Solutions