Workbook Answers/ Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, A Psalm of Life: In this post, we will provide you complete details about Collections of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Here, all the poems are short stories are mentioned in a beautiful manner. Also, the answers of poems and short stories are given in simple and lucid language. The main purpose of this post is to provide all the student’s answers so that they can prepare well for their Examination. Also, Students will be able to complete their Workbook.
Workbook Answers/ Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, A Psalm of Life
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the most renowned and best loved American poet of his lifetime. His poems “Paul Revere’s Ride,” Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie (1847)”, and “A Psalm of Life” are still popular now, due to which they are being taught in schools.
Now, you can go through the answers that are given below:
I. (i) The words ‘mournful numbers’ refer to the sorrowful verses, through which the speaker does not want to be told that life is a meaningless dream.
(ii) It means that life is a meaningless dream and an illusion. Life can be an empty dream if human beings spend their time meaninglessly without having a goal in life.
(iii) By saying, “the soul is dead that slumbers”, the poet intends to say that one, who spends his time aimlessly is really a dead man. Therefore, one must always be up and doing. The speaker, later in the poem, says that one should rely neither on the future nor on the past, but should live in the present moment with courage in oneself and trust in God.
(iv) Those who live an irresponsible life and while their away time aimlessly depict life as a meaningless dream. This does not reflect the true nature of human life.
(v) Yes, indeed a profound thinker can be a great poet because only a thinker can give vent to the feelings and aspirations of humanity at large and reflect the true nature of human life.
The moral principle hinted in the extract is that life is not an empty dream but has a serious mission.
(vi) The human attitude of irresponsible indulgence in useless pursuits and meaningless thinking is condemned in this extract.
(i) Earlier in the poem, it was said that life is a meaningless dream. This gloomy aspect of life is misleading and not a reality, for it does not reflect its true nature.
(ii) It means that death is not the end of life. The poet strongly belives in life after death because he says that death marks the end of the body and not the soul.
(iii) “Dust thou art, to dust returnest” means that the body comes from dust and returns to dust.
The allusion in the statement is that God formed man out of clay and breathed life into him. But, when Adam and Eve, the first human beings, disobeyed God, they were punished by pronouncing the Law of Death on them, which says, “Dust thou art and unto dust thou shall return.”
(iv) The human body, which is perishable, returns to the dust, from which it appeared. However, the soul is imperishable and does not return to the dust.
Two examples of lyrical quality in the poem are:
(a) Each stanza of the poem follows the rhyming scheme abab, according to which, the first line rhymes with the third and the second line rhymes with the fourth.
(b) It is a musical lyric that invokes mankind to live in the present and follow the path of righteousness.
(i) The “world’s broad field of battle” refers to the whole world being a big battlefield. It is referred to as the battlefield because here, every human being has to work hard and struggle to live and fight the battle of life, within the allotted time.
(ii) ‘bivouac of life’ means that this world is a temporary camp for human beings, where they live and struggle for a fixed period of time and then leave it, when their bodies die. One should fight against all odds in this bivouac and emerge as a hero.
(iii) The expression, “dumb, driven cattle” means that human beings should not be like the dumb cattle, which is driven by others, because it lacks direction and determination. Human beings should fight against all odds and emerge as heroes.
(iv) One should not trust the future because one is not aware of what is going to happen in the future. Similarly, one should not trust the past because one cannot change the past. So, one should live in the present moment and make the best out of it.
(a) Let the dead Past bury its dead! means that we should not be captivated by the past events and they should be put away because we cannot change them and therefore, we should live in the present moment.
(b) Heart within, and God o’erhead! means that one should not rely on the past or the future and live in the present moment with courage in oneself and trust in God.
The moral principle underlying the extract is that the whole world is a big battlefield and a temporary rest camp. So, we should not be dumb like cattle, who are driven by others, but should find our own way.
(i) The lives of great men teach us that we can also achieve great heights by emulating them.
(ii) (a) We can make our life sublime in the life’s battlefield by fighting against all odds, finding our own way and becoming a success.
(b) We can make our life sublime by living in the present moment without bothering for the future or the past and making the best use of available time and resources.
(iii) “Footprints on the sands of time” mean the noble work done by great men which act as milestones and show the way to others to make their lives successful. We can benefit from the footprints on the sands by following the path shown by great men and achieving new heights in life.
(iv) The lines which appeal to me the most include the following:
Let us, then, be up and doing
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
Learn to labor and to wait.
This is because the above lines provide the lesson on how to live a successful life. These lines teach us that, we should never give up, continue our work confidently, facing any situation in life, favorable or unfavorable and without being preoccupied with the outcome of our actions. We should continue our efforts persistently and learn to wait patiently for the rewards.
(v) The gloomy picture of life shown by the speaker in the poem includes the following:
(a) Life is a meaningless dream.
(b) The work assigned to us is too demanding and time-consuming. But time passes quickly leaving us bewildered.
(i) ‘Footprints’ of the noble deeds performed by us, which can encourage an unhappy and ruined man, sailing over the sea of life, are referred to in the extract.
(a) Sailing o’er life’s solemn main mean sailing over the sea of life.
(b) A forlorn and shipwrecked brother mean an unhappy and deserted man, who has gone astray from the right path.
(iii) The ‘footprints’ are referred to in the extract because they can motivate an unhappy and deserted man, who has gone astray from the right path, by following the path shown by these footprints.
(iv) The poet wants to convey that we should begin our work courageously facing any situation in life, favorable or unfavorable.
Yes, indeed I enjoyed reading the poem for the following reasons:
(a) It instructs and guides us on how to lead an upright life. It inspires us to continue our work without being bogged down by the circumstances.
(b) It is a musical lyric that has a swift rhythm and rhyming pattern.
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