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BEGE-143: Understanding Poetry

BEGE-143: Understanding Poetry

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: BEGE-143/ASST/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BEGE-143

Assignment Name: Understanding Poetry

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer all questions.

Section A


Write short notes in about 200 words each. 2 × 5 = 10


Q (i) Main concerns of Victorian Poetry

Ans) The nineteenth century was exceptional in that it transitioned from previous ideals to those that were to be developed from scratch.


The phrase "Victorian faith crisis" is widely used. It refers to the predicament of a nineteenth-century individual stuck between personal convictions and wider historical forces. Morality, fellow feeling, and ease of life were all raised as a result of the new scientific theories. Upheavals loomed on the other end of the spectrum, too frightening to bear. The door to social revolution was open, and if they were allowed in and to work for, they would bring untold violence. The widening divide between affluent and poor provided the backdrop for such a situation. The elite believed that adhering to doctrine would assure stability. However, the amount of people who wanted to work but couldn't find it threatened to upset life's seeming balance. Compare this to the Romantic poets' impatience in the prior decades, who felt defeated since the new was not all that reassuring. Science was called into question as faith waned.


The Victorian era, on the other hand, lacked the same enthusiasm for forming fresh perspectives and anticipating a new dawn. The perspective that had previously encompassed vistas of possibility, experimentation, and invention was vanished. The solutions can be found in the difficulties of the past that have brought civilization to a standstill. The resource-hungry capitalism was dismantling the village structure based on a sedate agriculture.


Q (II) Characteristic features of Indian English Poetry

Ans) Indian poets discovered a new kind of English poetry by incorporating Indian culture, customs, and issues into their work and bringing them to the attention of the world. Indian English differs from western or native English in several respects, including theme, language, writing style, imagery, and so on. Because it is "for the Indians and by the Indian," the poems written in Indian English become more connected to Indians.



There is a comprehensive usage of Indian English in poetry like Nissim Ezekiel's "The Railway Clerk," such as the suffix; "ing" is used excessively and incorrectly, and this is how most Indians use English.


This style of English was utilised by the poet to convey humour and satire in this poem. When Indian poets began utilising words from Indian languages (Hindi, Urdu, etc.) such as "guru, goonda, burkha, chapatti, pan," people all over the world began borrowing those phrases in English.


The core of Indianness will remain in their compositions, making it easy for a true reader to distinguish between an Indian poet and a western counterpart. Similarly, with other Indian poets, such as Nissim Ezekiel and A.K. Ramanujan, an exception is hard to come by. The poets' choice of language and subject show their level of experience.


Indianness is passed down through the generations of Indian writers, and they are unable to escape it. Indian poets employ a variety of patterns, including beliefs, attitudes, mythology, and allusion. Nothing, therefore, can be more inspiring for Indians than India.



Section B


Explain with reference to the context in 300 words each. 3 X 10 = 30


Q 1) Images consult one another,

a conscience-stricken jury,

Ans) The poem is situated in a circumstance where the poet is in severe anguish over the death of another poem. The death of a poem signifies the conclusion of an idea and creativity, the culmination of days of toil and hard effort in the construction of the poem. The poem's entwined emotions are lost in translation. The tone and choice of words indicate that the scene is one of despair, hopelessness, and anguish, accompanied by a deep sigh.


The poem is a reflection of a poet's feelings on a poetry that hasn't received much attention. The poem's title is noteworthy since it refers to a poem's failure or death. The poem is deemed to be "dead" since it lacks remarkable elements and hence fails to gain fame.

We can sense the writer's sadness as we progress through the lines.

As stated in the first few lines:

“Images consult



The poet strives to convey that the images that make up a poem, as well as the ideas and memories that make up the images that make up the poem itself, consult one another.

As we read through the poem, the objective of the consultation would become evident.

The pictures then consult each other like a "conscious-stricken jury," according to the poet. A jury is a group of persons who decide on a case. The photos are compared to a jury's decision on whether or not they would go together in a sentence. They are 'conscious-stricken,' maybe because they are aware that they lack the element of importance and magic that distinguishes the poetry in its highest form.


As a result, towards the end of the poem, the poet says they issue a verdict of agreeing on a sentence, as if the judges agree on a judgement.


Q 2) Sweep the house

Under the feet of the curious

Holiday seekers—

Sweep under the table and the bed

Ans) The dead baby is transformed into a horrifying yet fascinating Victorian curio or specimen in this poem, which is "surrounded by fresh flowers." The clean "sweep" of death contrasts sharply with the obsessive "sweeping" used as a coping technique.


Even when tragedy strikes, Williams maintains an upbeat outlook on life and death. In his poetry "the Dead Baby," he expresses his feelings as they are reflected in the family.

Sweep the house

under the feet of the curious

holiday seeker-

sweep under the table and the bed


The speaker now requests for help cleaning the house and prepares for the arrival of the baby's body. He explains how and where to sweep, including under the table and bed, as well as under the feet of "the curious holiday seekers." We must ask ourselves, who are these interested vacationers? Obviously, the folks in the house right now aren't just direct family. In that situation, the speaker would refer to them as "vacation seekers." The statement is a scathing indictment on the crowd's demeanour. It is a sad occasion, and the death of a small child is particularly tragic. The people's apathy and indifference are also highlighted by the fact that they are referred regarded as "vacation seekers." The word "curious" refers to something unusual about the persons present. It's a remark on a segment of society that is oblivious to the suffering of others. The scene is set in a house, complete with a bed, table, and window. It is not a luxurious residence, but rather a modest living space.


As a result, even in the face of adversity, Williams maintains a positive outlook on life and death. In his poetry "the Dead Baby," he expresses his feelings as they are reflected in the family.


Q 3) Had we but world enough and Time,

This coyness Lady were no crime.

We would sit down, and think which way

Ans) "To His Coy Mistress" is a poem by Andrew Marvell, an English poet. Most certainly composed during the English Interregnum in the 1650s. The poem is, in fact, an attempt to entice the "coy mistress." However, the speaker focuses on death with horrific intensity throughout the process. Death appears to take control of the poem, removing the speaker's erotic enthusiasm and infusing it with dread.


The poem's speaker begins by speaking to a woman who has been hesitant to respond to his romantic approaches. He discusses how he would pay court to her if he were not bound by the limits of a regular lifespan in the first stanza. He might spend aeons appreciating every detail of her body, and her apprehension (i.e., coyness) would not deter him.


Hyperbole, or words that contain exaggeration, is used in the opening ten lines of the poem. It is claimed that the poet would go to any length to fulfil the demands of the lover. The tone is light-hearted, as though he's amusing her. The poet's identity is taken through historical events such as the Flood and the conversion of the Jews in the ancient past through references to Time.


Aside from history, geography is mentioned. The Indian Ganges and the Humber River are notable. The lover's time is equally pleasurable, with the lover searching for rubies before approaching his girlfriend from a closer vantage point. In addition, the lover implies that they do not have a lot of time. The idea is that humans have a finite amount of time to love and enjoy themselves. The nature of love is also mentioned. It's about the senses and body.



Section C


Answer the following questions in 800 words each: 4 X 15 = 60


Q 1) Compare and contrast the idea of love in Donne’s “The Canonization” and Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress.”


Love expressed in “The Canonization”  by Donne.

The speaker requests that his addressee remain silent and allow him to adore. If the addressee can't keep his mouth shut, the speaker instructs him to criticise him for his palsy, gout, "five grey hairs," or lost money, among other flaws (apart from his proclivity for love). He advises the addressee to concentrate on his own brains and money, to consider his position, and to imitate the other nobility. The speaker is unconcerned about what the addressee says or does as long as he is allowed to adore him.


“Who is wounded by my love?” the speaker asks sarcastically. He claims that his sighs haven't sunk ships, his tears haven't flooded land, his colds haven't frozen spring, and the fire in his veins hasn't added to the number of plague victims. Regardless of the speaker's and his lover's sentiments, soldiers still find battles and lawyers still find litigious men.

“Call us what you will,” the speaker tells his audience, for it is love that has made them who they are. He claims that the addressee might "call her one, me another fly," and that they are similar to candles that burn by feeding on themselves ("and die at our own cost"). The lovers discover the eagle and the dove in one other, and together ("we two being one") they solve the phoenix's riddle, for they "die and rise the same," just as the phoenix does—though, unlike the phoenix, love is the one who slays and resurrects them.


He claims that if they can't live by love, they may die by it, and that if their legend isn't fit "for tombs and hearses," it will be good for poetry, and "we'll create pretty rooms in sonnets." A well-crafted urn does as much justice to a deceased man's ashes as a massive tomb, and the speaker and his lover will be "canonised," or admitted to the sainthood of love, as a result of the poetry about them.


Love expressed in “To his Coy Mistress” by Marvell

"To His Coy Mistress" is divided into three stanzas or poetic paragraphs.


The speaker informs the mistress in the first stanza that her "coyness" would not be a "crime" if they had more time and space. He continues the conversation by emphasising how much he admires and compliments her if only he had more time. He'd concentrate on "every area" of her body until he reached her heart.


"BUT," he continues in the second line, "we don't have the time, we're about to die!" He tells her that while life is short, death is eternal. In a terrifying moment, he warns her that worms will try to remove her "virginity" when she's in the coffin if she doesn't have sex with him before they die. If she refuses to have sex with him, he will suffer consequences as well. All of his sexual desire will be "ashes" for the rest of his life.


"NOW," he continues in the third stanza, "I've told you what will happen when you die, so let's have sex while we're young." Look at those "birds of prey" that are mating. That's how we should go about it - but first, a glass of wine and some time. Then he wants to play a game with us, transforming us into a "ball." (Hmmm.) He also proposes that they channel all of their pent-up tensions into the sex act, allowing them to be free.


He relaxes a little in the final couplet. He claims that sex will not stop the "sun" from travelling. The movement of the sun around the earth was supposed to produce time in Marvell's time. Anyway, he claims, we can't stop time, but we can influence its course. We pursue time rather than time pursuing us whenever we have sex. This individual has some perplexing views about sex and time. We probably do, too, come to think of it. "To His Coy Mistress" allows us to delve deeper into some of those perplexing concepts.



The lady of the poem refuses to make love to the narrator in both To His Coy Mistress and The Canonization. Marvell chooses to speak to his mistress about how precious time is and how they should cherish each other while they still have it. They can die by love if they are unable to live by it, according to Donne, and both can be deemed metaphysical due to the shared theme of love. I think Marvell's poem was more pleasant and persuasive since it talks about how he would admire his mistress eternally if he had forever, implying that they don't have enough time for her to keep being so secretive about this topic.


Q 2) Write a critical appreciation on the poem “The Caves”

Ans) The poem "The Caves" is an example of protest poetry that must be interpreted in the context of Dalit oppression from a Dalit feminist perspective. It's the voice of a Dalit lady speaking out against injustice and subordination at all levels of Jyoti Lanjewar. The poem raises concerns about the atrocities perpetrated against Dalits by a society ruled by powerful people.


This poetry also contains a lot of anguish, as evidenced by the following lines:

Their inhumane acts have dug tunnels in my heart's rock.


The poet talks about how "inhuman acts" have etched caves un his heart. The atrocities relate to the violence and marginalisation experienced by Dalits. She is referring to the upper caste, society, and the oppressive authorities. Similarly, the term "inhuman" refers to the inhumane treatment of Dalits, which is not something that would be done to a human being under normal conditions. It also reveals a lot about those who perpetrate violence. Surprisingly, they are seen as civilised. However, Lanjewar's citation of the horrible atrocities reveals how savage and deceitful they are. Lanjewar's speech is that of a woman, hence a veiled subtext regarding the atrocities perpetrated against Dalit women is emphasised. The poem works on two levels: Dalit oppression and, in particular, Dalit women's exploitation.


The poet compares the woman's life journey to a walk in the woods in the poem. She must proceed with caution. She seemed to be concerned about an imminent peril. Each move must be taken cautiously. It's tempting to wonder why caution is essential. The poet is aware of "change" in her environment and keeps an eye out for it. The poet looks to be interested in seeing what change will mean for her in the future, as her gaze remains fixated on the shifting currents.


Lanjewar employs the concept of human rights as a point of entrance into the protest framework. Human rights will obliterate the framework of the aforementioned right, which has been granted to a large portion of the productive population. Using the framework of human rights, the poet criticises the crimes committed against the underprivileged. The poet conveys her dissatisfaction and fury over the fact that the land where they remained was never the motherland it was supposed to be. It didn't care for them or provide them a full life.


She opposes the land and the country in which they are stationed, asking how a land that has treated Dalits inhumanely can be theirs. It makes the reader doubt the nation-boundaries state's and the Dalits' utter marginalisation. A nation must be built on the premise that it belongs to everyone. Each of the country's citizens should have equal rights. If that's the case, how come one section has control while the others are treated as second-class citizens? Lanjewar's voice is one of reason and kindness, and she poses important questions.


Atrocities against Dalits are considered "unpardonable sins" by Lanjewar. The way the Dalits are treated will bear witness to their subjugation. The poem ends on a protest note, with the poet declaring her opposition to oppression in the closing lines. It's also a time for the Dalit lady to speak up and assert herself in society. The poem is a protest against the Dalits' cruel treatment.



Through this exquisite picture in her poem, the poet Jyoti Lanjewar deserves a lot of credit for her compassion and concern for Dalit women and the underprivileged and oppressed. She knows that only those in positions of power are capable of enacting the necessary reforms.


The current statement has the potential to function on two levels. The Dalits are conditioned to believe that the upper castes are superior to them by the entire upper caste Brahmanical practise. The Dalits have been socialised to accept and submit to the higher caste's "assumed supremacy." Lanjewar's poem is a protest poem that opposes this notion. On a different level, we need to include the Dalit feminist perspective. This would assist to highlight the oppression of Dalit women, who are twice as oppressed as men. Her subjugation as a Dalit is accompanied by incidences of beating and torture both within and beyond the family system.


Q 3) Critically comment on Sukirtharani’s feminism as reflected in her poetry.

Ans) Sukirtharani is a Tamil-language Dalit feminist poet. Her poetry is one-of-a-kind, focusing on caste and the body. She emphasises how the caste system limits women's bodily autonomy. Kaipattri Yen Kanavu Kel, Iravu Mirugam, Kaamatthipoo, Theendapadaatha Muttham, Avalai Mozhipeyarthal, and Ippadikku Yeval are her six collections of poems reflecting her Dalit identity. Her poem Yen Udal (My Body) is about how men's patronization of women's bodies is constant. The paintings have been regarded as both a celebration of the feminine form and a rebuke of the repressive caste system, encapsulating the dual experience of being born both a woman and a Dalit.


In the poem Yen Udal (my body), it is like a discovery that after violence and risk, there is peace in the end, like the calm after a storm.


You may frame me, like a picture

and hang me on your wall

I will pour down


away past you

like a river in sudden flood.


I myself will become earth fire sky wind water

The more you confine me, the more I will spill over

Nature’s fountainhead.


It's one of my favourite pieces of poetry. In fact, a woman's body and the world are identical in that they both create. A woman, on the other hand, does not have a home — her own personal territory on this planet. It is my father's home, not mine, in the village where I live. What happened to my mother's house? My mother's village is the same as her father's. Where does a woman fit in if we exclusively take after men? In our society, we are always identified by the masculine members of the family.


When a woman's space is connected to a man's space, it becomes a space. If I have a child, I won't be able to claim it as my own; it will be my husband's heir. That's how we've been taught to think. Such ideals have been engrained in us. The female body is never permitted to exist in isolation; it is always defined by the man who owns it, makes love to it, or was born to it. Love and sex are synonymous, and even if they aren't, the two desires arise from the same physical body. It is perfectly acceptable for a guy to flaunt his libido, but it is forbidden for a woman to do so; if she does, it is considered a sin. Female sexuality is frowned upon in society.


Purity and sexuality have only been associated in the last 2000 years, with purity being female and sexuality being male. This ideology is complete nonsense. It's just a biological sensation. Women, on the other hand, are thrown out right away. You're cursed if you're a feminist. You're much more damned if you're a Dalit feminist. Lyricists like Palani Barathi and Snehan have attacked women poets in the past.


Sukirtharani's poetry restores the feminine body's confidence and respect.


Feminism is intended to be inclusive; she argues as she explains her concept of feminism to Karthikeyan. Why, I reasoned, shouldn't there be a space for Dalit women's literature if there is one for Dalit men? We will never be able to define feminism by a single criterion. My feminism is expressed in a different way than yours. For some, feminism may simply mean having the freedom to go to bars and remain out late. Feminism for me means having the right to leave the house, and both are equally vital.


We must recognise that feminism in New Delhi differs from that in Kanyakumari. Lalapet's feminism is distinct from that of Kanyakumari. What matters is the unifying thread of women's liberation that goes through it all. It is only interwoven with personal experiences on the outside. In this regard, Sukirtharani's Dalit feminism is distinct and equally vital.


Sukirtharani's voice is similar to that of other Tamil-language Dalit women poets. Her poetry displays her grasp of the intricacies of identity construction that are confronted by several discourses such as caste, class, and gender. Sukirtharani's poetry has been described as "a courageous and poignant engagement with sexuality that draws on the feminist reclamation of desire and sexual pleasure" by Susie Tharu (Arya 184). Sukirtharani liberates her Dalit identity and the female body from oppressive traditions. Her poetry is both strong and liberating, inspiring readers to live a decent life.


Q 4) The poem “Chinar” is a fine example of landscape poetry. Discuss.

Ans) The poem “Chinar” by Daruwalla is a fine example of landscape poetry. It evokes the image of the tree chinar and that gets extended to Kashmir. It also brings alive the river Jhelum and the lakes of Kashmir. At the same time, the moment of dusk when the faint light touches all the static elements is vividly evoked in the poem—the visual imagery that sets him apart from other poets of his generation.


The title of the poem “Chinar” is indicative both of nature and social place. It is linked with the arrival of autumn in Kashmir. The indications come from words such as “dry rain” and “sapless branch” that characterize the season’s change. We note that the poet does with effort catch nuances of the season and of contemporary history. There is something in nature that leaves him dissatisfied with it. We are fascinated by mention of the eye of the lake and the running eye of Jhelum. The two are one and yet different. The former is relatively fixed, and the latter is a symbol of movement. The active river is connected with the crinkled leaves of the chinar. For the poet, something inexplicable has happened to the valley and its inhabitants. Chinar is a symbol of the people of Kashmir who are strong and dignified but have lost verve and positive spirit over time.


The poet's use of details that speak as loudly as the poem's words is consistent. Take a look at the opening line of the first stanza. As previously said, chinar is more than a tree to the poet; it is a cultural symbol of stability and strength. Its shade is both protective and sheltering, creating a relaxing environment that helps to sustain life. If all of these are threatened in a given situation, the various branches of the tree will be forced to bear the brunt of the challenges plaguing the Kashmiri people. Furthermore, what does the sunset represent? Does it add character to the location or tree that it affects? The two questions form a line between the two, the tree and the season, yet we still feel a sense of separation between them. This creates a sense of discomfort in the reader. For us, it is a source of concern rather than wonder. The poem's message is subtly conveyed, and the author's sympathies appear to be with the possibility of integrating nature and societal life, which is unfortunately lacking at the time the poem is written. We notice that the poem depicts a chaotic scene in nature, which represents the region's political unrest and turbulence. In a favourable light, the writer sees the current situation as community oriented.


The poem has steered clear of the mysticism that is a cliché often used about consciousness of the people. The poet has a sense of control running through the poem in terms of a bond of nature. A careful avoidance of political divides and ideological gaps between the hegemonic ideas of the nation and those of the highly sensitive periphery ensures a deft balance; it keeps the poem stuck to the theme of pain and worry than of suggesting easy solutions. How the identity of the place gets merged with the mission of joining a broader politics of nationalism comes to the fore as the poem proceeds towards the end. The same are observed in the poem “Chinar” that you have for reading and analysing. Note that the poet is barely visible in the poem. He offers to us a description of a moment—the transition of seasons and of the day, as dusk takes over. The image of transition is central to the poem.


Despite this, the poet is not at the centre of the storey. The omission of the word "I" in the poem indicates that the poet is not speaking about himself or the impression that the situation has on him; instead, he is standing on the side-lines, observing the phenomena. The poetic voice is, of course, evident in the way things are projected. The poet is obscured, but not his point of view, which aids in the development of the poem. Daruwalla's bigger politics include his deliberate decision to remain in the background. His poems are rarely self-referential, in the sense that the focus of the poem is the place he is describing rather than the author. He brings the image to the foreground, and it begins to speak to the reader on its own, with little assistance from the poet. Even though the poet's descriptions are the poet's, the reader's interpretation looks to be the readers. This contributes to the poem's aesthetic appeal.

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