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BEGE-143: Understanding Poetry

BEGE-143: Understanding Poetry

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BEGE-143/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BEGE-143

Assignment Name: Understanding Poetry

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Max. Marks: 100

Answer all questions.

Section A


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


(i) Symbol of Chinar in Daruwalla’s poem

Ans) The title of the poem "Chinar" tells us about both nature and the place where the poem is set. It has to do with the fall season in Kashmir. Words like "dry rain" and "sapless branch" that describe the change of seasons show this. The poet tries hard to catch the subtleties of the season and of current events. There is something about nature that makes him unhappy.


When we hear about the eye of the lake and the running eye of Jhelum, we are very interested. They are both the same and different. The first one is pretty stable, while the second one is a sign of change. The crinkled leaves of the chinar are linked to the moving river. The poet thinks that something strange has happened to the valley and the people who live there. Chinar is a symbol of the strong and dignified people of Kashmir, who have lost some of their energy and positive spirit over time.


The poem has a subtle message, and the writer seems to care about a possible connection between nature and social life that, at the time the poem was written, was missing. We understand that the poem is a picture of a tumultuous scene in nature that reflects the region's political turmoil. In a good way, the writer sees the way things are as being focused on the community. So, the choice of the symbol helps us see that the discourse is not airy and ephemeral, but rather secular and made of real things.


(ii) Metaphor of death in ‘Ode to Bombay’.

Ans) At the start of the poem, the author says, "I had promised you a poem before I died." The tone is close to home. The only reason for this is to let the city know that the speaker has lost quality. It's not a straightforward poem. When I think of the piano, I think of a picture where the details were chosen with care. It makes things hard.


For example, there are black keys on the piano, but the poet has turned that into blackness. To make things even more confusing, diamonds are shown storming out one by one. It makes sense that concerto and the piano go together, since the piano plays a musical composition through the poet's silence.


Again, though, the poet offers help because silence is often associated with death. In fact, you could say that the first stanza is all about death because it uses a metaphor that goes on to talk about a lot of different things in the city's life. These are bridges, bones, railroad tracks, the breaking down of tenements or small buildings, temples, where people go to pray, and brothels, which represent sexual pleasure. Think about how big the first stanza and the city in the picture are. All of this is done with the help of the death metaphor.

Section B


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


(i) We can die by it, if not live by love,

And if unfit for tombs and hearse

Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘The Canonization’ by John Donne. The poem is about a love that goes beyond all others and becomes the standard for all other lovers to strive for. One of the most important parts of "The Canonization" is the use of a metaphor that goes on for a long time. This is called a "conceit." This kind of metaphor is often strange and hard to understand. In the last two lines, the speaker uses a metaphor to say that he and his lover are like a phoenix. In this form, they can live, die in a fiery blaze of love, and then come back to life even more beautiful than before. This is a double reference because "death" can also mean a sexual climax.


In the above lines, the poet says that if life becomes too hard for the couple, they are ready to face death. If they can't "live by love," they can "die by it." They would rather die than live in a world where they don't have each other. The speaker is describing a world in which their lives are not worthy of a tomb or other traditional way to remember them. Instead, they will be known through "verse" or song, like this one.


In the line, "We can die by it, if not live by love," Donne ties together the ideas of love, death, and eternal life. He says, "We can die by it, if not live by love," which suggests that once the lovers are dead, their storey will be told as an example to others. So, the main idea of the poem is that the poet lists the worldly worries of society while also presenting an alternative set of values. This alternative system is made up of everything that is left out or ignored by the mainstream. As it does this, the alternative system threatens to take the place of the clearly cruel and immoral order that the poet's satire shows to be false.


(ii) A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw:

It was an Abyssinian maid

And on her dulcimer she played,

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘Kubla Khan’ by Coleridge. The lines above are happy and almost sound like a dance. We can ask if this is a logical next step from the group of lines that came before. When someone tries to write a poem about a dream, they don't follow any particular rules. The two pieces of writing can be put together like two pictures. It's called "a vision once I saw," which means it's not only about a different subject but also about a different time. "Once" is set in a different time period.


With the start of a new verse paragraph, the poem's focus shifts: Like Kubla Khan, the speaker (possibly Coleridge himself) hears voices, but in his case, a young woman playing a dulcimer (a stringed instrument like a zither) sings to him about Mount Abora. This woman is Abyssinian, which means she is from Abyssinia, which is now Ethiopia. Coleridge may have chosen this word because it sounds like "abyss" and reminds the reader of the words, "chasm" and "caverns" from earlier in the poem. At the end of the poem, the poet says that if he could bring back the beautiful sound of the woman's singing, it would make him want to build the land she sang about, which he had already described.


(iii) Today my son told me

That in the meadows,

At the edge of the heavy woods

In the distance, he saw

trees of white flowers.

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘The Widow's Lament in Springtime’ by William Carlos Williams. The speaker's son is mentioned to keep the personal tone going. The boy sees white-flowering trees and tells his mother about them. This is a big change in how the son looks. We've been thinking so much about how lonely our speaker is and how she lost her husband that it's almost shocking to find out she has a son she can talk to. The slow, sad pace of the language doesn't change much when the son comes into the storey. It seems like just another piece of information added to the (flower) pot.


Her son is talking about where something is in the meadows near the woods. "Heavy" is the word for those woods. This poem is filled with that weight. Maybe the woods are really thick, or maybe she's just making things up again. The woods are heavy because her grief is making her feel heavy.

But our speaker is being a little bit sneaky. She just won't say what she really means. Our speaker is still talking about the natural world. She talks about her son, but then she goes right into a picture of nature. This means that when we read the poem, we have to figure out what she is trying to tell us about herself by how she describes the world around her. Near these thick woods, the speaker's son saw trees in the meadow that had white flowers on them.


Section C


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


1. Discuss the structural elements in the poems ‘A Dead Baby’ and ‘A Widow’s Lament in Springtime.’

Ans) The structural elements in the poem ‘A Dead Baby’:


Williams's "The Dead Baby" is based on what most people do every day. The situation points to a sad event in a couple's life. The woman and man in the poem are not the ones who are important in society. William's poetry is different from that of others because he is interested in the simple and every day. We don't call it simple, though. You could say that the poet used everyday situations and people to show something. Even though the idea of death is an important part of life, it should be seen as a part of what it means to be human, not as something to talk about philosophically. Williams talks about a young person's death in terms of the last rites that the family would do.


In the poem, you can feel the presence of time. Before the body is brought home, there is a sense of urgency to finish the job and get the house ready. Time is moving slowly, and there is a job to be done. This is very different from how high modernists thought about time. For modernists, time breaks up and doesn't move in a straight line. In their idea of "stream of consciousness," the past, present, and future are all mixed up and don't seem to go in order. Williams, on the other hand, needs to go against what most people think because of the situation he is in.


By looking at different parts of the form, you can see how unique Williams' poems are. On the one hand, the speaker's tone could be called matter of fact. In the poem, the speaker is focused on the fact that the house needs to be swept clean before the dead baby arrives. This is like William, who always pays attention to the little things. Even though the poem has a calm tone, there is a change in the last stanza. People say that the baby is "a white model of our lives." The word "our" makes the baby and the speaker feel like they belong to each other, while the rest of the poem takes a neutral tone.


One is giving a lot of information about the scene, and the other is withholding important information about how the baby died and why the person who did it might have done it. There are gaps here, and they seem to be part of a clever plan. This is what gives the poem its shape and body. The poem's purpose would be better served if we thought about the issue more. We can see that the poem is based on the abstractions that come with this form. We also notice that the sentences are short and to the point, which goes along with the binaries. That is something that most of his poems have in common. There is no rhyme, and the pictures are all from the nearby area. All of this is put together in a very sad atmosphere.


The structural elements in the poem ‘A Widow’s Lament in Springtime’:


Williams' work stands out because he pays close attention to his surroundings. The poet interacts with the physical world on both a physical and an emotional level. One does not overpower the other; instead, they work together. The image of the yard is simple and comes from everyday life in the United States. This brings to life a landscape that is very American. Williams is different from other poets of his time because he focuses on geography and uses simple language to describe images.


The poem is about the person and what they feel and see. This makes it clear that the poem is Modernist. When you use the pronoun "I" a lot, you put yourself in the centre and talk about a unique experience. I use those things in the poem to show that this is true. "My own yard," "my son," "my husband," "I lived," "I notice," and "I feel" are some of them. The reader can see that this is true because the speaker has a very clear personal experience to share. It comes from the heart and is full of sadness. The wife's loss of her husband is the cause of her sadness, but the mood is also typical of the time. The choice of subject by the poet shows this.


Williams is also a fan of the Imagist style. Imagism was a small part of the Modernist movement. It was easy to understand because it had clear pictures and words. For this purpose, different parts of nature were used: a yard, grass, a cold fire, a plum tree, a lot of flowers, cherry branches, meadows, thick woods, and white flowers. We have the information we need to paint a picture of nature in all its richness. The plum tree has a lot of flowers that sway in the wind. They make the area around them look yellow and red. This is different from the speaker's life, which is empty.


The empty space left by the sad death of the speaker's beloved partner covers up the beauty of nature. Nature that used to make people happy doesn't make them happy as much as it used to. If the poem is in the Modernist style, it will have parts that don't fit with that style. Williams does not change the rules of writing in a big way. His words are clear and easy to understand. The poem has a clear verse structure, and it is clear that it doesn't try to break down normal ways of making sense.


2. Kolatkar had deployed the form of the fable to comment on the political reality of India at the time. Discuss.

Ans) The poem "Ajamil and the Tigers" is in a collection called "Jejuri." It tells a storey in verse. As was said above, Jejuri was a town where people went on pilgrimages. The poems in Jejuri are all about pilgrimages, and the first poem is about a journey. Its last poem is about how the narrator poet is about to come back. In the collection, there are a number of poems about the place, its legends, and how guides and saints tell their own stories about it. The place is important in myths that have been told for hundreds of years. "Ajamil and the Tigers" is one of the poems in this group. It is meant to be a storey with a moral. But that's not the end of it. People can also look at the poem from a social or political point of view. The poem is set up like a fable, which is a storey about an animal. It also works as a metaphor for our time. This poem, like all allegories, has a message and a lesson.


In this part of the poem, it is Ajamil's job to keep the sheep safe. For this reason, he has a sheep dog that keeps the sheep safe from the tigers. Because the sheep dog is good at his job and does it well, the tigers have been going hungry. The sick tigers go to their king and tell him they haven't eaten in fifteen days, which makes them very worried. When the sheep dog upsets the tiger king, he talks like a thug who owns the place, saying things like "I'm going to teach that sheep dog a lesson" and "that son of a bitch." He makes the decision to attack with his group of tigers. Ironically, when they attack, the fast dog that was in 51 places at once beats them. The dog puts them in chains. The tigers who like to brag are in chains, and sheepdog is in charge of them. It is the exact opposite of what we thought it would be.


But since the dog beat him physically, the tiger king uses tricks and changes his position. He tells Ajamil that they didn't come to fight but to make friends. Ajamil knows how they feel and what they want, so he is not innocent. He seems to take them seriously, but he also knows that they are likely to betray him. Still, he tries to make the best of the situation. He knows he will have to live with the tigers in the future, so why should he make them unhappy now? So, he invites them to join him for dinner, which they gladly do. They are given roast and lamb to eat. After this, Ajamil makes a promise to be friendly with them. The tigers agree with pleasure. Ajamil sends them back home with gifts, like leather jackets and sheep. So, the storey told in the poem ends with a compromise, and it seems like everyone can live together in peace.


On one level, the poem is about how diplomatic action can help people live together in peace. Obviously, a tiger and a sheep can't both drink from the same pond in the wild. It goes against the way nature is supposed to work. In "The Lion and the Goat," one of Aesop's stories, the lion and the goat argue about who should go to the water fountain first to quench their thirst. In the storey, they plan to fight until one of them dies, even though vultures are hovering above them, waiting for one of them to fall so they can eat it. At last, the lion and the goat decide to make up, so they don't do something stupid and die in a fight. Kolatkar's poem about the sheep and the tigers sounds a lot like Aesop's storey about the sheep and the tigers. We know that the sheep and the tiger will never be friends. Still, Ajamil was able to do the impossible and bring the two sides together. He gave the tigers gifts and some sheep to get them to leave.


In the poem, both the idea of sacrifice and the idea of making a deal are given equal weight. If we looked at these things from a religious or moral point of view, the poem would seem to be about sacrificing for God and how compromise is the most important thing in life. Kolatkar's poetry was critical of tradition, lineage, and folklore on the one hand, and bohemianism, alternative culture, and imagism on the other. Kolatkar was an artist, so he was able to make word pictures that moved and talked. He played around with these, and sometimes he turned such details into poetry. These show that the poet is smart and skilled. Kolatkar's experimentation with the poetic form was important because he didn't change his point of view.


3. Analyse Jyoti Lanjewar’s poetry as the voice of protest.

Ans) Jyoti Lanjewar was a poet from Maharashtra who was a Dalit and a feminist. She thought a lot about caste, class, and gender, and how women were taken advantage of because of a mix of these things. "Caves" is an example of protest poetry, and it needs to be read in the context of Dalit oppression from the point of view of a Dalit feminist. It is the voice of a Dalit woman speaking out against the multiple levels of oppression and subjugation. The poem questions the horrible things that powerful people in a society do to Dalits.


Their inhuman atrocities have carved caves in the rock of my heart. In the first few lines of the poem, the poet talks about how "inhuman atrocities" have left caves in his heart. The term "atrocities" refers to the violence against the Dalits and the fact that they were pushed to the side. In the same way, "Inhuman" refers to how cruelly Dalits are treated. This is the kind of treatment that would never be given to a human in normal circumstances. Also, it says a lot about people who hurt others. Lanjewar speaks in a woman's voice, so a hidden implication about the wrongs done to Dalit women is brought out. The poem is about two things: how Dalits are treated badly and how Dalit women, in particular, are used for money.


The poet compares the woman's life to a walk in the forest in the poem. She needs to watch how she walks. It looks like she is worried about something bad that might happen soon. Care must be taken with each step. At this point, the idea of change is mapped out. The tide has turned, and the change in the situation means that the current system has been overthrown. People who have been hurt have found a way to speak up: they protest. The change that happened was a protest against the cruel things the oppressed had to go through. The poet also gives an overview of Dalit history by saying that they have been quiet all these years. They had been taught what people had always thought was right.


This idea is fought against in Lanjewar's poem, which is a protest poem. We also need to include the Dalit feminist point of view. This will help show how the Dalit woman is treated unfairly—she is twice as left out as a man. She is treated badly because she is Dalit, and she has been beaten and tortured both inside and outside of her family. It makes the reader wonder about the limits of the nation-state and how the Dalits have been completely left out of it. A country needs to be built on the idea that it belongs to everyone. Every person living there should have the same rights. Lanjewar's voice is the voice of reason and humanity, and the questions she asks are important. Lanjewar says that bad things done to Dalits are "unforgivable sins." The way the Dalits were treated will show how badly they were treated. The poem ends on a note of protest, as the poet says she is against the oppression in the last lines. It's also a time when the Dalit woman speaks up for herself in the social realm. The poem is a protest against the cruel way the Dalits are treated.


In "Leadership," Jyoti Lanjewar uses a tree to explain her ideas about what it means to be a leader and what a leader should do. Lanjewar says that the tree stays rooted in one place and stands strong. But its strength shouldn't be linked to a tendency to stick to old ideas, which are called "old objects of devotion." Traditional ideas say that the trees shouldn't give anyone comfort. The trees offer shelter, but "hypocrites" shouldn't be allowed to use them. Lanjewar uses this idea to explain how leaders help people come up with new and exciting ideas. The tree should let nature take its course and grow in whatever way it wants. No one changes the way the trees grow, and no one can "assure" anyone of anything. The leader shouldn't say things that are just for show and aren't true.


People think that the tree's growth is like that of leaders who call themselves rebels because it looks like tall grass. Lanjewar thinks that this is a problem. People would "care for their own camps" when they only moved in one direction of thought. There will be many different kinds of temptations and pressures, but the leaders need to build a strong chain around them, so they have the strength to stick to their own beliefs. The poet is quick to point out that very few people can stick to their beliefs. In this poem, there is also a subtle hint of negotiating. It is said that leaders should stay aware of the temptations of the times. Lanjewar's poetry is mostly about how leaders help people, no matter their caste, class, or gender. This is the main idea that comes up. Her poetry is a way for her to speak out against unfairness. Her main focus is on human rights and equality. She wants a world where everyone has the same rights and privileges.


4. Analyse the relationship between Santhal writing and nature from her poems you have read in your block.

Ans) Nirmala Putul's poetry is based on the people, places, and ways of life in Santhali. Her poems show that she has a deep understanding of how nature is an important part of Santali life. The Santhals try to show what nature means to them through literature, especially poetry. Nirmala Putul's poem "The Mountain Woman" shows that the mountain is an important theme in her writing. It shows how the Santhal live in the world and how strong their identity is. The mountain has been there for a long time and will always be there. The woman in the poem is called the "mountain woman" because she has to do hard work every day. She goes straight to the bazaar to sell the firewood she has collected. The money will help, "will put out the fire of hunger for the whole family." Putul is saying that the woman brings in most of the money for the family. She is called the "mountain woman," which is a good name for her. In the next line, the mountain looks completely different.


The mountain woman works in the fields with her child on her back. This also shows how the woman takes care of the farm and raises the children at the same time. The man is nowhere to be found. The word "mountain" is used in a different way in the next two lines of the poem: "mountainous rituals and taboos." Most of the time, tools used by men are used to break up stones. Nirmala Putul wrote a poem in Santali. The poem being talked about is a translation of that poem. It's very pretty to look at. Even in the translation, the rhythm and use of word pictures are clear. When I think of a woman carrying dried wood or working in the field with a child on her back, my mind makes pictures. When the woman puts a flower in her hair or digs her feet into the ground, earthy smells come out that are appealing. People use the word "mountain" in many different ways to mean toughness, safety, and a lot of work. It is used both figuratively and literally. It's a metaphor for not only how tough the woman is, but also for parts of her life.


The poem "The Mountain Child" is about a child who grows up in the woods. It shows how a baby grows up to become a young boy who runs around the mountain, showing how important nature is to the Santhal people. It is written in four lines from the point of view of someone looking at a Santhal child. People say that the mountain child is "a piece of the mountain." The earth and the mountain are the ones who take care of the Santhal people. In the case, nature and human relationships are both part of the same ecosystem. Like a child playing in its mother's lap, a mountain child plays in the mountain's lap.


In the next line, the child moves from the mother's lap to the floor, showing how it has grown. Even here, the child walks on the dirt of the mountain and puts his feet down. The warmth of the mother's lap turns into the cold mountain soil that holds the child's feet and teaches them to stand. The child stands or "plants his feet" just like the mountain. In the same way that a child takes on the traits of its parents, the child also takes on the traits of the mountain. The next two lines of the stanza stress this idea. It "rises like a mountain" in a place where mountains are common. This also shows how important the mountainous area is to the child's development. The connection is like an umbilical cord because the mountain stays inside the child and the child plays in the mountains. In this stanza, a new movement is discernible in the child. The child has gone from sitting on the lap to taking its first steps to now "scurrying" in the mountains. This movement of dashing or running around in the mountain shows how the child has learnt to walk. This growth is on the side of the mountain.


In the last stanza, the father makes an appearance. The child is curious about an aeroplane flying above it, so it asks its father about it. The little kid wants to know what it is. The object looks like a bird to it, so it asks, "What is that bird?" This is a telling line. It shows how the defining factor of growth in a Santhal child is nature and not machine. The growth of children from mainstream society might take place in a developed world with machines, technology and the sighting of aeroplanes. But this child grew up in the mountains, surrounded by nature. It thinks of an aeroplane as "a bird" and not as a machine. The child’s curiosity touches the heart.


In the poem "Mountain Child," the imagination is used to show how there are two different ways for people to grow up. One is based on machines, and the other is based on nature. The Santhal child grows up in the lap of nature, and its growth and development are based on how nature grows and changes. That's why the child thinks the plane looks like a bird. For a Santhal child to grow up, nature is very important. The poet makes us think of kids who grow up in cities and towns and might be able to name an aeroplane but not a single bird or flower. The poem talks a lot about how important it is that a Santhal child grows up in the mountains and gets strong and solid qualities from it. Each stanza shows how the child changes from a baby to a young child running around. The Santhal find their identity in nature.

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