Monday, 4 July 2016

Workbook Answers/Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, A Psalm of Life by - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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.