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.

Workbook Answers/Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, I Believe by - Brucellish K Sangma

(i) ‘I’ in the first line of the extract refers to the poet. She wants to throw a pebble upwards to make a hole in the heavens to see the angels at play there.

(ii) By throwing the pebble upwards, the poet will be able to pierce the heavens and see the angels at play there. Symbolically, the act of ‘throwing the pebble upwards’ suggests the efforts made to rise in life to achieve unachievable goals.

(a) The phrase pierce the heavens means to make a small hole in the universe. It means to achieve unachievable goals with right efforts and conviction.
(b) The phrase See the angels at play means to see the spirits, who are believed to be the servants of God and who dwell in heavens.

(iv) The phrase ‘I believe’ signifies the poet’s dreams and aspirations whereas the phrase ‘I can’ signifies the determination and confidence of the speaker at what she believes she can achieve.

(v) The extract portrays the speaker as an optimistic, hard-working person who has the will and determination to achieve all her dreams and aspirations.

Workbook Answers/Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, If Thou Must Love Me by - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I. (i) The words ‘let it be for nought’ mean let it be for nothing. The speakers wants to tell her lover not to love her for any particular reason. The speaker wants her lover to love her for love’s sake only.

(ii)She does not want to be loved for her smile, her looks or for her gentle voice.

(iii)She does not want her lover to love her for particular traits like her appearance and good looks because these traits will fade with the passage of time.

(a) a trick of thought means a particular way of thinking, which may mislead her lover.
(b) A sense of pleasant ease on such a day means the qualities which may give a sense of comfort to her lover on a particular day.

Workbook Answers/Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, A Doctor’s Journal Entry for August 6, 1945 by - Vikram Seth

I. (i) The morning was calm, beautiful and warm. The narrator was in a relaxed mood and preparing for his daily routine.

(ii) The narrator was startled on seeing two sudden flashes of light. He thought whether the flashes were magnesium flares seen during the war.

(iii) Due to the impact of the explosion, the roof and the wall of the building collapsed and the debris got scattered all over. The people suffered both physically and mentally. The explosion caused fatal injuries to the human beings, burnt their skin and made it drip off their bodies.

(iv)The narrator’s clothes got burnt, a splinter ripped through his thigh, his right side bled and his cheek was torn.

Workbook Answers/Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by - Robert Frost


 (i) The woods belonged to a man, who lived in the village. The speaker has stopped by the woods to watch the snow filling up the woods.

(ii)The owner of the woods will not see the speaker stopping by the woods because he lives in the village.
The owner of the woods lives in the village, away from nature. Though he owns the woods, he cannot appreciate and enjoy the beauty of nature. Thus, there are man-made barriers which separate man from nature.

(iii) Woods, being “lovely, dark and deep”, symbolize sensuous enjoyment, the darkness of ignorance, as well as the dark inner self of man.
The village symbolizes society and civilization, beyond whose borders lie the woods.

(iv)The poet is standing just by the woods and looking at them. He is enchanted by the beauty of the woods.

(v)Yes, the poet is happy with his lonely state in the woods because:
(a) he finds solace in the thoughts that nobody is watching him; and
(b) he is enchanted with the natural beauty of the woods, snow and the frozen lake.