NCERT Solutions class-9 English Comm P CH03 The Solitary Reaper

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Page No: 71

5. The poet could not understand the words of the song, yet he raised several possibilities about its theme. In the diagram below are some of these possibilities. Read the third stanza again, and find the phrase that matches each. Copy and complete the diagram, writing each phrase in the empty boxes. Work in pairs.



Page No: 72

6. On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice.
(a) The central idea of the poem ‘The Solitary Reaper’ is__________.
(i) well sung songs give us happiness
(ii) melodious sounds appeal to all
(iii) beautiful experience give us life-long pleasure
(iv) reapers can sing like birds

Ans: (iii) beautiful experience give us life-long pleasure

(b) In the poem ‘The Solitary Reaper’ to whom does the poet say ‘Stop here or gently pass’?
(i) to the people cutting corn
(ii) to himself
(iii) to the people who make noise
(iv) to all the passers by

Ans: (iv) to all the passers by

(c) The Solitary Reaper is a narrative poem set to music. This form of verse is called a__________.
(i) ballad
(ii) soliloquy
(iii) monologue
(iv) sonnet

Ans: (i) ballad

(d) The poet’s lament in the poem ‘The Solitary Reaper’ is that __________
(i) he cannot understand the song
(ii) he did not know the lass
(iii) she stopped singing at once
(iv) he had to move away

Ans: (i) he cannot understand the song

(e) The setting of the poem is__________
(i) Arabia
(ii) Hebrides
(iii) Scotland
(iv) England

Ans: (iii) Scotland

Page no: 73

7.(a) Read the second stanza again, in which Wordsworth compares the solitary reaper’s song with the song of the nightingale and the cuckoo. On the basis of your reading (and your imagination), copy and complete the table below. (Work in groups of four, then have a brief class discussion.)

PlaceHeard byImpact on listener
Solitary ReaperScottish HighlandsThe poetHolds him spellbound


PlaceHeard byImpact on listener
Solitary ReaperScottish HighlandsThe poetHolds him spellbound
NightingaleArabian sandsTravellersreduces the tiredness of travellers
CuckooHebridesPeople from far off landshas far-reaching effect, heralds the
coming of spring, end of winter

(b) Why do you think Wordsworth has chosen the song of the nightingale and the cuckoo for comparison with the solitary reaper’s song?
The nightingale and the cuckoo are known as song-birds. Many poets have written about their melodious notes and there is a reference to nightingale even in the Bible. So the poet has chosen their songs for comparison with the Solitary Reaper’s song.

(c) As you read the second stanza, what pictures come to your mind? Be ready todescribe them in your own words, to the rest of the class. (Do not be afraid to gobeyond what the poet has written.)
Ans: The second stanza presented the scene of a alone girl standing between the field busy in cutting the grain and binding it. She is singing the sad song while doing her job and the grief of that song is passing from the deep valley. The sadness of her song is so immense that no nightingale singing their song or even chanting.

8. In the sixth line of the first Stanza, we read:
“… and sings a melancholy strain…”
This “s” sound at the beginning of sings and strain has been repeated. Poets often do this. Do you know why? Do you know what this “poetic repetition” is called? Can you find instances of this in The Solitary Reaper?
Ans: Poets often repeat such sounds to make the effect more intense and ornamental. This “poetic repetition” is called alliteration.
In line 15 we find an instance of alliteration in “silence of the seas.” In line 18 we find alliteration in “perhaps the plaintive numbers flow.” Line 27 also has alliteration in “I saw her singing at her work.”

9. In the first Stanza, some words or phrases have been used to show that the girl working in the fields is alone. Which are those words and phrases? What effect do they create in the mind of the reader?
Ans: The words and phrases that have been used to show that the girl working in the fields is alone are ‘single in the field’, ‘solitary’, ‘singing by herself’.
The words and phrases create in the readers mind an image of a lonely Scottish maiden who is reaping and singing all alone in the field. While she is working, she is singing a sad melancholy song. The song is so intense that the poet asks the passersby to listen but to not disturb her.

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