Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 5 The Ball Poem | Class 10

Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 5 The Ball Poem

1Griefsorrowशोक weeds, lament, mourning
2Rigid fixedदृढ़tenacious, resolute, rigid
3Tremblingshakingदृढ़vibration, oscillation, vibrancy
4Harbourdock, portबंदरगाहanchorage ground, harbour
5Intrudeinvaderघुसेड़नाshove, push into, drive in
6Dime10 cents (U.S)डॉलर का दसवाँ भागcopper, pennies, pin money
7Worthlessvalueless, uselessबेकार in vain, gimcracky, hooey
8Bouncingjumping overउछलता हुआvigorous, thriving, flourishing
9Streetnarrow pathगलीalley, lane, alleyway
10Merrilyhappilyख़ुशी से pleasantly, with pleasure, rejoicingly
11Ultimate finalअन्तिमultimate, grand, ultima
12Shakingtremblingकंपनoscillation, vibrancy, pulse
13Fixesoverpowersपक्का करना decrepitate, torrefy, coat with
14Staringlooking keenlyएकटकscreechy, screamy, shrill
15Young dayschildhood daysनवयुवकbloom, flower of life, school days

About The Poet | Robert Lee Frost | Chapter 5 The Ball Poem

INTRODUCTION
John Berryman was an American poet and scholar. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half hurts of the 20th century.
“The Ball Poem” by John Berryman talks about the irreversibility of loss and the need to accept it and move beyond it as one matures. Some actions cannot be undone, no matter how much one wishes to. For the boy, the loss of the ball has brought in a realization that a part of his youth has come to an inevitable close.

Short Summary Of Chapter 5 The Ball Poem In English

SUMMARY

This poem by John Barrymen, is about losing something that you love, and learning to grow up. It is about a little boy, who, for the first time in his young life, is learning what it is like to experience grief at the loss of a much beloved possession-his ball. To us, the loss of a ball is of minor consequence. Money cannot buy back our love, nor replace the things that we love.

In this poem, the boy’s ball symbolizes his young days of happy innocence. In this world, people will take balls just as they will take away our innocence and force us to grow up. And once we lose this innocence, we can never get it back. This poem goes to show how, all throughout life, you will be forced to do things that you don’t want to do, and you will lose or have to give up the things that you love. You have to learn to accept and let go, and not cling onto something that you can never have.

TITLE JUSTIFICATION

TITLE JUSTIFICATION

The title, The Ball Poem’, makes one wonder as to what the poem is about. One wonders whether it is about a ball and one anticipates it to be a happy poem. The reader is curious to know what the poet has to say about a simple object like a ball. The simplicity of the title belies the sad deep meaning and the mood of the poem. The title doesn’t give a clue about its theme which is the importance of acceptance of loss.

THEME

THEME

John Berryman in his poem describes the grief of a boy over the loss of his ball. The poet sympathizes with the boy but says that very soon he would also learn to stand up despite all obstacles from the experience of losing something. The ball is symbolic in the poem as it is associated with the sweet memories of his childhood. No other ball can compensate the loss. With that loss he senses his first responsibility in a materialistic world. He learns that our loved ones and our worldly possessions will not be with us forever.

MESSAGE

MESSAGE

The message of the poem is that though excruciatingly hurtful, we have to learn how to accept the loss of one’s loved ones and our worldly possessions. It is the nature of life that things are found and lost. We have to take loss in our stride and be brave enough to understand and also accept the inevitability of loss.

RHYME SCHEME OF THE POEM

RHYME SCHEME OF THE POEM

The poem does not have a rhyme scheme like a traditional poem. It is written in free verse. The poet has chosen to express himself without the constraints of a rhyme scheme.

 

 

POETIC DEVICES

  1. Alliteration

Alliteration has been used in the line, ‘no one buys a ball back’.

  1. Personification

Personification has been used in the 3rd line ‘Merrily bouncing down the street’..

  1. Repetition

Repetition has been used in the second line. What, what is he to do?’ and the last line in the repetition of the word ‘know’.

  1. Syntax and structure

The poem is written in just one stanza. It has eighteen lines which describe a little boy, who, for the first time in his young life, is learning what it is like to experience grief at the loss of a much beloved possession-his ball.

 

GLOSSARY

Rigid- stiff,

Harbour- memory;

A dime-ten cents (U.S.);

Desperate- hopeless, anxious;

Epistemology of loss-understanding the nature of loss.

TYPE I: REFERENCE TO CONTEXT (VERY SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS)

TYPE I: REFERENCE TO CONTEXT (VERY SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS)

Read the extracts and answer the following questions:

 

  1. What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,

What, what is he to do? I saw it go

Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then

Merrily over there it is in the water!

No use to say ‘O there are other balls’:

Questions

(i) Who has lost his ball?

(ii) What according to the author is of no use?

(iii) Where does the ball go to?

(iv) What is the figure of speech used in the above lines?

Answers

(i) The boy has lost his ball.

(ii) It is of no use to console the boy by saying that he can buy another ball as he has felt the pang of loss for the much loved ball and is saddened by it.

(iii) The ball goes bouncing down the street into the water.

(iv) The figure of speech is personification. It is evident in the description of the ball.

 

  1. Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then

Merrily over there it is in the water!

Questions

(i) What is referred to as ‘it’?

(ii) Whose ball is it?

(iii) Where does the ball go?

(iv) What is the figure of speech used in the above lines

Answers

(i) ‘It’ refers to a ball.

(ii) The ball belongs to a little boy.

(iii) The ball goes down the street into the water.

(iv) The figure of speech used is personification in the first line.

 

  1. An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy

As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down

Questions

(i) Who is the boy referred to?

(ii) What does he feel in the above lines?

(iii) How is his grief expressed in the above lines?

(iv) What is the figure of speech used in the first line

Answers

(i) The boy referred to is the one who has lost his ball.

(ii) In the above lines he feels grief.

(iii) He stands rigid, trembling and staring down.

(iv) The figure of speech used in the first line is transferred epithet in the phrase, ‘shaking grief

 

  1. In a world of possessions. People will take

Balls, balls will be lost always, little boy.

Questions

(i) Who is the speaker?

(ii) Who is he speaking to?

(iii) Which ball is referred to in the above lines?

(iv) What is the poetic device used?

Answers

(i) The speaker is the poet, John Barryman.

(ii) He is speaking to a little boy.

(iii) In the above lines the speaker refers to the ball that the little boy has lost.

(iv) The poetic device used is repetition in the second line.

 

  1. He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes, The epistemology of loss, how to stand up Knowing what every man must one day know And most know many days, how to stand up.

Questions

(i) What is the boy learning?

(ii) Why are boy’s eyes desperate?

(iii) What does the boy have to learn?

(iv) Who is the speaker

Answers

(i) The boy is learning to cope up with the loss.

(ii) Boy’s eyes look desperate as he is full of grief see his ball gone forever.

(ii) The boy needs to learn that loss is a part of life and one must learn to bear it.

(iv) The speaker is the poet.

 

II: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS 40 WORDS EACH)

Answer the following questions:

 

  1. Why does the poet say, “I would not intrude on him? Why doesn’t he offer him money to buy another ball?

Ans. The poet wants the boy to experience the loss fully as he thinks that it is a part of growing up. He should learn that it is the part of life. That’s why the poet doesn’t want to interfere in the boy’s experience, or to console him or offer him money to buy another ball.

 

  1. “… staring down/All his young days into the harbour where/His ball went ”

Do you think the boy has had the ball for a long time? Is it linked to the memories of days when he played with it?

Ans. Yes, the boy has had the ball for a long time i.e. since his childhood. Yes, it is linked with the memories of days when he played with it. When he saw the ball going bouncing into the water of the harbour, he felt all his childhood memories going with it.

 

  1. What does “in the world of possessions” mean?

Ans. In the world of possessions means all the possessions that people like to collect in the world and cling to. Money is external because it can buy only material objects, it cannot compensate for the emotional loss that one goes through.

 

  1. What does the poet say the boy is learning from the loss of the ball? Try to explain this in your own words.

Ans. The poet says that the boy is learning to cope up with the loss of the ball. He is experiencing grief and learning to grow up in this world of possessions. He leams that there are so many things in life that are to be lost and cannot be brought back. It is useless to feel sorrow for it.

 

  1. Write the sum and substance of the poem “The Ball Poem”

Ans. In the The Ball Poem’, Berryman tells us about how our childhood can quickly fly by, as quickly as 1 ball is lost and how we sometimes unexpectedly must grow up and face hardships and loss.

 

  1. “Money is external. What does the poet mean by this expression?

Ans. The poet believes that the boy needs to understand about his responsibility as the loss is immaterial as he can purchase another ball. He explains that the world is full of possessions and money is an external item. What is significant is what goes on in the inner world when one loses something.

 

  1. Why does the poet think that it is useless to give the following suggestion to the boy? ‘No use to say- ‘O there are other balls”:

Ans. According to the poet, it is useless to console the boy by saying that he can get another ball in place of the lost one. The boy had a long association with the ball. It was, thus, useless to give him such a suggestion because he wanted to get back the ball that he had lost.

 

 

  1. Why did the poet not offer the boy money to buy another ball?

Ans. The poet watched the boy who had plunged in grief at the loss of his ball. He did not offer the boy money to buy another ball. He felt that another ball could not console the boy. It seemed that the boy had the ball for a long time. The poet also wanted the boy to realise the epistemology of loss.

 

  1. How did the loss of a ball break the boy’s heart?

Ans. When the boy lost the ball, he plunged in grief. He stood staring down the harbour where his ball was lost. The boy was affected profoundly by the loss of his ball because it had been with him for a long time. It was linked to the memories of the days when he was a little child.

 

  1. Why is it important to learn to bear loss?

Ans. In the “The Ball Poem’, Berryman tells us about how our childhood can quickly fly by, as quickly as a ball is lost and how we must grow up and learn to face hardships and loss. It is important to learn to bear loss as it is an inevitable part of life.

 

  1. What does man do in this world?

Ans. In this world, man collects possessions and then becomes attached to them. When he loses those possessions he cannot accept it and grieves for his loss.

 

TYPE III: LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS (100-120 WORDS EACH)

Answer the following questions:

 

  1. Have you ever lost something you liked very much? Write a paragraph describing how you felt then, and saying whether and how you got over your loss.

Ans. The ball poem’, by John Berryman is an extremely emotional poem about a boy losing something that meant the world to him. The author uses many literary elements to portray his feelings. For example, John Berryman uses the lost ball as a symbol of childhood. and memories or once in a life time experiences that this person cannot get back. A ball is an easily replaceable object but the experiences and feelings behind it can never be replaced.

I once lost my favourite pen gifted to me by my father on my 14th birthday. It was a gleaming gold plated ball pen and I prized it above all gifts that I had received.

 

  1. Loss is a part of life. How does the poem convey this message?

Ans. “The Ball” poem by John Berryman makes one think of how people react when they lose something dear to them. It could be as trivial as a ball or as important as the loss of some person one loves. One feels tremendous grief at any kind of loss. The message of the poem is that though excruciatingly hurtful, we have to learn how to accept the loss of one’s loved ones and our worldly possessions. It is the nature of life that things are found and lost too. Nothing remains with us forever, so we have to take loss in our stride and be brave enough to understand and also accept the inevitability of loss which is a part of life.

 

  1. What makes the poem appealing?

Ans. This poem consists of only one stanza. There is no thyme, but the poet conveys his meaning through the rhythm, the tone, and his use of words. For example, in the lines I saw it go, merrily bouncing down the street, and then merrily over, the ball is personified and the short, brisk, happy words allow him to visualize a ball bouncing along. In the lines An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy as he stands rigid, trembling, staring down. All his young days into the harbour, where his ball went’, the words and rhythm is tragic, dramatic, which is suitable for the situation. Similar uses of tone and rhythm help add to the effect of the poem, and help emphasize the meaning.

The poet uses imagery when describing how the ball personifies the spirit of the boy’s childish innocence. In the last five lines, we visualize how the spirit of this little boy, like the ball, is sinking into the dark waters of the harbour. As it drifts further away, the boy learns to grow up.

 

  1. Why is it important for everyone to experience loss and to stand up after it?

Ans. It is important for everyone to experience loss and to stand up after it in order to be strong and to get on with life. One needs to stay strong no matter hos much it hurts inside. Staying strong is the only way to survive. Moreover, one needs to learn to accept and let go and not cling to something that they can never have. One should understand that the past is gone and it will never come back. Experiencing loss sometimes helps us to grow up and face hardships, like loss.

 

  1. Comment on the poetic elements in the poem.

Ans. This poem consists of only one stanza. There is no rhyme, but the poet conveys his meaning through the rhythm, the tone, and his use of words. For example, in the lines I saw it go, merrily bouncing down the street, and then merrily over, the ball is personified and the short, brisk, happy words allow him to visualize a ball bouncing along. In the lines ‘An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy as he stands rigid, trembling, staring down. All his young days into the harbour, where his ball went’, the words and rhythm is tragic, dramatic, which is suitable for the situation. Similar uses of tone and rhythm help add to the effect of the poem, and help emphasize meaning.

The poet uses imagery when describing how the ball personifies the spirit of the boy’s childish innocence. In the last five lines, we visualize how the spirit of this little boy, like the ball, is sinking into the dark waters of the harbour. As it drifts further away, the boy learns to grow up.

 

  1. The poem convey a message of acceptance of loss and learning to live with it. Comment.

Ans. One needs to understand that loss is a part of life. He needs to stay strong no matter how much it hurts inside. Staying is the only way to survive. Moreover, one needs to learn to accept and let go and not cling to something that they can never have. One should understand that the past is gone and it will never come back. Experiencing loss sometimes helps us to grow up and face hardships, like loss. Otherwise man will never be able to move on in life.

 

QUESTIONS FOR PRACTICE

  1. Money cannot buy everything. How does the poem address this issue?
  2. Would you say that the poet understood the sadness that the boy felt?
  3. What is the poet’s observation of life?
  4. What did the ball mean to the boy?
  5. How does the ball become a symbol in the poem.

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