The Lamb Summary – What is the theme of “The Lamb” by William Blake?
The main theme of the poem “The Lamb” by William Blake is praise for specific qualities of Jesus Christ and His gifts to humanity. In the first stanza, Blake asks the lamb if it knows who gave it life, soft wool, and a tender voice. In the second stanza, Blake reveals that Jesus Christ created the lamb with all of its positive qualities.
Christ also referred to Himself as a lamb throughout the scriptures and became a “little child” when He came to earth to minister. William Blake then proceeds to praise Jesus’s qualities by commenting on His meek and mild personality.
Jesus is portrayed as a giving, loving, peaceful deity throughout the poem and Blake focuses on Christ’s innocent attributes. Overall, Blake’s poem praises the gifts from God and reveals his benevolence and tender qualities.
“The Bet” proves that if a person achieved the highest wisdom he wouldn’t care about money or material things at all. He would be like Buddha or Jesus, both of whom owned nothing and wanted nothing. This moral seems to be enhanced by the fact that the banker, whose whole life is devoted to handling money and accumulating wealth, is not happy or enviable but has deteriorated morally over the years.
When it comes time for him to pay the two million roubles, he is so attached to his dwindling capital that he is actually contemplating murdering the prisoner to get out of paying him for enduring fifteen years of solitary confinement. The story is told from the banker’s point of view, so he may not realize how low he has sunk in that period of time, even though he was rich and had complete freedom.
Desperate gambling on the Stock Exchange, wild speculation and the excitability which he could not get over even in advancing years, had by degrees led to the decline of his fortune and the proud, fearless, self-confident millionaire had become a banker of middling rank, trembling at every rise and fall in his investments. “Cursed bet!” muttered the old man, clutching his head in despair. “Why didn’t the man die? He is only forty now. He will take my last penny from me, he will marry, will enjoy life, will gamble on the Exchange; while I shall look at him with envy like a beggar, and hear from him every day the same sentence: ‘I am indebted to you for the happiness of my life, let me help you!’ No, it is too much! The one means of being saved from bankruptcy and disgrace is the death of that man!”
Not only is the banker seriously thinking of killing his prisoner, but he is actually considering having the watchman implicated in the crime and possibly executed for it or sent to Siberia.
“If I had the pluck to carry out my intention,” thought the old man, “suspicion would fall first upon the watchman.”
Fortunately for the banker, he finds a note describing what his prisoner has learned in studying books in solitary confinement, as well as what conclusions he has arrived at through his own meditations. Part of the note contains this indictment:
“You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty.”
The most important part of the note, as far as the banker is concerned, comes at the end:
“To prove to you in action how I despise all that you live by, I renounce the two million of which I once dreamed as of paradise and which I now despise. To deprive myself of the right to the money I shall go out from here five hours before the time fixed, and so break the compact …”
A complementary moral to the principal moral regarding the vanity of materialism is that life imprisonment is a more humane form of punishment than the death sentence. It was the young lawyer who argued in favor of life imprisonment fifteen years earlier and the banker who said:
“I don’t agree with you. . . . I have not tried either the death penalry or imprisonment for life, but if one may judge a priori, the death penalty is more moral and more humane than imprisonment for life.”
The lawyer has not only proved that he could endure fifteen years of solitary confinement, but he has proved that life imprisonment is indeed more humane because it permits study and meditation, thereby enabling at least some criminals to develop completely new characters.
A short summary of Pride and Prejudice may cause Jane Austen to groan aloud, but I’ll try. Five daughters of a country gentleman who married for beauty and lived to regret it, are enticed by their foolish (though a gentlewoman) mother’s announcement of two eligible bachelors in the neighborhood who are newly come down from London. The meetings between the five daughters and these two, as well as other eligible bachelors, at balls result in hoped for love for one sister, disdain and infatuation and irritation from three separate bachelors for another sister, a dangerous elopement for a third sister, and nothing much more than scoldings for the other two sisters.
Jane hopes for marriage with Mr. Bingley but her evenly bestowed smiles lead Darcy to convince Bingley that his love is not returned, while Darcy finds greater and greater attraction in Elizabeth whom he thought too unexceptional to dance with at the Meryton ball. Darcy’s old enemy, Wickham, accidentally arrives on the scene and turns Elizabeth’s head–and heart–with gossip about Darcy that steels Elizabeth’s negative opinion against Darcy. When a visit to Rosings Park to visit Charlotte–Elizabeth’s best friend who shocked her by marrying the cousin whom Elizabeth had strongly rejected–exposes Elizabeth to a proposal of marriage form Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth begins a journey of self-discovery.
When a holiday with her Aunt and Uncle surprises Elizabeth with a tour of Pemberley, Darcy’s estate and manor house, and then surprises her with the unannounced presence of Darcy himself, Elizabeth’s future begins to look brighter as Darcy seems to have taken some of her scathing insults to heart when she rejected his proposal and made himself into a kinder person. But news of Lydia’s strange elopement with Darcy’s enemy, Wickham, throws Elizabeth on Darcy’s mercy and ends her newly sprung hopes of a renewal of his affections. Darcy recognizes his fault of prideful silence in Wickham’s being allowed to socialize with respectable families and immediately goes to set things right.
After making amends for the harm his pride and ill-judged decisions had caused, Darcy and Bingley return to Netherfield Park and visit the Bennet home. This time Bingley knows his affection is returned and Darcy knows, because of the outcome of Elizabeth’s interview with Darcy’s meddling aunt, Lady de Bourgh, that Elizabeth may no longer despise him. Both ladies and men receive their heart’s desires when each couple finds a moment to be alone and two weddings are joyously celebrated.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland is about a young girl, Alice, who is sitting along the bank of a river when she notices a rabbit in clothing run by. The rabbit says he is late and jumps down a hole through which Alice follows. This is where her adventure begins with many bizarre happenings and meetings of different people. She comes upon locked doors that she unopens with a key she finds. Strange things such as drinking a potion shrinks her, and eating a piece of cake grows her back.
In the middle of novel, Alice learns how wonderland works by drinking just enough potion or eating just enough cake to either shrink or grow in order to manuver through wonderland as she is searching for the garden.
While in the garden, Alice meets playing cards who are painting white roses red because they didn’t plant them, and the Queen will behead them if she finds out. Alice saves the cards by hiding them.
In the last part of the book, Alice finds herself in a courtroom where the Jack of Hearts is on trial for stealing the Queen’s tarts. This trial is just as chaotic as the beginning and middle of the book. As Alice begins to grow again, she becomes bolder and points out the absurdity of the trial. The Queen orders her head to be cut off, and Alice retaliates by saying that she is not afraid of playing cards. At this point, the cards begin flying at her and she awakes from this dream.
It ends with Alice telling her sister of her dream, and her sister telling Alice that she will soon grow up, but to keep her “heart of childhood.”
This is a quick summary. There is much more to the novel, and if you follow the link below, you will get more detail.
In Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, a girl named Alice, who wishes for a more exciting world, takes a magical journey through a rabbit hole to a place called Wonderland. While there, she meets many kinds of creatures. A few main characters are the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and of course the white rabbit. Throughout the movie, she is chasing the white rabbit and goes through many obstacles to find him and ask him what date he is very late for. She learns many lessons and gets very good (and sometimes confusing) advice. A twist: at the end, she realizes it is all a dream.
Father To Son Poem Summary in English by Elizabeth Jennings.
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Father To Son Poem Summary in English by Elizabeth Jennings
About the Poet Elizabeth Jennings
18 July 1926, Boston, United Kingdom
26 October 2001, Bampton, United Kingdom
St Anne’s College, Oxford High School
Father To Son Central Idea of the Poem
The central idea of the poem is the generation gap which occurs when the communication link between two generations breaks due to a mutual lack of understanding, tolerance and acceptance. The poem reveals an internal conflict that a father undergoes when his son grows up and possesses his own interests, ideas and perceptions. The unhappy father complains that he cannot understand his child despite having lived together, for so many years in the same house. Instead of bonding together, they have drifted apart. The gap has resulted in non-communication and non- understanding of each other. If both of them decide to take a lead and are willing to forget and forgive, their relationship may improve. Respecting each other’s differences is the only way out to diminish the distance between parents and children.
Father To Son Poem Summary in English
Father To Son Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
I do not understand this child
Though we have lived together now
In the same house for years. I know
Nothing of him, so try to build
Up a relationship from how
He was when small.
understand – know
for years – for many years
build up – develop
Explanation The father unhappily reflects on his inability to understand his own son. They have been staying in the same house for years but, due to non- communication and a lack of understanding, both son and father are not able to understand each other. The father does not know much about his son’s interests, likes or dislikes. Thus, he try to build up the same kind of relationship as he used to have when his son was a little child. The father has now perhaps realised that there is a lack of understanding between his son and himself and he wants to take measures so that their relationship improves.
Yet have I killed
The seed I spent or sown it where
The land is his and none of mine?
We speak like strangers, there’s no sign
Of understanding in the air.
This child is built to my design
Yet what he loves I cannot share.
strangers – unknown to each other
sign – indication
in the air – known
cannot share – do not
Explanation The father wonders whether it is he himself who is responsible for the failure of the relationship. The father feels that though the child is his son but perhaps he lives in a world different from him. Both father and son behave like strangers. There is lack of understanding and a communication gap which makes them behave not like father and son but more like strangers. The father says that physically the child resembles him but he does not appreciate what his son likes.
Silence surrounds us. I would have
Him prodigal, returning to
His father’s house, the home he knew,
Rather than see him make and move
His world. I would forgive him too,
Shaping from sorrow a new love.
silence – here it means lack of communication
surrounds – everywhere, all over
prodigal – extravagant, wasteful
move his world – shift to newer avenues
shaping from sorrow – making something new
Explanation: Silence surrounds their relationship because there is a complete lack of communication between them. The father sees his son as a prodigal (meaning, a child who foolishly mns away from home) and wants him to return to the home he has always known, so that they can rebuild the relationship to have a new start. He does not want the son to start life afresh without the father. He further says that he is willing to forgive his son for running away. Here the father’s tone is somewhat condescending, implying that the father is unable to let his son go, despite restricting the son’s independence and development.
Father and son, we both must live
On the same globe and the same land,
He speaks: I cannot understand
Myself, why anger grows from grief.
We each put out an empty hand,
Longing for something to forgive.
same globe – this world
grows from grief – develops from deep sorrow
put out – extend
longing – desiring keenly or strongly
Explanation: Both fathers and their sons all over the world must learn to live together in spite of their misunderstandings and differences. At this point in the poem, the son speaks for the first time and admits that he too feels the sadness of the broken relationship, but he is angry due to his confusion. Both father and son want to forgive each other, but neither is ready to take the first step of asking for forgiveness from the other. However, the situation can improve if they find a way of getting closer to each other.
Father To Son Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Antithesis: In this figure of speech two contrasting or opposing ideas are put together. For example
(a) The land is his and none of mine
(b) Shaping from sorrow a new love
Alliteration: This indicates occurrence or repetition of the same sound or letter at the beginning or most of the words in a sentence. For example
(a) Silence surrounds us
(b) The seed I spent or sown
(c) The home he knew
(d) Shaping from sorrow
Metaphor: In this figure of speech, an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common. For example
(a) The land is his and none of mine
(b) We both must live on the same globe and the same land
Synecdoche: In this figure of speech a part is made to represent the whole or vice-versa. For example
(a) – Make and move his world
The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Voice of The Rain is written by Walt Whitman.
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The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English by Walt Whitman
About the Poet Walt Whitman
31 May 1819, West Hills, New York, United States
26 March 1892, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Leaves of Grass, Song of Myself, O Captain! My Captain!
Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration
The Voice of The Rain Central Idea of the Poem
The poem The Voice of the Rain’ by Walt Whitman signifies the eternal role that the rain plays in nurturing, quenching and purifying the various elements of Earth. The rain returns the favour to its place of origin from where it rises unseen from the depths of the water and from the land. The rain itself is explaining to the reader about its origin, work and its cyclic movement. A comparison has also been drawn between rain and music as both of them make the world more lively and return to their place of origin after fulfilling their purpose.
The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English
The Voice of The Rain Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
thou – you
soft-falling – dropping softly
shower – raindrops when they fall continuously on Earth
Explanation: The poem begins with the poet asking for the identity of the soft-falling rain shower. Much to the surprise of the poet, the rain replies to his question which the poet translates for his readers. The rain in its own voice tells the poet that she is the poem of this Earth. The rain is trying to say that, as music or poetry gives pleasure to human beings, the rain gives happiness to mother Earth.
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward, to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed, and
yet the same,
eternal – everlasting
impalpable – unable to be felt by touching
bottomless – very deep
upward – towards a higher level
whence – from where
vaguely – unclearly
form’d – made into a specific shape or form
Explanation: The poet says that the rain is an eternal process, but it takes different forms at different times. It rises from the land and the deep sea in the form of intangible water vapour and goes up to the sky. There it takes an indistinct shape in the form of clouds.
Although it changes in its form or shape, its core matter remains the same. Since vapour and clouds contain water they can get transformed into the other. The words ‘impalpable’ and ‘eternal’ indicate that nature is not fully understood and some part of it always remains beyond our reach.
I – descend to lave the droughts, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
descend – move or fall downwards
lave – wash
droughts – dry spells
atomies – very tiny particles
globe – Earth
latent – dormant, inactive
Explanation: The raindrops pour down from above to wash away droughts and dust layers enveloping Earth. It satisfies the thirst of the dry Earth and heals everything that is degrading and is lying lifeless. The showers remove the dust particles and make Earth clean and green.
The rain also helps in the germination of seeds which were lying dormant due to a dry spell.
“And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin, And make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)
origin – source
beautify – make beautiful
issuing – originating/starting
fulfilment – completing the cycle
wandering – moving from one place to another
reck’d – cared about
unreck’d – uncared for
duly – properly, rightly
Explanation: The rain is involved in a continued process of giving life on Earth by providing water to dormant seeds and making the Earth more beautiful and full of greenery. Rain helps in enhancing the beauty of Earth as, in the absence of water, everything turns dull or lifeless and dust accumulates everywhere.
The last two lines are the poet’s own words and his reflections upon the answers given by the rain. The poet observes that the life of rain is similar to that of a song. A song or poem is creativity at its best. It has the power to calm, heal, rejuvenate, transform and thrill. In the same way, repeated evaporation and condensation purifies the rain. The entire environment gets drenched in the rain, dust particles settle down and there is greenery everywhere which makes the whole Earth beautiful to look at. The poet therefore draws a parallel between rain and music as both have rhythm and ability to thrill. Both of them rejuvenate and beautify life.
The Voice of The Rain Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Personification: The rain has been personified as it has been given a voice in the poem.
Metaphor: “I am the Poem of the Earth”. The poet uses a metaphor to compare how the rain leaves the ground to come back to the ground, giving back to it much like a person who leaves its home, only to come back after fulfilling its journey.
Parallelism/Simile: In the last two lines, the poet has drawn a parallel between the rain and the song of a poet.
Hyperbole: ‘Bottomless sea’ is an example of hyperbole. The poet describes sea as bottomless which is an exaggerated statement to bring out the desired effect.
Imagery: In the first line of the poem, ‘Soft-falling shower’ gives the reader an image of gentle rain or drizzle. During the dialogue between the poet and the rain, it creates an image of showers or drops of water falling down from the heavens to Earth and infusing it with greenery, purity and beauty.
The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Laburnum Top is written by Ted Hughes.
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The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English by Ted Hughes
About the Poet Ted Hughes
17 August 1930, Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom
28 October 1998, North Tawton, United Kingdom
Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
Carol Orchard (m. 1970–1998), Sylvia Plath (m. 1956–1963)
Costa Book of the Year, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
The Laburnum Top Central Idea of the Poem
The poem The Laburnum Top is a beautiful poem in which the poet has used the Laburnum Tree and goldfinches as a symbol of life and its fluctuations. In this poem, the poet describes how the visit of a goldfinch changes the Laburnum tree. The goldfinch transforms the tree and makes it come alive as the chicks of the goldfinch start to rustle and chirp on seeing her. Once the goldfinch leaves the tree, it becomes quiet and still again. The Laburnum tree symbolises the pattern of our life in general, which is usually dull and inanimate. The goldfinch breaks the usual pattern and makes it lively. Without the goldfinch, the Laburnum tree is just like another tree. In other words, it is the attitude of a person towards life that makes life meaningful and worth living.
The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English
The Laburnum Top Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
The Laburnum top is silent, quite still
In the afternoon yellow September sunlight,
A few leaves yellowing, all its seeds fallen.
Laburnum top – top part of the Laburnum tree
Explanation: The poet describes a beautiful sunny autumn. The Laburnum tree is silent and still. It is laden with yellow leaves and yellow flowers in September. Its leaves have turned yellow because of the autumn season and all its seeds have fallen.
Till the goldfinch comes, with a twitching chirrup,
A suddenness, a startlement, at a branch end.
Then sleek as a lizard, and alert, and abrupt,
She enters the thickness, and a machine starts up
Of chitterings, and a tremor of wings, and trillings-
The whole tree trembles and thrills.
It is the engine of her family.
She stokes it full, then flirts out to a branch-end
Showing her barred face identity mask.
goldfinch – a small, yellow bird
twitching – a small, often involuntary movement of the body
chirrup – the sound made by a bird
startlement – amazement
sleek – smooth
abrupt – suddenly
chittering – sound made by baby birds
tremor – shaking
trilling – to sing a series of quickly repeated high notes
trembles and thrills – shakes violently
the engine of her family – the goldfinch
stokes – adds fuel (here the goldfinch is feeding her chicks)
flirts – moves abruptly or jerkily with light steps
barred – striped
Explanation: Just then a goldfinch alights on the Laburnum tree making short, high-pitched sounds. The goldfinch has her nest in the tree and her chicks are resting in the nest. On the mother’s return, a sudden movement stirs the tree. Her little ones are excited on her arrival and start chirruping. The cautious mother enters the tree with great care so that no predator can come to know that her babies are housed in the nest.
The poet has compared the alert, abrupt and sleek movement of the goldfinch with that of a lizard. The goldfinch has been called the engine of her family. Just as the engine starts up the machine, her arrival in the nest has suddenly started up the silent machine (nest) i.e. the young ones have started chittering and making noise. By feeding her young ones, she has added fuel to the machine and as a result the chicks now have the erergy to be active and make noise.
After feeding her chicks, the goldfinch flies up and rests on the end of a branch of the tree, her identity concealed behind the yellow flowers and yellowing leaves.
Then with eerie delicate whistle-chirrup whisperings She launches away, towards the infinite
And the Laburnum subsides to empty.
eerie – strange in a frightening or mysterious way
launches – flies
infinite – the sky
subsides to empty – becomes silent, just as earlier
Explanation: After some time, the goldfinch makes a strange short, high-pitched sound. Then she flies away towards the infinite sky. The Laburnum tree becomes silent again after the departure of the goldfinch and everything seems to be the same as it was before the arrival of the goldfinch.
The Laburnum Top Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Simile: In this figure of speech, one thing is compared to another. An example of simile in this poem is ‘sleek as a lizard’.
Metaphor: In this figure of speech, a word/ phrase is used to represent something else. Examples of metaphor in this poem are ‘engine of her family’, where ‘engine’ represents the mother goldfinch, and ‘machine’ which represents the nest with its brood of bird chicks.
Alliteration: In this figure of speech, a number of words having the same first consonant sound occur close together in a series. Examples of alliteration in this ‘ poem are ‘September sunlight’, ‘A suddenness, a startlement’, ‘and alert and abrupt’ and ‘tree trembles and thrills’.
Onomatopoeia: In this figure of speech, a word is formed from a sound similar to it. Examples of onomatopoeia in this poem are ‘twitching chirrup’, ‘chitterings’, ‘trillings’ and ‘whistle-chirrup’.
Transferred Epithet: A transferred epithet is a 1 description which refers to a character or event but is used to describe a different situation or character ‘Her barred face identity mask’ is an example of transferred epithet in this poem. The flowers of the Laburnum tree fall like bars and, when the bird sits behind the flowers, the shadow of the flowers on her face looks like she is wearing a mask that has bars on it.
A Photograph Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. A Photograph is written by Shirley Toulson.
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A Photograph Poem Summary in English Line By Line Explanation by Shirley Toulson
About the Poet Shirley Toulson
20 May 1924, Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
15th May 2014
B.A Literature from Brockenhurst College in London
The Drovers, The Celtic Year a Celebration of Celtic Christian Saints Sites and Festivals More
A Photograph Central Idea of the Poem
Shirley Toulson’s poem ‘A Photograph’ is a tribute to her mother. The poem describes three stages in the passage of time. In the first stage, the photograph shows the poet’s mother standing at the beach enjoying her holiday with her two girl cousins. She was around 12 years old at that time. The second stage takes us twenty or thirty years later. The mother would laugh at the way she and her cousins were dressed up for the beach holiday. In the third stage, the poet remembers the dead mother with a heavy heart. The photograph revives a nostalgic feeling in the poet.
A Photograph Poem Summary in English
A Photograph Stanza Wise Explanation of The Poem
“The cardboard shows me how it was
When the two girl cousins went paddling,
Each one holding one of my mother’s hands,
And she the big girl — some twelve years or so.”
cardboard – very stiff paperboard on which the photograph was pasted
paddling – walking through shallow water in bare feet
big girl – mother is referred to as the big girl as she was the eldest among the three girls
Explanation: An old photograph of the poet’s mother which was pasted on cardboard makes the poet recall the old memories of her mother’s childhood. The photograph is a depiction of her mother’s enjoyable moments at a sea-beach with her two cousins who were younger to her. They were walking in shallow water with bare feet near the beach. The mother was standing in the middle and holding hands of her two cousins, who were standing on each side. The poet’s mother was twelve years old then. It shows that the photograph was very old but the poet has kept it very carefully as it reminded her of sweet memories of her mother’s childhood. The photograph also indicates how enjoyable her mother’s childhood was.
“All three stood still to smile through their hair
At the uncle with the camera. A sweet face,
My mother’s, that was before I was born.
And the sea, which appears to have changed less,
Washed their terribly transient feet.”
still – without moving or shaking
smile through – smiling faces could be seen through their hair which was flying over their faces
terribly – extremely
transient – temporary, lasting only for a short time
Explanation: The photograph shows that all three girls – the poet’s mother and her two cousins – stood still and smiled at the camera when their uncle clicked their photograph at the sea beach. As the weather was windy at that time, their hair was flying over their smiling faces. The expression on the faces of the poet’s mother and her cousins was that of happiness and enjoyment. The mother was looking very pretty at that time and the photograph was taken a long time ago.
Everything has changed since then, her mother grew up; now she was dead and the poet was reviving her memories. The only thing that has remained unchanged is the sea which was washing the feet of all three girls. The mention of the word ‘transient’ indicates the ever-changing lives of human beings as well as the shortness of their stay on this World, in contrast to the eternality of nature. The girls’ life changed drastically during this period but the sea has not changed. The stanza beautifully explains the transient nature of human beings.
“Some twenty-thirty – years later
She’d laugh at the snapshot. “See Betty
And Dolly,” she’d say, “and look how they
Dressed us for the beach.” The sea holiday
Was her past, mine is her laughter. Both wry
With the laboured ease of loss.”
snapshot – photograph
dressed us – put on clothes
wry – disgusted
laboured – achieved after a lot of hard work, done with great effort
ease – comfort
Explanation: Even 20-30 years later the mother would look at the photograph and laugh nostalgically remembering the happy memories of her past. Mother would look at the photograph and comment on the dresses worn by the cousins Dolly, Betty and herself.
Sea holiday was her mother’s past and her mother’s laughter has become a thing of the past for the poet as her mother was now dead. The poet still remembers how her mother would laugh at the photograph remembering the sea-holiday with a fondness as well as a sense of loss because that time would never come back. In the same way poet feels nostalgic thinking about her mother and her laughter which has become a thing of the past.
The words ‘laboured’ and ‘ease’ are opposite to each other, but describe the same entity, loss.
“Now she’s been dead nearly as many years
As that girl lived. And of this circumstance
There is nothing to say at all.
Its silence silences.”
circumstance – situation
silences – make someone unable to speak
Explanation: The poet recalls that it is nearly twelve years since her mother died. The poet is consumed with grief but is left with no words to express her loss and pain. The poet is totally absorbed in memories of her dead mother. The painful silence of this situation leaves the poet speechless. The poet can feel the grief but is unable to express it through words. The silence caused by death makes the atmosphere gloomy, where no one is able to utter words.
A Photograph Poetic Devices Used in the Poem
Allusion: An allusion is a reference or an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication. An example of allusion in this poem is ‘cardboard’ which actually refers to the photograph.
Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of the initial letter (generally a consonant) of several words marking the stressed syllable in a line of poem. Examples of alliteration in this poem are ‘stood still to smile’, ‘terribly transient’, ‘Its silence silences’ etc.
Transferred Epithet: A transferred epithet is a description that refers to a character or event but is used to describe a different situation or character. ‘Transient feet’ is an example of the transferred epithet in the poem. It refers to human feet but it is used to describe the lack of permanence of human life.
Oxymoron: In this literary device, there are two opposite ideas that are joined to create an effect. ‘Laboured ease’ in the poem is an example of an oxymoron. Laboured meaning with ‘great difficulty’ and ease means ‘comfortably’. Both words have opposite meanings but here they are clubbed together.
Personification: The example is ‘Its silence silences.’ The situation has been given the human quality of silence.
Silk Road Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. Silk Road is written by Nick Middleton.
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Silk Road Summary in English by Nick Middleton
About the Author Nick Middleton
1960 (age 60 years), London, United Kingdom
Going to Extremes, Global Casino, Rivers: A Very Short Introduction
The Royal Geographical Society’s Ness
Silk Road Theme
This chapter is part of a travelogue about the author’s travel along the ancient trade route called ‘Silk Road’ regions as they are now. This account of the Silk Road, with its contrasts and exotic detail, describes the challenges and hardships the author faced while journeying to Mount Kailash on a pilgrimage.
Silk Road About the Characters
The Author: He is a Professor of Geography at Oxford University and an environmental consultant.
Tsetan: He is the owner of the car hired by the author for the journey, as well as being a tourist guide.
Daniel: He is an interpreter from Lhasa who travelled part of the time with the author.
Norbu: He is a Tibetan working at an academy in Beijing who wants to carry out the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash.
Silk Road Summary in English
Departure from Ravu
The author left Ravu along with Daniel, an interpreter, and Tsetan, who was a tourist guide. Before leaving, Lhamo, the lady who had provided them accommodation at Ravu, gave the author a gift of a long-sleeved sheepskin coat, as they were going to Mount Kailash, where it would be very cold. Tsetan knew a short cut to reach the mountain. He said the journey would be smooth if there was no snow.
They Saw Drokbas on the Way
As they passed through the hills, they saw individual drokbas (nomad shepherds) looking after their flocks. Both men and women were seen. They were wearing thick woollen clothes. They would stop and stare at their car, sometimes waving to them as they passed.
Encounter with Tibetan Mastiffs
As they passed the nomad’s tents, they saw some Tibetan mastiffs, which were dogs used by the shepherds. When the car came close to their tents, they would bark furiously and fearlessly. They would chase the car for some distance and would then go back. In earlier days, Tibetan mastiffs became popular in China’s imperial courts as hunting dogs. They were brought along the Silk Road as a tax payment from Tibet.
Ice Blocks the Road
The turns became sharper and more difficult as they climbed. The author started getting a severe headache. Suddenly snow started falling and soon blocked the route. Daniel and the author got out of the car to reduce its load on sharp bends. The altimeter watch on the author’s wrist indicated that they were at a height of 5210 metres above sea level. The icy top layer of the snow was dangerous, as the car could slip off the road. When they reached a height of 5515 metres, which was the top of the pass, the atmospheric pressure became so low that Tsetan had to open the lid of the petrol tank to release the evaporated fuel.
Back on the Highway
By late afternoon, they had reached the small town of Hor on .the shore of Lake Manasarovar, which was on the old trade route between Lhasa and Kashmir. Daniel returned to Lhasa from there. Tsetan got the flat tyre of the car repaired there. Hor was a grim, miserable place. There was no vegetation whatsoever, just dust and rocks. There was accumulated rubbish everywhere. Unlike the past, the place no longer appeared holy.
By 10.30 PM they reached Darchen, where they found a guesthouse to stay in. It was the end of the road. The author had a very troubled night. His nostrils were blocked and he was not able to get enough air into his lungs. Most of the night he sat up, as he was unable to sleep.
The next day Tsetan took the author to the Darchen Medical College. The doctor told him it was just the cold and the altitude which were giving him trouble. The doctor gave him some medicine and that night the author was able to sleep well.
Tsetan left the author in Darchen and went back with the car to Lhasa. He did not mind if the author would die in Darchen. He was a good Buddhist and believed in life after death. However, he was worried that the author’s death could affect his business, as he may not get more; tourists who required to be accompanied till where the road ended.
The Author Looks for a Companion and Meets Norbu
Like Hor, Darchen was dusty and a lot of rubbish could be seen all around. The town appeared to be sparsely populated. There were no pilgrims there, as the season had not yet started. He had reached there too early. He actually wanted to reach Mount Kailash to do kora to get a feel of what a pilgrimage was like. But he didn’t want to do it alone. He was looking for someone who could speak or understand English.
When he was sitting in the only cafe at Darchen, Norbu, a plump Tibetan working in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, saw him reading an English book. So Norbu introduced himself to the author. He also was there to do kora, although he was not a religious person. So both of them decided to do kora together.
Silk Road Chapter Highlights
The author left Ravu with a gifted long-sleeved sheepskin coat accompanied by Daniel and Tsetan. Tsetan said that the journey would be smooth if there was no snow on the way.
As they passed by the hills, they could see the lonely drokbas looking after their herds.
As they passed the drokba tents, their guard dogs, which were Tibetan mastiffs, chased their car for some distance.
Soon the turns became sharper and bumpier as they climbed.
The sudden and unexpected fall of snow blocked their way a number of times.
After passing through the top of the pass, they went down to reach the small town of Hor, on the shore of Lake Manasarovar, by late afternoon.
It was a grim, miserable place without any vegetation; it only had a lot of accumulated rubbish, dust and rocks. Daniel went back to Lhasa from there. They repaired the puncrured tyres and carried on.
They reached Darchen at 10:30 PM and found a guesthouse to stay in.
The author had a very troubled night because of the cold. So the next morning, Tsetan took him to consult a doctor at the Darchen Medical College.
The doctor gave some medicine and that night he was able to sleep well.
Tsetan left the author in Darchen and went back with the car to Lhasa.
As the pilgrim season had not started, the author felt lonely. He was looking for someone who could speak or understand English as well as accompany him to do kora.
Then he met Norbu, a Tibetan who understood English and was there to do kora at Mount Kailash.
Both of them decided to go together.
Silk Road Word Meaning
Word – Meaning
French loaves – thin loaf of French bread commonly made from basic lean dough
ducking back – quickly going inside
kora – pilgrimage (in Tibetan language)
drokba – nomad shepherd (here it means, “You look like a nomad shepherd.”)
Changtang – plateau in Western Tibet
gazelles – small antelopes
void – empty spaces
kyang – wild asses
pall – cloud
en masse – together
manoeuvres – exercises involving a large number of animals
billowed – swelled out and went
mastiff – large and strong breed of dog
tribute – payment for tax
clogged – jammed
meanders – winding curves or bends of the river
daubed – spread on the surface
hunks – large pieces
snorted – made a loud sound by forcing breath through a nostril
exited – came out of
swathe – long strip
petered out – gradually came to an end
wristwatch – a watch having an altimeter eworn on the wrist
negotiated – went around
four wheel drive – having a transmission system to provide power directly to all four wheels
lurching – moving unsteadily
cairn of rocks – pile of stones marking a special place
festooned – ornamentally decorated
careered down – descended
salt flats – areas of flat land covered with a layer of salt
brackish – slightly salty
vestiges – remains
a hive of activity – full of people working hard
as smooth as my bald head – totally worn out
grim – bleak or dreary
refuse – rubbish
venerated – respected
cosmology – ancient history
headwaters – streams forming the source
striking distance – a distance from which it can be easily reached
draught – current of air
spread the grease around on – cleaned
solitary confinement – loneliness
sanctity – holiness
hallowed – holy
prone – inclined
kicking around – passing time aimlessly
set off – started
nocturnal – happening at night
power – breathing
drifting off – going to sleep
disappearing into the land of nod – going to fall asleep
put my finger on – pinpoint
paraphernalia – dress identifying his profession
screws of paper – small paper packets
derelict – run down
pool – game similar to billiards
incongruous – totally out of place
babbled – flowed with a babbling sound
cavernous – like a cave
struck up – started
escaped from the library – removed themselves from academic work
tempered – weakened
envisaged – thought of
yaks – Tibetan ox
prostrating – stretching and lying down with face down
tummy – stomach
The Adventure Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Adventure is written by Jayant Narlikar.
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The Adventure Summary in English by Jayant Narlikar
About the writer Jayant Narlikar
19 July 1938 (age 81 years), Kolhapur
Padma Vibhushan, Adams Prize, Padma Bhushan, Prix Jules Janssen
Steady-state model, Hoyle–Narlikar theory of gravity
The Adventure Theme
This is an extract of the later half of the story ‘The Adventure” by Jayant Narlikar. It is a science fiction story in which two theories, the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory, are tried to be explained through an imaginary set of events which would have occurred in the life of a professor of history if the result of a battle more than 200 years earlier would have been different.
The Adventure About the Characters
Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde: He is an eminent professor of history working in Pune. He has a catastrophic accident which causes him to transition to a parallel world for 60 hours.
Rajendra Deshpande: He is a mathematical and scientific expert who tries to rationalise Professor Gaitonde’s experience by applying the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory.
The Adventure Summary in English
Earlier Part of the Story (Not the Part of Text)
Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde was an eminent historian and a leading public figure of Pune. He was much in demand for presiding over public functions. He had just completed his 999th occasion for presiding at a function. He had decided that his thousandth appearance on the stage would be for history. That occasion was to come two weeks later at a seminar devoted to the Third Battle of Panipat.
While he was walking home, a truck on the road hit him. He lost consciousness. When he regained consciousness, he had transited to a parallel world (although he was not aware of this). He was in hospital. After recovering, he was discharged from the hospital the next morning. He tried to reach his home, but he found that it did not exist in the parallel world. He decided to go to Bombay because his son was working in a British company there. He went to Pune railway station and took a train to Bombay. The extract starts from here.
Gaitonde’s Journey to Bombay
When Gaitonde had to get a permit to visit Bombay, he was told that Bombay was British territory while the rest of India was independent. On the journey in a first class compartment of the Jijamata Express, he sat beside Khan Sahib, who would be going on to Peshawar from Delhi on business. Then he realised that there had been no partition of India (in this parallel world). On the route, the train stopped only at Lonavala, Karjat and the border town of Safhad, where the permits were checked. It did not stop at Kalyan, but finally terminated at Victoria Terminus in Bombay. While going through Bombay’s suburbs, he observed that the carriages of the local trains had the British flag painted on them, indicating that they were passing through British territory.
Gaitonde Fails to Find his Son
Gaitonde had planned out his activities on his visit to Bombay. He would try to meet his son and then go to a big library to solve the mystery of his transition. When Gaitonde stepped out of the railway station, he saw ‘East India House’, which indicated that the East India Company still existed in Bombay. Further, he found various British companies and buildings on the road. He visited his son’s office to meet him, but found that no such person worked there, although the company was the same one. This made Gaitonde realise the truth of what Rajendra Deshpande had told him earlier about the Catastrophe theory. He had really made the transition to a parallel world.
Gaitonde Finds the Information he Needed
He visited the Town Hall building in which the library of the Asiatic Society was located. Luckily for him, it also existed in the parallel world. In the library he also found the five books on Indian history which he had written. On going through the fifth volume, which gave India’s history after the death of Aurangzeb, he found that the result of the third battle of Panipat in 1761 was written differently from what he knew, although he was the author of this book in the parallel world.
It said that the Marathas had won the battle, whereas he knew that they had lost it. From here onwards, the history of India changed, which explained what Gaitonde had been experiencing for the last few hours.
He found confirmation in a Marathi journal about how exactly the Marathas had won the battle. The Marathi journal stated that a bullet fired by the Afghans in the battle just brushed the ear of the leader of the Marathas, Vishwasrao. Gaitonde in the real world had written in his fifth volume that Vishwasrao had been killed by a cannon shell in the battle and the Marathas lost their morale and the battle subsequently, because that was what earlier historians had written. In the parallel world, Vishwasrao survived, rallied his troops and won this battle.
India’s Remaining History in the Parallel World
The remaining history of India, as recounted in the fifth volume Gaitonde was reading, can be summarised by saying that India never went under British rule. The Marathas did not allow the East India Company to expand its influence in India. In fact, its influence was limited to a few places like Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. India gradually became a democracy but allowed the British to carry on in Bombay on a lease for commercial reasons. The lease was due to expire in the year 2001, 15 years after the time of this story.
Gaitonde Returns to the Real World
Gaitonde left the library when it closed in the evening, indicating to the librarian that he would come back next morning. After taking a meal, he went for a stroll to Azad Maidan. There was a lecture going on there. When Gaitonde saw a vacant presidential chair on the stage, he went and sat on it, thinking that it was for him, because in the real world he had been invited for such a seminar. The audience reacted by strongly protesting against Gaitonde sitting on the presidential chair.
The reason was that, in this world, the people had become sick of hearing long introductions, vote of thanks and remarks of the chair. They were only interested in what the speaker was speaking and had abolished the custom of having a chairman long ago. The chair kept on the platform was only symbolic.
Gaitonde got up and started speaking, but the audience pelted him with tomatoes, eggs and other objects as they did not want any remarks from him. When Gaitonde still did not stop speaking, the audience swarmed on to the stage to remove him. During the commotion, Gaitonde disappeared. Actually he had suffered another catastrophe by being knocked unconscious by the mob and returned to the real world, as he was found on the Azad Maidan the next morning with his clothes torn. He had no idea what had happened and so he returned to Pune.
Rajendra Deshpande Explains What Happened to Gaitonde
Gaitonde narrated his adventure to his friend Rajendra Deshpande, a mathematical and scientific expert. Rajendra tried to explain to him what had happened by explaining how the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory applied to his adventure.
When Rajendra felt that Gaitonde had imagined- things because he may have been thinking about the third battle of Panipat at the time the truck hit him, Gaitonde showed Rajendra the torn-off page of the history book from the other world, about Vishwasrao escaping death. In the book in the real world, the account was given as Vishwasrao being hit by a bullet and dying. So in the real world, the Marathas had not won, the East India Company had flourished and so on.
At first, Rajendra was perplexed by this new evidence. But, after further discussion with Gaitonde, Rajendra Deshpande explained that he had come to the conclusion that there could be many ‘different worlds existing at different points of time’. They could all have a different history. Professor Gaitonde had been to another parallel world. The time was the present but its history was quite different.
Gaitonde Refuses to Chair any More Seminars
When Rajendra suggested that Gaitonde could recount his adventure at the thousandth seminar he was presiding over after a few days, Gaitonde told him that he had already declined the invitation, as he did not want to chair any more seminars. Probably he remembered the treatment he had received from the audience in the parallel world when he tried to chair a seminar.
The Adventure Chapter Highlights
Professor Gaitonde had a collision with a truck. At that time he was thinking of the Catastrophe theory and its implications for history.
He found himself in another Bombay, which looked more like England as it was much cleaner and had many big English shops). The East India Company was flourishing there.
In this Bombay, he went to the Asiatic Society library in the Town Hall to read some history books, including the ones he had himself written.
Most of the history was as he knew it in his world, but the point where the history had changed was the third Battle of Panipat. In this different world, the Marathas had won this battle.
Then the Marathas did not allow the East India Company to expand its influence in India. In fact, its influence was limited to a few places like Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. India had become a democracy but allowed the British to carry on in these cities for commercial reasons.
Gaitonde wanted to find out how the Marathas had won the battle. According to one history book in the library, the Maratha army’s morale was boosted when Vishwasrao managed to escape death narrowly.
After leaving the library in the evening, he went for a stroll to Azad Maidan. There was a lecture going on. When Gaitonde saw a vacant presidential chair on the stage, he went and sat on it, thinking that it was for him, because in the real world he had been invited for such a seminar. But in this world, people were fed up of long speeches and had abolished the ’chairing’ custom. They got angry because Gaitonde would not stop talking. They threw various things at him and then got onto the stage to throw him out. But suddenly Gaitonde vanished.
He was found in the Azad Maidan, in his own familiar world. Where had he been for two days?
He went back to Pune and showed Rajendra Deshpande the proof that he had been somewhere else and was not imagining things. It was the torn-off page of the history book from the other world, about Vishwasrao escaping death. In the book in his own world, the account was given as Vishwasrao being hit by a bullet and dying. So in our world, the Marathas had not won, the East India Company had flourished and so on.
Through discussions, Professor Gaitonde and Rajendra Deshpande came to the conclusion that there could be many ‘different worlds at different points of time’. They could all have a different history. Professor Gaitonde had been to another world. The time was the present but its history was quite different.
The Adventure Word Meaning
Word – Meaning
ghat section – section of railway track in the Western Ghats, i.e. the hilly region
landscape – painting of a countryside or rural scenery
roared through – passed through with a roaring sound without stopping
racing – fast thinking
state of affairs – situation
Sarhad – border town
Anglo-Indian – An Indian of English descent or of mixed English and Indian parentage
ventured – dared to ask
Central – Bombay Central railway station
been wound up – stopped its operations
blow – setback
volume – book in a series of books
blow-by-blow account – detailed description
morale booster – event that improved their confidence and raised their morale
from the sidelines – but not taking part in it
relegated to – assigned to a lower rank or position
political acumen – political shrewdness with keen insight
pockets – areas
puppet – actually under control of another
de facto – existing
astute – marked by practical intelligence
Shahenshah – ruler
rubber-stamp – formally approve
doctored accounts – narratives changed so as to deceive
after his heart – to his liking
throng – crowd
panda1 – temporary structure
gave vent to – expressed his feelings and ideas
valiantly – courageously
dumbfounded – greatly surprised
smugly – with a self-satisfied look
Bakhar – form of historical narrative written in Marathi prose
food for thought – something that requires serious consideration
pacing – walking to and fro
catastrophic – sudden happening causing damage and/ or suffering
take issue – disagree
definitively – finally with authority
ignoramus – ignorant
trajectory – path
proceeded – carried on
speculating – guessing