Deep Water Summary in English by William Douglas

Deep Water Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. Deep Water is written by William Douglas. has provided deep water extra questions and answers, short summary of deep water class 12 cbse, theme of deep water, what is the theme of the lesson deep water, note making of chapter deep water class 12, deep water question answers pdf.

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Deep Water Summary in English by William Douglas

Deep Water by William Douglas About the Author

William O. Douglas (16 October 1898 – 19 January 1980) was born in Maine, Minnesota and was raised in Yakima, Washington. He was an American jurist and politician. He served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was nominated at the age of 40 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was the youngest justice appointed to the court and served for the longest term in the history of the Supreme Court.

Author Name William O. Douglas
Born 16 October 1898, Minnesota, United States
Died 19 January 1980, Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Books Of Men and Mountains
Party Democratic Party
Nationality American, Canadian
William O. Douglas - deep water summary in english class 12
William O. Douglas

Deep Water Theme

‘Deep Water’ deals with the childhood fear of Douglas. A misadventure at the YMCA pool developed an aversion of water in him and he suffered from hydrophobia. The story focuses on the fact that childhood fears must never be treated lightly. If they are not tackled, then they make deep inroads into one’s psychology. Douglas analyses his fear and finally determines to overcome it.

Deep Water Summary in English

‘Deep Water’ is an excerpt from Of Men and Mountains written by William O. Douglas. It is an autobiographical description of how the author develops the fear of water and, thereafter, how he finally overcame it. He narrates that his aversion to water started when he was three or four years old and his father took him to the beach in California. There he was knocked down by the waves and was almost buried down in the water. When he was ten or eleven years old, he joined the Y.M.C.A. pool to learn to swim.

One day, when he was sitting on the side of the pool all alone, a big bruiser of a boy picked him up and threw him into the deep end of the pool. He went at once to the bottom. He was frightened, but thought of a strategy to save his life. He decided to hit the bottom and take a big jump to come to the surface and lie flat on it and then paddle to the edge of the pool. But it seemed his way down was very long.

Before he touched the bottom, his lungs were about to burst. Though he tried to take a big jump, he came up very slowly. As a result, he went down for a second time. His lungs ached and he started feeling dizzy. He jumped, his feet touched the bottom but it made no difference. When he went down a third time, he sucked a lot of water while trying to breathe air. Then all his efforts stopped and he had a blackout. He was overpowered by fear and eventually fainted.

After this incident, his fear of water worsened and he did not go swimming or fishing or to any other water sport for many years. Finally one October, he decided to overcome his fear of water. He hired an instructor to learn to swim. He started practicing swimming. Bit by bit he shed part of the panic that seized him. The instructor tied a belt around his waist and connected it to a pulley with a rope. The author practiced day after day till he began to get back his confidence. He was able to swim the length of the pool on his own. Though the instructor was satisfied, the author felt that on many occasions his old fear of water would return. So, he continued relentlessly to swim in different water bodies till he was confident that he had overcome his fear.

Finally, to test if he had lost the last vestiges of fear, Douglas went up to the Tieton to Conrad Meadows, up the Conrad Creek Trail to Meade Glacier, and camped in high meadow by the side of Warm Lake. As he had experienced the terror of death, his will to live grew most intensely. This made him fearless and confident.


English Summaries – Poetry, Prose, Fiction, Drama Summary

English Summaries for Class 6th to Class 12th: CBSE English Summary explanation for Classes 6th to 12th are designed for students to understand the lessons easily which are included in the academic year class 6 to 12 English CBSE syllabus and assist them to prepare for the board and other competitive examinations. This CBSE English Summaries for classes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 is a comprehensive study package for all students to learn English Poetry, Prose, Fiction, Drama lessons summaries in a simple understandable language & also you can utilize these English summaries during your revision.

CBSE Class 12 to Class 6 English Summaries in PDF Format

Here we have given Chapter Wise CBSE Class 12 to 6 English Quick Revision Summary Notes and Important Questions & Answers Pdf free download in quick links below for easy access.












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Benefits of Practicing English Summary Notes for CBSE Class 6 to Class 12 Board Exams

Below are some of the most important advantages that you can get from practicing class 6 to 12 chapter-wise English Summaries. Once, have a glimpse at the following benefits of Preparing English Poetry, Prose, Fiction, Drama Summary Notes & practice daily without any fail to score good marks in the exams.

  • The key to productive study sessions is only by referring to the lesson-wise English summaries.
  • It aids you to understand every concept, poet, lesson key points, and important details.
  • One of the best benefits of this class 6 to 12 CBSE English Summary Notes saves a lot of time while revision.
  • From the English summary, you can easily know the title, author, and main point or argument & this helps you to learn & understand the lesson or poem or prose effortlessly.

FAQs on English Poetry, Prose, Fiction, Drama Summary

1. How to write an English summary?

An English summary is a brief essay about the whole lesson. A summary includes only the opinions of the real text. You have to write an English summary in our own words. Identify in order the important sub-claims the author uses to maintain the main point.

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The Lamb Summary – What is the theme of “The Lamb” by William Blake?

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 Short Story Summary

The Bet Short Story Summary

“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.

Pride And Prejudice Summary

Pride And Prejudice Summary

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.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Summary

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

Father To Son Poem Summary in English by Elizabeth Jennings. has provided Father To Son questions and answers pdf, extract questions, important questions, short summary of the poem Father To Son, theme, figures of speech, central idea, poetic devices, reference to context, Father To Son class 11 summary in hindi, critical appreciation analysis, poem ka meaning in hindi, poem analysis, line by line explanation, explanation Stanza by Stanza.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

Father To Son Poem Summary in English by Elizabeth Jennings

About the Poet Elizabeth Jennings

Name  Elizabeth Jennings
Born 18 July 1926, Boston, United Kingdom
Died 26 October 2001, Bampton, United Kingdom
Education St Anne’s College, Oxford High School
Awards Cholmondeley Award
Elizabeth Jennings - father to son poem summary in english
Elizabeth Jennings

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

Stanza 1
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.

Word Meanings
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.

Stanza 2
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.

Word Meanings
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.

Stanza 3
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.

Word Meanings
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.

Stanza 4
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.

Word Meanings:
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 by Walt Whitman

The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Voice of The Rain is written by Walt Whitman. has provided The Voice of The Rain questions and answers pdf, extract questions, important questions, short summary of the poem The Voice of The Rain, theme, figures of speech, central idea, poetic devices, reference to context, The Voice of The Rain class 11 summary in hindi, critical appreciation analysis, poem ka meaning in hindi, poem analysis, line by line explanation, explanation Stanza by Stanza.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

The Voice of The Rain Poem Summary in English by Walt Whitman

About the Poet Walt Whitman

Name Walt Whitman
Born 31 May 1819, West Hills, New York, United States
Died 26 March 1892, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Poems Leaves of Grass, Song of Myself, O Captain! My Captain!
Awards Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration
Walt Whitman - the voice of the rain poem summary in english class 11
Walt Whitman

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

Stanza 1
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,

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 2
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,

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 3
I – descend to lave the droughts, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 4
“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.)

Word Meanings:
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 by Ted Hughes

The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. The Laburnum Top is written by Ted Hughes. has provided The Laburnum Top questions and answers pdf, extract questions, important questions, short summary of the poem The Laburnum Top, theme, figures of speech, central idea, poetic devices, reference to context, The Laburnum Top class 11 summary in hindi, critical appreciation analysis, poem ka meaning in hindi, poem analysis, line by line explanation, explanation Stanza by Stanza.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

The Laburnum Top Poem Summary in English by Ted Hughes

About the Poet Ted Hughes

Name Ted Hughes
Born 17 August 1930, Mytholmroyd, United Kingdom
Died 28 October 1998, North Tawton, United Kingdom
Education Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
Spouse Carol Orchard (m. 1970–1998), Sylvia Plath (m. 1956–1963)
Awards Costa Book of the Year, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
Ted Hughes - the laburnum top poem summary in english class 11
Ted Hughes

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

Stanza 1
The Laburnum top is silent, quite still
In the afternoon yellow September sunlight,
A few leaves yellowing, all its seeds fallen.

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 2
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.

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 3
Then with eerie delicate whistle-chirrup whisperings She launches away, towards the infinite
And the Laburnum subsides to empty.

Word Meanings:
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 Analysis and Explanation by Shirley Toulson

A Photograph Poem Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. A Photograph is written by Shirley Toulson. has provided A Photograph questions and answers pdf, extract questions, important questions, short summary of the poem A Photograph, theme, figures of speech, central idea, poetic devices, reference to context, A Photograph class 11 summary in Hindi, critical appreciation analysis, poem ka meaning in Hindi, poem analysis, line by line explanation, explanation stanza by stanza.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

A Photograph Poem Summary in English Line By Line Explanation by Shirley Toulson

About the Poet Shirley Toulson

Name Shirley Toulson
Born 20 May 1924, Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Died 15th May 2014
Education B.A Literature from Brockenhurst College in London
Books The Drovers, The Celtic Year a Celebration of Celtic Christian Saints Sites and Festivals More
Shirley Toulson - a photograph class 11 Line By Line Explanation
Shirley Toulson

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

Stanza 1.
“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.”

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 2.
“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.”

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 3.
“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.”

Word Meanings:
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.

Stanza 4.
“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.”

Word Meanings:
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.