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The Poetry of Earth - (D.A.Q.)

 The poetry of Earth - (D.A.Q.)

The poetry of Earth - (D.A.Q.)

1. Justify the title of the poem, ‘The poetry of Earth’.

Answer: The first line of the sonnet echoes the title. The ninth line reaffirms this. Thus both in the octave and sestet, the message is very clear. 

The Poetry of Earth has an immortal quality. In the octave, there is a description of a summer’s day. It is too hot for even the birds, which are usually chirpy and lively. The grasshopper, however, remains unaffected. It then can be heard frolicking in the grass and bushes. 

When the grasshopper goes into hiding in the winter, the crockets shrill can be heard.  Many people then mistake this as the grasshopper’s chirp due to their ignorance. The cricket manages to enjoy itself in the harshest of conditions in which even the grasshopper dares not roam. 

This shows that nature is eternal and her beauty always exists. The starting lines of both the octave and sestet are similar. Keats does this s he wants to reinforce what he is trying to say. 

He refers to Nature as the poetry of earth.  Because like poetry, nature consists of different elements, tones and voices and can be perceived in different ways by the interpreter. Elements of nature continue to thrive, whether it is underneath the scorching sun or the cold frost. This message is distinctly echoed in the title of the poem. Hence it is quite appropriate.

2. The poetry of earth is never dead. –How does John Keats establish this view in the poem, ‘The Poetry of earth’?

Answer: In the sonnet, ‘The Poetry of Earth’, the message of the poem is foregrounded in the very first line of the octave, ‘The poetry of earth is never dead’. 

In the first line of the sestet, ‘the poetry of earth is never ceasing never’, the poet reinforces the same message by rephrasing the opening line. 

Here Keats emphatically assets that, regardless of the fact, the poetry of Mother Nature is omnipresent whether it is summer or the winter. It continues to add vitality to the environment. The poem shows us that Nature is always beautiful. 

In summer this beauty is shown through the grasshopper and in winter it is shown through the cricket. Both in their own ways are brilliantly different yet so similar. In the first half of the poem, Keats portrays a summer scene. 

It is the grasshopper through which everyone partakes in the enjoyment during summer. The grasshopper has never done with its delights because summer’s days lift everyone’s mood and feelings. 

The winter is the season of harshness and coldness. ‘The frost has wrought a silence’ then but still the cricket is there to keep the music alive. Its shrill reminds us to the grasshopper among some grassy hills and assures us that summer will return. 

Thus the earth is beautiful and always will be, therefore, the music of earth, better to say, ‘the poetry of earth is never dead’.   

3. Identify the voices of the poetry in the poem. How does Keats establish continuity through these voices?

Answer: The bird’s song, the grasshopper’s chirp and the cricket’s shrill form the voices of poetry in the poem, ‘The Poetry of Earth’.

            Here certain continuity is gained by connecting up the chirping of the grasshopper in the meadows during summer with the similar chirping of his cousin cricket in winter. The song of Nature is never silent. 

When the birds are tired and rest from the hot sun in shadowy trees, there is still heard a song which runs from hedge to hedge in the meadow where the grass has been newly cut. That is the grasshopper’s song. He takes the lead in summer enjoyment and has never finished with his pleasures. When he is tired of playing, he rests beneath some pleasant weeds. But the song of Nature never ceases. 

On a quiet evening of winter, when the frost has silenced other voices, from behind the stove there sounds the chirping of the cricket. To one who is sitting over the fire, half asleep, it seems to be a continuation of the grasshopper’s song on the grassy hills of summer-time.  

4. What roles do the grasshopper and the cricket play in ‘The Poetry of Earth’?

Answer: The continuity of the poetry of earth under different conditions is established by connecting up the chirping of the grasshopper with the similar chirping of his cousin, cricket. 

John Keats makes an attempt to capture the eternal beauty of nature using the perspectives and lifestyles of these two insects. They are very different and unique insects, yet they are oddly similar. Both the grasshopper and the cricket have been personified. 

Thus they do not only symbolize two different personalities but also two different seasons, summer and winter. Keats decides to use these two insects as they suit his purpose best. The delicate balance of nature is depicted. 

According to Keats, the uniqueness of each being is what constitutes true natural beauty. The grasshopper is a carefree insect and can be heard frolicking in the grass and bushes. Its buoyant and jaunty mood shows how this insect uses the hot season to its advantage. 

The cricket appears to be more responsible and serious of the two. When the grasshopper goes into hiding in the winter, the cricket’s shrill can be heard. Thus Keats metaphorically suggests that although we easily recognize the beauty of life in youth (i.e. summer), there is also plenty of beauty in the old age (i.e., winter)  

Also Read:

* The Poetry of Earth – M.C.Q

** The Poetry of Earth – S.A.Q

👉 The Poetry of Earth - Textual Questions & Answers

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