Showing posts with label Class XI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Class XI. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Class XI - English - Woven Words - Poem - For Elkana

 Complete Text of the Poem

The warm April evening
tempts us to the breezes
sauntering across the lawn.
We drag our chairs down
the stone steps and plant them there.
Unevenly, to sit or rather sprawl
in silence till the words begin to come.
My wife, as is her way,
surveys the scene, comments
on a broken window-pane.
Suggests a thing or two
that every husband in the neighbourhood
knows exactly how to do
except of course the man she loves
who happened to be me.
Unwilling to dispute
the obvious fact
that she is always right,
I turn towards the more
attractive view that opens up
behind my eyes and shuts her out.
Her voice crawls up and down the lawn,
our son, who is seven,
hears it—and it reminds him of something.
He stands before us,
his small legs well apart,
crescent-moon-like chin uplifted
eyes hard and cold
to speak his truth
in masterly determination:
Mummy, I want my dinner, now.
Wife and husband in unusual rapport
state one unspoken thought:
Children Must be Disciplined.
She looks at me. I look away.
The son is waiting. In another second
he will repeat himself.
Wife wags a finger.
Firmly delivers verdict: Wait.
In five minutes I’ll serve you dinner.
No, says the little one,
not in five minutes, now.
I am hungry.
It occurs to me the boy is like his father.
I love him as I love myself.
Wait, darling, wait,
Mummy says, wait for five minutes
But, I am hungry now,
declaims the little bastard, in five minutes
I won’t be hungry any more.
This argument appeals to me.
Such a logician deserves his dinner straightaway.
My wife’s delightful laughter
holds the three of us together.
We rise and go into the house.


The poem is a narrative of a family scene in April, where the warmth of the evening tempts the family to sit outside and enjoy the breeze. The husband and wife drag their chairs outside to sit in silence and enjoy each other's company until the words begin to flow. However, the wife breaks the silence by commenting on a broken window-pane and suggesting some fixes to it.

The husband, unwilling to dispute his wife's advice, turns his attention to the attractive view behind his eyes, shutting his wife out. Their seven-year-old son interrupts them, asking for dinner, to which the wife replies that he should wait for five minutes. The son insists that he is hungry and wants dinner now, but the wife tells him to wait.

The husband is amused by his son's logical argument that he won't be hungry in five minutes and decides to give him his dinner straight away. The wife's laughter brings the family together, and they all go inside the house.

The poem captures the everyday interactions and dynamics of a family, with the husband and wife having different personalities and approaches to parenting. The son's interruption serves as a reminder that children need discipline, and the family's laughter at the end signifies their ability to overcome their differences and come together.


The theme of the poem revolves around the complexities of family dynamics and the struggle for power between family members, particularly between parents and children. It also touches upon the theme of communication and the challenges that arise when family members struggle to understand and connect with each other. The poem ultimately suggests that despite these difficulties, families can find joy and togetherness through laughter and a shared sense of love and understanding.

Understanding the Poem

Question 1. Comment on the subtlety with which the poet captures the general pattern of communication within a family.


The poet captures the general pattern of communication within a family with great subtlety and nuance. Through the dialogue and actions of the family members, the poem reveals the various power dynamics and conflicts that exist within the family unit, without explicitly stating them. For instance, the husband's desire to ignore his wife's suggestion and focus on his own desires suggests an underlying power imbalance in their relationship, while the son's demand for immediate satisfaction reflects a struggle for independence and autonomy.

Furthermore, the poem also captures the complexities of communication within a family, such as the unspoken tensions and emotions that can exist between family members. The husband's desire to shut his wife out and focus on his own thoughts, for instance, reveals a lack of communication and understanding between them.

Overall, the poem's subtlety and nuance in capturing the general pattern of communication within a family is what makes it such an effective and relatable portrayal of family life. The poem's realism and honesty in portraying the challenges and conflicts that can arise within a family unit make it a poignant and insightful reflection on the human experience.

Question 2. Poetic effect is achieved in the poem through understatement and asides. Discuss this with examples.


The poem "The warm April evening" achieves poetic effect through the use of understatement and asides. Understatement is a literary technique where the speaker downplays the importance or severity of a situation, often to highlight the opposite effect. Asides, on the other hand, are remarks made by the speaker that are not intended for everyone to hear but serve to provide insight into their thoughts and feelings.

For example, in the poem, the husband's desire to ignore his wife's suggestion to fix the broken window pane is an example of understatement. Instead of acknowledging her suggestion, he turns his attention to the view in front of him, which suggests a lack of interest or investment in their conversation. This understated response highlights the power imbalance in their relationship, which is further emphasized by the wife's suggestion that every husband in the neighborhood knows how to fix the window except for him.

Asides are also used to great effect in the poem, particularly in the husband's internal dialogue. For instance, when his wife is speaking, he thinks to himself about the more attractive view that opens up behind his eyes and shuts her out. This aside highlights the disconnection between the husband and wife and adds depth to his character by revealing his inner thoughts and motivations.

Overall, the use of understatement and asides in the poem enhances the subtle and nuanced portrayal of family dynamics and communication, adding depth and complexity to the characters and their relationships.

Question 3. How is the idyllic juxtaposed with the pedestrian in the poem?


In the poem "The warm April evening," the idyllic is juxtaposed with the pedestrian through the contrast between the peaceful setting of the warm April evening and the mundane, everyday tasks and conflicts that arise within the family.

On one hand, the setting of the warm April evening is described in an idyllic way, tempting the family to spend time outdoors and enjoy the breezes across the lawn. The image of the family sitting in chairs on the stone steps, surrounded by nature, creates a peaceful and serene atmosphere.

On the other hand, the poem portrays the pedestrian reality of family life, with the wife commenting on the broken window-pane and suggesting that it be fixed. The husband's response to her suggestion, focusing on the attractive view that opens up behind his eyes and shutting her out, suggests a lack of engagement and investment in their relationship.

The son's demand for immediate satisfaction, regardless of his parents' plans, adds to the contrast between the idyllic and the pedestrian. The family's decision to go inside and have dinner together is a mundane, everyday task, but the wife's delightful laughter at the end of the poem suggests that, despite the conflicts and challenges that arise within the family, they are able to find joy and togetherness in simple moments like this.

Overall, the juxtaposition of the idyllic with the pedestrian in the poem highlights the complexities of family life and the struggle to balance everyday tasks and conflicts with the desire for peace, love, and togetherness.

Question 4. Explain the undertones in the statement: ‘Wife and husband in unusual rapport
State one unspoken thought’:


In the poem "The Warm April Evening," the line "Wife and husband in unusual rapport state one unspoken thought" suggests that the couple is connected in a way that goes beyond spoken communication. This line has undertones of shared understanding, nonverbal communication, and unspoken agreement.

Throughout the poem, the husband and wife have different perspectives and approaches to various situations, such as the broken window-pane and their son's demand for dinner. Despite their differences, they are able to come together and present a united front in their response to their son's demand. The fact that they are in "unusual rapport" suggests that this type of agreement is not common in their relationship, but is something special that happens in this particular moment.

The line also suggests that the couple is able to communicate without words, as they are able to convey their agreement without speaking it out loud. This is reinforced by the fact that the thought they share is unspoken. This type of communication is further emphasized by the husband's internal dialogue throughout the poem, which reveals his thoughts and feelings about his wife and their relationship.

Overall, the undertones in the line "Wife and husband in unusual rapport state one unspoken thought" suggest a deeper level of connection between the couple that goes beyond verbal communication. It highlights the importance of nonverbal communication, shared understanding, and unspoken agreement in relationships.

Question 5. Comment on the capitalisation of all the words in the line: ‘Children Must be Disciplined’.


In the poem "The Warm April Evening," the capitalisation of all the words in the line "Children Must be Disciplined" serves to emphasize the importance and authority of the statement. The capitalisation of every word in the phrase draws attention to it and gives it a sense of gravity and importance.

By capitalising every word, the poet creates a sense of formality and seriousness around the idea of discipline for children. It suggests that this is not just a casual suggestion, but rather a rule that must be followed. This is reinforced by the fact that the phrase is presented as an unspoken thought between the husband and wife, which further emphasises the weight and authority of the statement.

The capitalisation also reflects the idea that discipline is a universal truth that applies to all children, regardless of their individual circumstances or personalities. It suggests that the need for discipline is a fundamental part of parenting and that it is not something that can be ignored or taken lightly.

Question 6. What makes the urgency of the child’s demand seem logical?


In the poem "The Warm April Evening," the urgency of the child's demand for dinner seems logical because it is based on a simple and logical argument. The child argues that he is hungry now and therefore needs to eat now, rather than waiting for five minutes.

This argument is logical because hunger is a basic need that requires immediate attention. The child's demand for dinner is not based on a whim or a desire for something frivolous, but rather on a basic need that must be met in order for him to function properly. Therefore, his demand for dinner seems urgent and reasonable.

Additionally, the child's argument is presented in a simple and straightforward way that is easy to understand. He does not use complex reasoning or try to manipulate his parents in any way. Instead, he presents a simple and clear argument that is based on his immediate needs.



On a warm April evening, the gentle breeze entices a couple to sit outside and relax. They take their chairs down the stone steps and sit in silence, waiting for the words to come. The wife takes in their surroundings, commenting on a broken window pane and making suggestions about what needs to be done. The husband does not argue, as he knows she is always right. Instead, he focuses on the view in his mind's eye and shuts her out.

Their seven-year-old son hears his mother's voice and comes outside, standing before them with his chin up and his eyes hard and cold. He demands his dinner, insisting that he is hungry and cannot wait. The wife and husband are in agreement that children must be disciplined, but the husband sees himself in his son's argument and agrees that it is logical.

After a moment of laughter, they go inside to have dinner together.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Q1. List the steps taken by the captain
(i) to protect the ship when rough weather began.
(ii) to check the flooding of the water in the ship.

(i) When the rough weather began the captain dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy mooring rope in a loop across the stern. Then he double-lashed everything, went through the life-raft drill, attached lifelines, donned oilskins and life jackets to protect the ship when the rough weather began.

(ii) The captain used hammer, screws, and canvas to repair the holes that were causing water into the ship. He managed to stretch canvas and secure waterproof hatch covers across the gaping holes. Some water continued to stream below, but it was manageable using spare pumps.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Class XI - Elective English - 6. The Third and Final Continent - Jhumpa Lahiri

Class XI - Elective English - 6. The Third and Final Continent - Jhumpa Lahiri


  1. Discuss the manner in which the author interweaves details of the narrator’s family with the flow of the main narrative.

    The details about the narrator's family is important for the readers in order to understand the psyche of the narrator. He had a very turbulent childhood and was brought up among very disturbed conditions at home. This is important for us to understand the bond he shared with Mrs. Croft. The words written by the author expresses that he was very attached to his mother and had fulfilled the role of an eldest son till the time she was cremated. He missed his mother a lot and recollected small incidents about she never forgetting to drape her head before coming in front of his father. When he came to know of Mrs. Croft's age which had crossed a century, he contemplated on how his mother couldn't adjust to his father's death and turned insane. Her insanity led to deterioration of her health. Her death gave him a heavy blow but he cared for her till the very last moment before cremating her. This shows his reason for growth of empathy towards Mrs. Croft because of her old age. Thus, his concern for Mrs. Croft grew which can be clearly reflected in the line: I was mortified. I had assumed Mrs. Croft was in her eighties...that this person was a widow who lived alone mortified me further still.

  2. ‘Mrs Croft’s was the first death I mourned in America, for, hers was the first life I had admired; she had left this world at last,ancient and alone, never to return’—how do these lines encapsulate the bond that is possible between two strangers?

    A person usually feels very detached from people staying around him  abroad. Here is where originates the feeling of diaspora. The same happened with the narrator. He was away from his home and his family and, thus, never grew any feeling of affection towards anybody in America. He was quite alienated with the people of America. However, the course of action justifies his attachment and the emotional bonding which grew between him and Mrs Croft. In the foreign land, he grew a fondness towards the old lady because of various reasons. When he got to know that she was older than a century, he felt a sense of responsibility towards her. He was amazed and was quite awestruck at the idea of a widow of that age residing all alone, with nobody to take care of her . Taking up chores like heating her soup every evening or giving her eight dollars in the envelope every month satisfied him. All these instances and many more cite the fact that a very strong bond had developed between the lady and the narrator.
  3. Examine the pieces of conversation in the story. How do they reflect the worldview of each of the speakers? The various conversations taking place in bits and pieces during the course of action of the story reflect a lot about people's perception on various issues and attitude towards each other and humanity in general. We see a very firm and hypocritical attitude prevalent in the tone of Mrs Croft when the narrator arrived at her place for the first time. This is when for the first time he realised that belonging to a very high standard place was important, anywhere such as Tech or Harvard. The greatness and biasness of Americans to be the first one to step on the moon, considering it an unattainable and impossibly splendid feat to be attained. However, she becomes mild for the first time when she receives the eight dollars from the narrator. Mrs Croft's orthodox ways become prominently visible when she objects to a lady and a man talking in private without a chaperone. Her conventional ways are quite evident keeping in mind the fact that she had already crossed hundred. The ways of the western world is shown to be in a very high contrast when we see Mrs Croft's daughter Helen being quite indifferent towards her mother's health or meals. Her casual tone when she says “she might have slipped” might disturb readers. However, even with the differences in opinions, perceptions and norms, the bond which had developed between the narrator and an American widow of a hundred years is worth appreciation.