Poem 4- Beauty
What is beauty? Try to describe what beauty is, or list some of the things or persons you think are beautiful.
Beauty is seen
In the sunlight,
The trees, the birds,
Corn growing and people working
Or dancing for their harvest.
Beauty is heard
In the night,
Wind sighing, rain falling,
Or a singer chanting
Anything in earnest.
Beauty is in yourself.
Good deeds, happy thoughts
That repeat themselves
In your dreams,
In your work,
And even in your rest.
The poet says that the real beauty can be seen in the sunlight, trees, and birds, in corn growing; people working or people dancing for the harvest. The poet does not agree with the traditional thinking about beauty.
Now the poet is talking about how beauty can be heard. According to her beauty can be heard at night when the wind signs and when the rain falls and when a singer signs in earnest from the core of his heart.
The poet says in the concluding stanza that beauty lies in ourselves; in good deeds, happy thoughts which are repeated in our dreams and in our work and even in our rest.
Textual Questions and Exercises
Q1. The poet says, “Beauty is heard in …”
Can you hear beauty? Add a sound that you think is beautiful to the sounds the poet thinks are beautiful.
The poet, Shelley, said:
Heard melodies are sweet,
But those unheard are sweeter.
What do you think this means? Have you ever ‘heard’ a song in your head, long after the song was sung or played?
Ans. The chirping of birds is also beautiful.
The poet says that when we hear melodies, we find it sweet but after hearing those melodies when we imagine about melodies i.e., unheard melodies we found it more sweeter than the original melody itself.
Yes, sometimes I heard long after the song was sung or played.
Q2. Read the first and second stanzas of the poem again. Note the following phrases.
corn growing, people working or dancing, wind sighing, rain falling, a singer chanting
These could be written as
(a) corn that is growing
(b) people who are working or dancing
Can you rewrite the other phrases like this? Why do you think the poet uses the shorter phrases?
Ans. wind that is sighing
rain that is falling
a singer who is chanting
The poet uses the shorter phrases to enhance its beauty.
Q3. What do we see in sunlight?
Ans. We see beauty.
Q2. How does the poet define beauty?
Ans. Beauty lies in the objects of nature. All good things, good actions and all that pleases are beautiful.
Q3. Why do people dance for their harvest?
Ans. They dance because they are pleased to harvest their crops.
Q4. Can you name some beautiful things seen or heard?
Ans. Yes, I have been the beautiful things like chirping birds, whistling trees , laughing children and vast sea shore.
Q5. “Beauty is in yourself.” How is it?
Ans. We can feel beauty in ourselves. Noble deeds make us beautiful.
Q6. When is the beauty heard?
Ans. Beauty is heard in the night; whistling of wind, rain falling and playing music.
Q7. Which objects of nature are beautiful?
Ans. The singing wind and the rainfall are beautiful.
Q8. Where does beauty lie?
Ans. Beauty lies in happy thoughts, good deeds.
Q9. Which things repeat in one’s mind?
Ans. Happy thoughts and goods deeds repeat in our dream.
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