Poem 3 –The Quarrel
It is common for brothers and sisters to quarrel, although sometimes they may not even be able to say why they quarrel. But how long do such quarrels last? How do they end?
I quarrelled with my brother
I don’t know what about,
One thing led to another
And somehow we fell out.
The start of it was slight,
The end of it was strong,
He said he was right,
I knew he was wrong!
We hated one another.
The afternoon turned black.
Then suddenly my brother
Thumped me on the back,
And said, “Oh, come along!
We can’t go on all night—
I was in the wrong.”
So he was in the right.
The poet quarrelled with her brother. She is not sure what the reason of the quarrel was about. From one thing to other the quarrel started and the quarrelled to the utmost. When the quarrel started it was slight but when it ended it was very violent and strong. According to the poet, her brother demanded himself to be right but she knew that he was wrong.
After the quarrel, they started to hate each other and the afternoon turned out to be black one. Then her brother took the initiative to assuage the quarrel. He thumped on the back of her and said that he was wrong and they should not go on fighting anymore. And thus he did the right work at last.
Textual Questions and Exercises
Q1. With your partner try to guess the meaning of the underlined phrases.
(i) And somehow we fell out.
Ans. started quarreling
(ii) The afternoon turned black.
Ans. Night came
Q2. Read these lines from the poem:
(i) One thing led to another
(ii) The start of it was slight
(iii) The end of it was strong
(iv) The afternoon turned black
(v) Thumped me on the back
Discuss with your partner what these lines mean.
Ans. (i) One reason led to another reason
(ii) The quarrel was started on small issue
(iii) The end turned into a big fight
(iv) Afternoon passed and night came but their fight continue.
(v) The quarrel ca
Q3. How did the Quarrel start?
Ans. The quarrel started on a pretty thing.
Q4. How did the quarrel end?
Ans. The quarrel ended in a friendly way.
Q5. How did they differ?
Ans. They differed as each one said to be right.