Topic outline

    • The Brook (Poem-By Lord Alfred Tennyson)

      About the poem

      A.  Read to understand

      1. Find the lines in the poem that express the following thoughts.

           a)   As the brook flows down its stony and pebbly paths, it creates a whirlpool and makes many musical sounds.

      I chatter over stony ways,

      In little sharps and trebles,

      I bubble into eddying bays,

      I babble on the pebbles.


           b)   The brook follows a winding path, carrying flowers and fish along with it.

      I wind about, and in and out,

      With here a blossom sailing,

      And here and there a lusty trout,

      And here and there a grayling,

           c)   When the brook flows above the stones and pebbles, there is a break in the flow of water, which appears silvery.

      With many a silvery waterbreak

      Above the golden gravel,


           d)   The rays and beams of the sun appear to be dancing as they fall on the brook through the tree cover along the shallow sandy banks.

      I make the netted sunbeam dance

      Against my sandy shallows.


           e)   The brook continues its journey forever to join the brimming river, unlike man whose life must come to a stop.

      And out again I curve and flow

      To join the brimming river,

      For men may come and men may go,

      But I go on forever.


      2. Answer these questions.

           a)   How does the brook behave when it encounters curves on its banks?

            Ans. The brook feel unhappy and tired as it has to use all its energy to curve and move round and round, again and again. So, it behaves ‘angrily’ when it faces curves on its banks.


           b)   Make a list of the various places that fall in the path of the brook as it flows.

           Ans. Places that fall in the path of brook are:

                   i.        thirty hills

                  ii.        twenty small villages

                iii.        a little town

                iv.        half a hundred bridges

                 v.        Philip’s farm


           c)   What do you think causes the ‘foamy flake’ as the brook flows?

            Ans. When the water moves about in curve and strikes against stone, it swirls and form foams. A large mass of very small bubble is referred here as foamy flake.


           d)   What makes the brook sparkle?

            Ans. When it moves through the fern-plants, its water shines brightly with the sun rays falling on it.


           e)   What is the ‘netted sunbeam’? What makes it dance?

            Ans. The ‘netted sunbeam’ refers to the sunrays filtering through the leaves and bushes that fall on the surface of sandy shallow water in a net-like pattern. The movement of water makes it dancing.

           f)    Where does the brook in the poem originate from-the highlands or the plains? Support your answer with lines from the poem.

      Ans. The brook in the poem originates from the highlands because it passes through the high mountains, tough terrains, deep valleys and finally overcoming all the hurdles of the way, reaches its destination, the overflowing river.




      B.  Discuss

      Compare the following parts of the brook’s journey with human life.

          1.   at the beginning of its journey

      Ans. As like a child, the brook chatters and babbles. It is as energetic as a human being in the initial stages of its life. As human being work to fulfill their aim in life, the brook’s aim is to join the brimming river.


          2.   closer to the river

      Ans. The brook slows down and slips, slides and find steals by the lawns and grassy plots. In the same way, in old age, man becomes quiet and understanding.



      C.  Read to appreciate

      Read these lines from the poem.

      I make a sudden sally

      By many a field and fallow

      Both these lines show the use of alliteration.

      1.   Find at least five more examples of alliteration in the poem.

      1. By twenty thorps, a little town

      2. I bubble into eddying bays,

          I babble on the pebbles.

      3. With willow-weed and mallow

          I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance

      4. I linger by my shingly bars;

          I loiter round my cresses;


           2.   The poet has used a lot of words that describe some sound or movement. Read these words and phrases from the poem, and write them in suitable columns.











      steal by

      wind about


      Sound words

      Movement words

             1.   babble

             2.   bicker     

             3.   chatter    

             4.   murmur

                1.   hurry

                2.   linger

                3.   loiter

                4.   sailing

                5.   skimming

                6.   slide

                7.   steal by

                8.   wind about