Topic outline

    • A Night with a Wolf (Poem by Bayard Taylor)

      About the poem

      A.  Read to understand

      Answer the following questions.

           1.   What does the father bring to the child’s attention in the first stanza of the poem?

            Ans. The father brings the child’s attention toward the pouring rain, extremely dark: a moonless night, and roaring wind.


           2.   What three things does the storyteller mention to show that danger was close at hand on the night when he was lost?

            Ans. The three things that the story teller mentioned were:

                   i.        Wild men

                  ii.        Wolves in the forest

                iii.        Bears in the bush


           3.   What were the two things that protected him from the rough weather?

            Ans. The two things that protected him were:-

                   i.        Large branches of tree

                  ii.        Sheltering rock

           4.   ‘Little one, be not frightened.’ What do you think had alarmed the child?

            Ans. The child got alarmed when he heard that his father and wolf spent the long night together sitting side by side, hiding from the bad weather.


           5.   Quote the lines in which the father tells the child that it is safer to be inside the house rather than outside it on a stormy night?

            Ans. Darling, kiss me in payment…

         Hark! How the wind is roaring!

         Father’s house is a better place

         When the stormy rain is pouring.


           6.   The word ‘props’ refers to things used for holding up a structure, and ‘rafter’ refers to a sloping piece of wood that supports a roof. How do you think the poet has used these words in the poem?

            Ans. The poet has used these words to signify that at the time of need, nature can provide support to the man. In the poem the pine tree and high branches of the trees were providing shelter and support in the dark to the poet.


           7.   The man and the beast became aware of a likeness between them. This was because both of them

                 a)   had lost the ways to their homes.

              b)   were at the mercy of the elements of nature.

              c)   had sought out the same place to hide from the storm.


          8.   The man and the beast knew that it was safe for them to leave their hiding place when they could no longer hear

                 a)   the wind howling.

              b)   the trees coming down.

              c)   the raindrops spattering on the ground.

      B.  Discuss

      Do you think that feelings of hostility can be overcome when people are faced with a common problem? Give reasons for your answer. Can you think of any such example of a bond of friendship formed during times of danger and difficulty?

      Yes, feelings of hostility can be overcome when people are faced with a common problem because they have the mutual motive of staying safe.

      (Example will vary)

      C. Read to appreciate

      Read this line from the poem.

      Where the wild men watched and waited

      Each highlighted word begins with the same sound. This repetition of sound at the beginning of words appearing close to each other is known as alliteration. Such repetition of sounds in a poem gives a musical quality to it.

      1. Read the poem once again and find other examples of alliteration.

      Bending the props of the pine tree roof

      Stunned, and bruised, and blinded;

      Something rustled; two green eyes shone

      That beast and man were brother

      Forth in the wild, wet morning.


      2. Here are some pairs of words beginning with the same sound. Add another word to each pair to make meaningful phrases. Your word should begin with the same sound as the other two words.

      a) one wicked woman

      b) two troublesome team-mates

      c) three thankful teenagers

      d) four fantastic fables

      e) five frowning faces

      f) six smiling smilies

      g) seven surprised sisters

      h) eight ailing adults

      i) nine nervous nurses

      j) ten talented technicians