Topic outline

    • Portrait of a Prince (by Denis Martindale)

      About the poem

      Read to understand

      A. Answer these questions with reference to the context.

      ‘ What tales those teeth could tell’.

      1.  Whose teeth is being talked about?

      Ans. Tiger’s teeth is being talked about in the poem.


      2. What does the poet compare the teeth to?

      Ans. Tiger’s teeth is being compared to the dangers.


      3. Why would the teeth be able to tell tales?

      Ans. The tiger’s teeth would be able to tell tales because a tiger being a carnivore has sharp canines to rip his prey.

      B. Answer these questions.

      1. Which three senses of the tiger does the poet highlight?

      Ans. The poet highlights the tiger’s sense of hearing, vision, and smell while describing his sensitive ears, sharp eyes and powerful nose respectively.


      2. Which line suggests that the tiger is the ‘apex predator’?

      Ans. The following line suggest that tiger is the ‘apex predator’.

      ‘Take care who’s in control/Behold the tiger’s sovereign style.'


      3. What does the tiger have ‘control’ of?

      Ans. The tiger is in the know of everything that happens in his environment.


      4. What do you think the poet means by saying ‘despite the human race’?

      Ans. According to me, by saying 'despite the human race’ the poet means that, although man is considered as the most intelligent and advanced creature but in an equal game in the jungle, the tiger is always the winner. Tiger proves that he is more powerful.


      Discuss and write

      1. Do you think the title of the poem is suitable? Why?

      Ans. Yes, in my opinion, the title of the poem ‘Portrait of Prince’ is a suitable one because the poem gives us a detailed description of the royal features of the tiger. This vivid description of a tiger is as good as looking at a portrait of a prince.


      2. If someone asked you why we should save the tiger, what will your answer be?

      Ans. We should save tiger. The Tiger is a symbol of wilderness and well-being of the ecosystem. By conserving and saving tigers the entire ecosystem is conserved as the tiger is the apex predator that keeps the food chain in balance by preventing the forests from being grazed to decimation by herbivores which would multiply unsustainably in its absence.


      Read to appreciate

      1. What do you notice about the rhyming words in the poem? Can you work out the rhyme scheme?

      Ans. abab


      2. Rhythm is when the arrangement of words creates an audible pattern or beat when read out loud. You can keep time with claps or taps. This poem is very rhythmic and follows a ‘beat’. This is because there are a fixed number of syllables in each line throughout the poem. Count the number of syllables in each line. How many syllables are there? Can you identify a pattern?

      Ans. 8-syllable line alternating with a 6-syllable line