About the poem

A.  Read to understand

Answer the following questions.

    1.   Rewrite this paragraph to show the correct process of the formation of machines.

Metals are extracted from their ores through heating. The shaped metals are used to make tools and machines. The extracted metals are purified. The ores are extracted through mining. The purified metals are shaped through moulding and hammering. The extracted ores are purified.


    2.   What is the ‘nine-decked city’? Why is it described as ‘monstrous’?


    3.   What do you understand by the line ‘shall we pipe aloft and bring you water down’?


    4.   Which stanza shows us that the machines have mastered almost all the common human activities?


    5.   What actions are the machines incapable of doing?


    6.   What is the warning issued by the machines?


    7.   Which lines tell us that for every little input, the machines are able to provide constant, daily service to humans?


    8.   Which two opposing claims do the machines make in the poem?


    9.   Which lines tell us that the all-powerful nature of the machines is only an illusion?

B.  Discuss

Written in the early decades of the twentieth century, this poem looks back at the scientific and technological advancements that had taken place over the past two centuries.

1. Look up the internet and make a chronological note of the major advancements that took place in science, medicine, and technology between 1700 and 1900. Share and discuss the collected information in class.       


2. Write about any two inventions made during this period and their impact on the lives of the people at the time.



C.  Read to appreciate

Stanza forms

A stanza, as you would know, is a division of a poem consisting of two or more lines arranged together as a unit. You can compare it to a paragraph in a piece of prose writing.

Some of the most common stanza forms are named according to the number of lines in them.

Here are the names of some common stanza forms.

Stanza form

Number of lines
















What is the stanzaic pattern of the poem you just read?


Last modified: Saturday, 24 November 2018, 9:27 PM