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Monday, July 6, 2020

Palanquin Bearers | Poem 9 | Summary, Questions and Answers |

Book Cover | English 9th | Tulip Series | jandkncert |

Palanquin Bearers | Poem 9 | Summary, Questions and Answers |

English | Class 9th |Tulip Series | jandkncert | Free NCERT Solutions |

Poem 9 – Palanquin Bearers | Tulip Series | Summary, Questions, and Answers |
(Sarojini Naidu)


Sarojini NaiduSarojini Naidu (1879-1949), Indian poet was born into a Bengali Brahmin family in Hyderabad. With her father a scientist and her mother a poet, she grew up surrounded by artists, intellectuals, and revolutionaries. A brilliant student, she entered Madras University at the age of 12, about the time she began also to write poetry. In 1895 she was sent to England to study at King’s College, London, and Girton College, Cambridge, before poor health forced her to abandon her studies and return home. In 1925 Sarojini Naidu became the first Indian woman to be elected as the President of the Indian National Congress and, continuing her active participation in Gandhi’s program of satyagraha, a nonviolent form of protest, was jailed on several occasions by the British. Her published poetic works include The Golden Threshold (1905), The Bird of Time (1912), The Broken Wing (1917), Selected Poems (1930), The Sceptered Flute (1937, with an introduction by Joseph Auslander), and The Feather of the Dawn (1961). Many of her speeches have also been published.



Palanquin Bearers (Sarojini Naidu)


Lightly, O lightly we bear her along,
She sways like a flower in the wind of our song;
She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream,
She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream.
Gaily, O gaily we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

Softly, O softly we bear her along,
She hangs like a star in the dew of our song;
She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide,
She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride.
Lightly, O lightly we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.


Central Idea of the Poem
            This poem is about the bride which is being carried out in a palanquin. The palanquin was once a part of Indian culture. Almost three decades ago, people used to carry the bride was in a palanquin to her in-laws and the bridegroom used to ride a horse. The poem beautifully compares the bride with numerous images. Palanquin reminds us of the past culture of marriages. The poem portrays the situation while the palanquin bearers are carrying the bride in the palanquin.

Summary of the Poem

          The poem “Palanquin Bearers” has been written by Sarojini Naidu. She is called the Nightingale of India. In this poem, she gives the imagination of feelings of palanquin bearers about the bride while carrying her to her in-laws. The bearers say that the bride is like a flower in the wind that sways while they carry her in the palanquin. She is like a bird on the foam of a stream, like a laugh that floats from the lips of dream and she is very soft and delicate as a pearl on a string that is why they carry her lightly. They go on carrying her on their shoulders enjoying the travel by singing happily on the way.
          The bearers in the poem compare the bride with the dew of their song that shines like a star. They also compare her with the ray of the curved tide that springs when the sunlight falls on it. It seems no burden on their shoulders. They sing and move easily to carry her along the way to her in-laws. The poem shows the conjuncture or critical moment for a bride and her parents.


Understanding the Poem

Q1. What are the feelings of the palanquin bearers as they carry the princess inside the palanquin?
Ans. The palanquin bearers feel the princess like a pearl on the string which light, soft and delicate. The compare her with a flower, a bird on the foam of stream. They lightly and softly carry her along the way without making her feel that she is leaving her parents and her childhood home.
Q2. Lightly, O lightly we bear her along; she sways like a flower in the wind of our song’. What are these opening lines of the poem suggestive of? Do you think that the palanquin bearers are sensitive to the presence of the bride?
Ans. These opening lines suggest that there is something delicate in the palanquin that needs to be carried carefully. These lines show the conjuncture moment for the bride and her parents. Yes, the palanquin bearers are sensitive to the presence of the bride in the palanquin that is why they carry the palanquin very lightly and softly.
Q3. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? Pick out the pairs of rhyming words in the poem.
Ans. The poem has an ‘aa bb cc’ type of rhyme scheme. Following are the pairs of rhyming words in the poem.
Along………Song
Stream……...Dream
Sing…………String
Tide…………Bride


Learning about the literary device

Q1. In, line 4 the poet says, ‘She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream ‘and in, line 10 she writes, ‘She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride.’ Do you think that the poet has deliberately used the device of contrast? Why has she done so?
Ans. The first line shows the innocence. The bride does not know what is going to be next because dreams are imaginary, they are not real. In the next line, the bride knows she has to leave everything and has to live a new life in a new home until her death. The poet is a lady herself. She might have gone through this situation so she makes the readers realize the feelings of a bride.
Q2. Simile: a figure of speech used to compare the qualities of two objects or things using words such as `like’ or ‘as’. For example
a. The poet compares the bride to a flower. And
b. She hangs like a star in the dew of a song. The poem is full of similes. Pick out all the similes used by the poet in the poem.
Ans. Flower, bird on the foam of a stream, pearl on a string, star in the dew of song, beam on the brow of the tide, and tear from the eyes of a bride are the similes used by the poet in the poem.
Q3. Refrain: poets often use the device of the refrain (`refrain’ is a line or a part of a line or a group of lines repeated in the course of a poem). Did you notice that some words, lines/parts of lines are repeated in the poem?
Pick out these words or lines that are repeated. What effect does such repetition create in the poem?
Ans. Following are the lines or words repeated in the poem:
(Lines)
Lightly, O lightly we bear her along,
We bear her along,
We bear her along like a pearl,
We glide and we sing

(Words)
Like, gaily, lightly, softly, song, etc.
Q4. You have studied in the last poem about images. Read the poem and complete the following table by matching lines from the poem with the related images conveyed by them.

Line, from the poem                       Image, conveyed

Skims like a bird                             gliding movement of a bird flying over a stream
Sways like a flower                         ______________________
Floats like a laugh                           _______________________
Hangs like a star                              _______________________
Springs like a beam                         _______________________
Falls like a tear                                 _______________________
Ans.

Line, from the poem                       Image, conveyed

Skims like a bird                    gliding movement of a bird flying over a stream
Sways like a flower               back and forth movement of a flower when the wind blows.
Floats like a laugh                 to laugh while you dream.
Hangs like a star            a dew drop looking like a star when the morning sunlight falls on it.
Springs like a beam                curved edge of a tide of sea.
Falls like a tear                    like a tear drop that falls from the eyes of a bride when she leaves her home.

Structure of the Poem
          The poem consists of two stanzas with an almost a fixed length of lines. Each stanza consists of six lines. The numerous images are used as a simile in the poem in comparison to the bride. The poem has a nice style of rhyming scheme. The poem has an ‘aa’ type of rhyme scheme. The following are the pairs of rhyming words in the poem.
Along………Song
Stream……...Dream
Sing…………String
Tide…………Bride

Discussion

The palanquin was part of our culture recently. It still finds its way in folk songs and film songs. Do you think that such parts of culture should be preserved? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Ans. Palanquin was once a part of Indian culture. Almost three decades have gone that we stopped using palanquin. I have seen palanquin bearers carrying brides to her in-laws followed by the bridegroom on the horse and the musicians playing trumpets with joy. Those were the golden days and moments. This type of culture was very simple and enjoyable rather than the culture which is adopted by the new generation. Palanquin culture is only seen in those movies and plays that are based on past culture stories. Play writers and story writer try their best to make the new generation know of the past culture. This type of culture should be preserved because it reveals the way of life lived by our ancestors. It is said that history repeats itself, so we should be aware of our past culture. So that It will help us in the future.

Suggested Reading

Coromondal Fishers by Sarojini Naidu
The Queen’s Rival by Sarojini Naidu

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