The Solitary Reaper: Contents, Introduction and Details of the Poem

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  • Introduction to the poet

  • Details of the poem

  • Summary of the poem

  • Sum up

  • Dose questions

Introduction to the Poet

William Wordsworth

  • Born: 7th April,1770,Cockermouth,UK.

  • English Romantic Poet, Nature’s poet.

  • “Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”

The Solitary Reaper

The Solitary Reaper

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Details of the Poem

  • William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy Wordsworth trip to Scotland.

  • Pub. In Poems in Two Volumes in 1807.

  • Lyrical ballad.

  • 32 lines and 4 stanzas.

Summary of the Poem

Stanza 1

  • Behold her, single in the field,

  • Yon solitary Highland Lass!

  • Reaping and singing by herself.

  • Stop here, or gently pass!

  • Alone she cuts and binds the grain,

  • And sings a melancholy strain.

  • listen! for the Vale profound

  • Is overflowing with the sound.

  • Behold - look

  • Solitary - Alone

  • Lass - Young woman

  • Melancholy - sad sand

  • Vale - valley

  • Look the woman who is reaping and singing a sad song

  • Listen or gently pass.

  • The valley echoes her song.

Stanza 2

  • No Nightingale did ever chaunt

  • More welcome notes to weary bands

  • Of travelers in some shady haunt,

  • Among Arabian sands:

  • A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard

  • In springtime from the Cuckoo-bird,

  • Breaking the silence of the seas

  • Among the farthest Hebrides.

  • Chaunt - sing

  • Haunt - stay

  • Hebrides - group of islands

  • Compares the song with two birds

  • The refreshing voice of Nightingale

  • The thrilling voice of Cuckoo

  • Her song is much sweeter than them.

Stanza 3

  • Will no one tell me what she sings?—

  • Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

  • For old, unhappy, far-off things,

  • And battles long ago:

  • Or is it some more humble lay,

  • Familiar matter of to-day?

  • Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,

  • That has been, and may be again?

  • Perhaps - by chance

  • Humble - unpretending

  • Lay - Cause

  • The poet guesses the theme of the song which may be based on old battles or tragedies.

  • Also, may be sorrow, pain or loss.

  • Or suffering of human life.

Stanza 4

  • Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang

  • As if her song could have no ending.

  • I saw her singing at her work,

  • And o’er the sickle bending;—

  • I listened, motionless and still.

  • And, as I mounted up the hill,

  • The music in my heart I bore,

  • Long after it was heard no more.

  • Maiden - a girl

  • Mount - climb

  • Sickle - reaping hook

  • The poet does not need the theme of the song. But it refreshes the soul.

  • Still she sings the song which seems no ending.

  • Poet’s heart bore this song though many years passed.

Sum Up

  • Stanza 1-The Poet introduces the the woman who is reaping and singing a sad song.

  • Stanza 2 -The poet compares the song with two birds

  • Stanza 3-The poet guesses the theme of the song

  • Stanza 4 -Poet’s heart bore this song forever.

Dose Questions

1. When was the poem The Solitary Reaper published?

Answer: 1807

2. Which bird voice has the power to refresh the tired travellers of Arabian deserts?

Answer: The Nightingale

3. How many lines are there in the poem, “The Solitary Reaper”?

Answer: 32 lines