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

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

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