Analysis Questions Answers of the poem Brotherhood,Octavio Paz

Analysis and descriptive questions answers of the poem Brotherhood by Octavio Paz

                                                                           

                   
Brotherhood Poem Questions Answers Analysis



Brotherhood 

     
           I am a man: little do I last
           and the night is enormous.
           But I look up:
           the stars write.
           Unknowing I understand:
           I too am written,
           and at this very moment
           someone spells me out.


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Today we are going to have some important questions answers from the poem Brotherhood by Octavio Paz. These are the very important questions answers from the poem that will help to analyse the poem.

(1) "I am a man: little do I last" -- What does the speaker suggest in the line?

Ans:- The above line taken from Octavio Paz's poem, "Brotherhood" clearly brings out the pessimistic attitude of the speaker who knows his limited span of life on this earth. He emphasizes the littleness of human life in comparison with the vastness of the universe. His assertion may indirectly mean the transient nature of human life on earth. Here the poet philosophically brings out the theory of existentialism of human beings. Here two things are placed side by side. On the one hand the time span of human life and the other mysterious life beyond death. The former is momentary and the other is infinite. After life man goes into the unknown world of darkness. His charms and beauty will be devoured by death. So a note of pessimism clearly haunts the mind of the speaker. He feels restless. 

(2) What does the line suggest "unknowing I understand" ?

Ans:- The memorable line, "unknowing I understand" taken from Octavio Paz's famous poem, "Brotherhood" is a beautiful case of antithetical statement. The line apparently contains a contrast. For, understanding without knowledge is beyond our conception. But the poem reveals that the understanding is possible without knowledge as the perception is intuitive. At first, the poet with his general knowledge feels that he is insignificant in this vast universe. It is his cognition. But when he looks upwards in the sky, his spontaneous intuition makes him realise that he is also a significant part in this universe. There are so many things in this universe which can not be known analytically. It is the perception that helps to understand. Now, the poet intuitively establishes a link with the vast universe. Here knowledge may fail, reasoning may fail but the intuition helps to remove the veil of darkness before him. 

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(3) What is the central idea of the poem, "Brotherhood" ?

Ans:- Octavio Paz's famous poem, "Brotherhood" offers rich philosophy throughout the poem. The central idea of the poem is based on the philosophy of existentialism of human life on the  vast universe.  The poet pessimistically feels that man is born with transient life in comparison with the vaster scenario of the universe. So, as a human being, the poet feels dejected by the short span of his life. But when he looks up and sees the stars in the sky, he is able to overcome this dejection. The stars are able to rise the intuition quality in him. The stars speak of eternal existence as they have been writing in the dark sky from time immemorial. He now feels confident of the purpose of his life. He feels that someone is sure to spell him out. He feels that he will last long among the readers through his writings. He will be united with the vast universe through the spiritual kinship between man and man, man and God. He feels that he is a part of the universe.

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(4) The poet Octavio Paz has dedicated his poem,"Brotherhood" to Claudius Ptolemy. What is the reason behind this?

Ans:- The poet Octavio Paz pays homage to Claudius Ptolemy through his poem, "Brotherhood". Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, scientist and philosopher. Ptolemy's chief astronomical work, Almagest, is a mathematical treatise on the apparent motion and geographical relationship of stars and planets in a geometric model. The poem, "Brotherhood" is the dedication to Claudius Ptolemy in the sense that it is the quest of close bondage of different elements of the universe. In the poem, the poet perceives the existence of cosmic forces that control and bind everything in the universe. The poem is also full with philosophical thoughts of the existence of human life in the universe. This theory of existentialism was perceived by Ptolemy very long ago. So the poet dedicates his poem, "Brotherhood" to Claudius Ptolemy.



(5) Analyse the title of the poem, "Brotherhood".

Ans:- The poem, "Brotherhood" by Octavio Paz is a famous poem about the close kinship between man and man, man and God and different elements of the universe. The poem is full of philosophical thoughts of the transcient existence of human life. The poet feels that there is a cosmic forces that spiritually bind everything in the universe. Human being may feel insignificance in comparison with the vast universe. But when he looks up in the sky and sees the stars, he becomes aware of this bondage. He feels important as being an inseparable part of the universe. The poet may be remembered after his death through his wonderful creation by his readers. Someone may spell him out. Above all God will understand him. This sense of kinship between man and man, man and God creates a bond of brotherhood. The title wonderfully highlights the theme of the poem. So it is appropriate. 

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Short Questions and Answers From the poem Brotherhood:

(1) "Little do I last" -- what does the poet mean by this line? 

Ans: Through this line, the poet represents all human beings on this earth. He clearly repents the transient nature of human life in comparison with the vastness of the universe. 

(2) "But I look up" -- Where does the poet look up and what does the poet see? 

Ans: The poet looks up at the starry night sky. 
                  The poet sees the twinkle stars that seem to write the activities as well as the destiny of human beings through time immemorial. 

(3) "Unknowing I understand" -- What does the poet mean by the phase unknowing I understand? 

Ans: The line apparently contains a contradiction. Initially the poet with his general knowledge feels that he is insignificant in this vast universe. But when he looks up in the sky, his spontaneous intuition makes him realise that he is also a significant part in this universe. 

(4) "..... and at this very moment... " -- Which moment is referred to here? 

Ans: Here the moment refers not only to the instant when the poem was composed but whenever the poem will be read by any reader in future and will understand the poet. 

(5) "I too am written" -- What does the poet mean here? 

Ans: The line indicates two meanings. First of all, the poet feels that his life on earth is also written by his destiny. Secondly, his thoughts may be written in his creative writings among his readers. 

(6) What kind of poem is Brotherhood? 

Ans: The poem Brotherhood is a philosophical poem. The poem philosophically describes the existence and value of human life on this earth. 

(7) How is the night described in the poem? 

Ans: The night as described in the poem Brotherhood is enormous. Symbolically it suggests the mysterious and unknown life after death. 

(8) "The stars write" -- What does the star write? 

Ans: The poet looks up in the sky and his feelings of insignificance is disappeared with the rays of the stars. It looks as if the stars write the destiny and activities of human beings recorded from time immemorial. 

(9) Who according to the poet will understand the poet? 

Ans: The poet has firm conviction that his readers will understand him. Above all God will surely understand him. 

(10) What does the poet feel about the existence of human life? 

Ans: The poet feels repentance about the existence of human life on this earth. He feels so because human life is transient in comparison to the vastness of the universe. 

(11) What kind of brotherhood is established in the poem?

Ans: In the philosophical poem Brotherhood, the poet Octavio Paz has established an unfailing kind of brotherhood which prevails between man and man, man and God. This type of kinship helps man to feel his significance and unite with the universe. 

(12) Who was Ptolemy?

Ans: Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, scientist and philosopher. Ptolemy's chief astronomical work, Almagest, is a mathematical treatise on the apparent motion and geographical relationship of stars and planets in a geometric model.

(13) What is the poet's realisation at the end of the poem?

Ans: The poet, Octavio Paz realizes that he is not insignificant in this vast universe. He may be remembered through his writings and even God may understand him.


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