To a Skylark Questions Answers Analysis

To a Skylark Questions Answers Analysis 



To A Skylark Questions Answers Analysis Summary


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Summary of the poem To a Skylark 


Origin of the poem To a Skylark:

The poem To A Skylark was composed at Leghorn (Italy) in 1820 and was published in the same year. In the spring of 1820, Shelley and his wife spent a week or two near Leghorn. There on a beautiful summer evening, they heard the song of a skylark. And it was that song which inspired Shelley to write this poem.

Substance of the poem To a Skylark:

The poet, P. B. Shelley addresses the skylark as it sings from above the sky as a spirit of joy and happiness. The poet can not think of it as a bird. It is a spirit of embodied joy, pouring from above "a rain of melody". It begins its upward flight with the very peep of the dawn. It goes on singing until the dim twilight of the evening. Though it remains unseen during its flight, its presence can be felt through its song which floods the earth all the time. 

The poet is unable to understand what the bird exactly is. He calls the bird embodied spirit of joy. The skylark is like a poet obscured by his thought. It is like high-born maiden singing at dead of night in her secret chamber to comfort her love-sick heart. It is like glow-worm that scatters its light all around hiding behind leaves and grasses. It is like a rose concealed in its bower of leaves, scatters fragrance carried by the wind. 

The poet feels that the skylark's song surpasses all earthly things in joy and spontaneity. It is more delightful than pure gentle patter of spring showers, songs of love Or wine, of marriage or victory song in war. 

The poet is willing to know what the true source of the bird's song is. He wonders to know if it is some beautiful object of nature or the love of its own kind or the ignorance of human sufferings that inspires its song. Whatever the source of its unearthly joyous strain it is certain that the bird has a perfect spirit that does not know of languor, satiety and pain that fall to the lot of men. Man longs for things unreal or impossible to attain. Hence, all his joys are marked with an edge of sadness. His songs would not have been so sweet as the bird's song. 

The poet appeals to the skylark for a portion of its joy, so that he might enrapture the heart of the people in the world over with his songs, as he himself is being enraptured by its song. 

To A Skylark Questions Answers


1. What does the Skylark symbolise in the poem "To a Skylark" ? 

Ans. In P. B. Shelley's poem "To a Skylark", the Skylark symbolises a divine, mysterious spirit and represents absolute joy and happiness. It is a power which would enable the poet to create a new and better world. 

2. How is the Skylark compared to 'a cloud of fire' in the poem "To a Skylark"? 

Ans. In P. B. Shelley's poem " To a Skylark", the bird moves in upward circles like the upward whirling of flames burning in the open air. The simile refers to the whirling upwards movement of the skylark. 

3. How is the Skylark compared to 'a star of heaven' in the poem "To a Skylark"? 

Ans. When the evening is about to come, the skylark begins its flight amidst clouds tinged with the purple colour of the setting sun. At that time, the Skylark is invisible behind the clouds just as a star becomes invisible in the broad daylight. Being invisible the skylark flaunts its identity only through its rapturous song. 

4. How is the Skylark compared to the moon? 

Ans. At the time of dawn the radiant moon loses its brightness and looks dim because the bright rays of the rising sun conceals it from our view. Similarly, the Skylark is concealed from our view by the cloud. We can only feel its presence through its rapturous songs.

5. Why are the moonbeams called arrows in the poem, "To a Skylark"? 

Ans. The classical goddess of moon is Diana who is also the goddess of hunting. Therefore, the beams of the moon are considered the arrows. 

6. How is the Skylark compared to cloud hidden moon in the poem "To a Skylark"? 

Ans. P. B. Shelley compares the song of the Skylark with moonbeams that rain through one lonely cloud and floods the entire sky. Just as the moon being hidden behind a single cloud, showers its beams, similarly the Skylark, being hidden behind the clouds showers its rapturous melody. The lonely cloud symbolically expresses the unique nature of the skylark's song and the sky flooded with moonlight denotes the effect of the skylark's song on the minds of the people. 

7. Describe the comparison between the skylark and the rainbow clouds. 

Ans. Raindrops from rainbow clouds are very much bright and lustrous because of the sunshine behind them. But the bird's songs are brighter than this. 

8. How is the Skylark compared to a poet? 

Ans: The poet spontaneously expresses his hopes for future mankind and his fears for present degradation. The readers are moved to read it, but the personality of the poet elude their grasp. Similarly people are thrilled with joy at the song of the Skylark, but they can not see the singer which is lost to view. 

9. How is the Skylark compared to the 'glow worm'? 

Ans. A glow worm, being hidden behind flowers and grass scatters its, similarly the skylark being hidden behind the clouds scatters its rapturous melody. 

10. Explain the comparison between the Skylark and the rose. 

Ans. A rose, being hidden behind green leaves gives its identity by scattering its scent, similarly the Skylark being hidden behind the clouds scatters its rapturous melody

11. Why are 'Warm winds' called heavy-winged thieves in the poem "To a Skylark"? 

Ans. The winds are thieves because they steal the fragrance of the rose. After robbing the rose of its fragrance the wind are laden and burdened with the fine fragrance of the rose. 

12. How does the P. B. Shelley compare the Skylark's song with the vernal showers on the twinkling grass? 

Ans. The spring showers on the waving grass and the flowers washed with the fresh drops of rain are joyous, clear and fresh. But the Skylark's song outdoes them in more joy, clearness, spontaneity and freshness. 

13. What does the phrase "praise of love Or wine" suggest in the poem "To a Skylark"? 

Ans. To express the divine quality of the Skylark's song, the poet compares it with "praise of love or wine". Praise of love means love lyrics while by praise of wine the poet refers to the Erotic or the Bacchus' song such as were written by Anacreon, Catullus, Pinder and others. The poet says that Skylark's song outdoes those love lyrics or erotic songs and divinity. 

14.  Explain the phrase "chorus hymeneal" or "triumphal chant".

Ans. "Chorus hymeneal" means nuptial song and it is so named because Hymen is the Greek god of marriage. "Triumphal chant" means song sung in praise of victory. The poet says that if the song of marriage or of victory in war are compared with the song of the Skylark, these songs will seem to be an idle or foolish boast. Actually the skylark's song is far superior to the nuptial songs or to the songs of victory because the latter songs are marked by some inherent imperfections which the Skylark's song lacks.

15. What are the sources of Skylark's happy song or joyous song?

Ans. According to the poet, P. B. Shelley the Skylark's joyous and happy song is the product of its carefree heart where thrive no anxiety, weariness or annoyance. The bird does not know the feeling of weariness that comes from and after the over enjoyment and satisfaction of love. That is why, the bird's melody is crystal-clear free from any taint of sadness.

16. "Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought" - what does the line suggest?

Ans. According to the poet, P. B. Shelley, unlike the Skylark, man is never contented with his present happiness. Either he looks back upon the past with a feeling of regret that the past enjoyment was better than the present or he longingly wait for the future into hope that it shall prove more bright and happy. Thus, he always runs after what is imaginary and even the greatest joy of man is tinged with sadness. Actually the sweet and the sad are different facets of the same thing in man's life. Thus to him the pleasure that lies in pain is sureter than the pleasure of pleasure. 

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