CBSE Class 10 English The Ball Poem Assignment

The Ball Poem

INTRODUCTION—
This poem is written in Blank Verse. This poem is about losing something that you love, and learning to grow up. It is about a little boy, who, for the first time in his young life, is learning what it is like to experience grief at the loss of a much beloved possession – his ball.

SUMMARY—
Once a boy was playing with his ball. It was bouncing in the street up and down. The boy was happily enjoying the game. While bouncing, suddenly it fell into the water and was lost.
Without the ball, the boy became full of grief. The poet said and that there were other balls. He could purchase another since it was not a great loss. There was no need to worry. But, the boy had that ball for a long time so he was deeply grieved due to his attachment with it. It was linked to his memories. The poet thinks that it is of no use to purchase another ball. He must feel his responsibility of the loss.

Explanation of the Poem

1. What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do ? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over — there it is in the water!
No use to say ‘O there are other balls’.

Explanation: The poem is about a little boy. He loses his ball and watches it bouncing down the street into the water. To us, the loss of ball is of minor consequence but to the little boy, it was a valued possession.The ball had been with him for a long time and it was linked to the memories of the days when he played with it.


2. An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him;
A dime, another ball, is worthless.

Explanation:
The boy is very much troubled at the loss of his ball and plunges into grief. He stands stiff and trembling while staring at his ball. He is upset as he looks into the gloomy water because it has been with him for a long time. When the ball bounces into the water, all his memories of the childhood days flashes in front of him. Moreover the poet doesn’t offer him money to buy another ball because that would be worthless.


3. Now he senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions.
People will take balls,
balls will be lost always, little boy.
And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.

Explanation: The boy cannot find his ball in the gloomy water. This is when he gets his first sense of responsibility. The poet suggests that from the loss of the ball, the boy is learning what it means to lose something in the world of possessions, where he will lose things, he will buy some more to replace the ones lost, but would never be able to buy back the thing that he had lost. The poet, thus, makes the boy understand about his responsibility as the loss is immaterial. Money is external as it cannot buy memories, nor can it replace the things that we love, the things that really matter.


4. He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,
The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
Knowing what every man must one day know
And most know many days, how to stand up.

Explanation: The poet suggests that from the loss of the ball, the boy is learning how to stand up in a world of possessions. The boy is learning what it means to lose something. The poet says that knowing that everyman has to stand up after such losses, the boy too will learn how to stand up and leave the losses behind as he would have understood the true meaning and nature of loss.

 

Extract Based Questions 

Read the following extracts and answer the questions/complete the sentences that follow :

1. What is the boy now, who has lost his ball, 
What, what is he to do ? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over-there it is in the water !

Question. What has the boy lost ?
(i) toy
(ii) ball
(iii) toy car
(iv) bat
Answer.(ii) ball


Question. Where did the ball fall into ?

(i) water
(ii) pond
(iii) river
(iv) pit
Answer.(i) water


Question. For the loss of which thing the boy felt grieved and helpless ?

(i) toy car
(ii) video game
(iii) bat
(iv) ball
Answer.(iv) ball


Question. Who is the poet ?

(i) John Berryman
(ii) Robin Klein
(iii) Walt Whitman
(iv) Adreinne Rich
Answer.(i) John Berryman

 

2. His ball went. I would not intrude on him; 
A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions.

Question. Who is 'I' in the poem ?
(i) a boy
(ii) reader
(iii) poet
(iv) another child
Answer.(iii) poet


Question. Giving another ball to the child is ........................ .

(i) senseless
(ii) worthless
(iii) useless
(iv) harmless
Answer.(ii) worthless


Question. This will help the child in understanding his ...................... .
(i) responsibility
(ii) sharing
(iii) duty
(iv) assets
Answer.(i) responsibility


Question. The poet does not want to interfere as he wants the child to learn to bear the .................... .

(i) loss
(ii) load
(iii) unhappiness
(iv) responsibility
Answer.(i) loss

 

3. His ball went. I would not intrude on him;
A dime, another ball, is worthless, now
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions. 

Question. Find the word from the passage which means same as 'interfering into something'.
(i) worthless
(ii) possessions
(iii) intrude
(iv) responsibility
Answer. (iii) intrude


Question. Giving another ball to the boy is .................... .

(i) worthless
(ii) sensible
(iii) correct
(iv) wrong
Answer.(i) worthless


Question. Whose eyes are desperate ?

(i) The poet’s
(ii) The boy’s
(iii) His friend’s
(iv) None of them
Answer.(ii) The boy’s


Question. Losing the ball teaches the boy to become ................... .

(i) grown up
(ii) responsible
(iii) mature
(iv) strong
Answer. (ii) responsible


Question. According to the poet, every man should know how to overcome the .................... .

(i) profit
(ii) difficulties
(iii) problems
(iv) loss
Answer.(iv) loss

 

Short Answer Type Questions  

Question. What is the deep meaning hidden in the poem “The Ball Poem ?
Answer. The deep meaning of the poem is that our childhood quickly flies as here a ball is lost. Also we grow up unsuspectedly and face hardships like loss.


Question. What is the boy’s state of mind at the loss of his ball ?

Answer. The boy is very disturbed at the loss of his ball. He keeps staring at the ball with his desperate eyes.


Question. What is the boy’s state of mind at the loss of his ball ?

Answer. The boy is very disturbed at the loss of his ball. He keeps staring at the ball with his desperate eyes.


Question. Pick out the words that suggest that the boy has not lost anything earlier.

Answer. The words that suggest that the boy has not lost anything earlier are “He senses first responsibility in a world of possessions.”

 

Long Answer Type Questions

Question. Elaborate the idea that one should learn to accept and let go and not stick to something that we can not have.
Answer. It is important for everyone to experience to accept the loss and be bold and get on with life. Staying strong is the only way to survive. One should understand that the past is gone and will never come back. Sometimes loss helps us in growing up and we are able to face hardships. We also learn to accept and let go and do not stick to something which we can not have. In the poem, a little boy lost his only proud possession, i.e. his ball. He is learning what is like experiencing grief when he loses a much beloved possession – his ball. He is deeply grieved due to the loss. The poet too feels that it is of no use to purchase another ball. He must feel his responsibility of the loss. The poet, makes the boy understand about his responsibilities as the loss is immaterial. Money is external as it cannot buy memories, nor can it replace the things that we love, the things that really matter. 

 


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