NCERT Solutions Class 11 English Poetry Hornbill The Voice of the Rain

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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Poetry Hornbill The Voice of the Rain by Walt Whitman

The Voice of the Rain

Walt Whitman

Think It Out

1. There are two voices in the poem. Who do they belong to? Which lines indicate this?


The two voices in the poem are the voice of the rain and the voice of the poet. The following line indicates the voice of the poet:

"And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower”.

The voice of the rain is indicated in the line, “I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain”.


2. What does the phrase "strange to tell" mean?


The phrase 'strange to tell' means that the poet finds it strange to believe that the rain replied to his enquiry about its identity. The poet also feels that it is an unusual answer that it is ‘the poem of Earth’.


3. There is a parallel drawn between rain and music. Which words indicate this? Explain the similarity between the two.


The line, “I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,” indicates that there is a parallel drawn between rain and music. Also the last two lines of the poem,

“For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering

Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns,” underline the idea of similarity between the life cycle of rain and music.

The song that originates from the heart of the poet travels to reach others. After wandering, whether it is heard and enjoyed or not, it eventually returns to its creator with all due love. Just like the song, the rain originates from the land and the sea, and returns to its origin after fulfilling its tasks. Both are perpetual in nature and both return to the place of their origin after fulfilling their tasks.


4. How is the cyclic movement of rain brought out in the poem? Compare it with what you have learnt in science.


The poet explains the cyclic movement of the rain as the water vapour rises from the land and the bottomless sea to reach the sky. In the sky, it transforms itself into clouds. After wandering, these clouds descend to the earth in the form of rain. Thus it comes back to its origin.

The poet’s description of the cyclic movement of the rain is similar to the cyclical process of rain we learn in Science. We can find the terms like evaporation, condensation, etc. The poet has depicted the same scientific phenomenon in an interesting way in the poem.


5. Why are the last two lines put within brackets?


The last two lines are put within brackets because they do not form the part of the conversation between the poet and the rain. They are the observations made by the poet about the course of a song.


6. List the pair of opposites found in the poem.


(a) Day and night

(b) Reck'd and unreck'd

(c) Rise and descend


II. Notice the following sentence patterns.

1. And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower.

2. I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain.

3. Eternal I rise

4. For song...duly with love returns.

Rewrite the above sentences in prose.


1. I enquired of the soft-falling rain about its identity.

2. The voice of the rain introduced itself as the Poem of Earth.

3. The voice of the rain explains the upward movement towards the sky as eternal or continuing forever.

4. The poet says that, just like the natural cycle of the rain, a song originates from the heart of the poet, travels to reach others and after fulfilling its purpose, whether appreciated or not, it returns to the poet with all due love.


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