INTER UNIVERSITY PRESS Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 10 - A Psalm of Life [Poem]

Chapter 10 - A Psalm of Life [Poem] Passage 1

Solution 1

The poet HW Longfellow addresses this poem to all his readers in general. He has a positive and motivational approach towards life. He urges us to wake up from our slumbers and make our lives meaningful. He tries to explain to us that we have got the gift of life not to lay stagnant and take it to our graves. He further states that our lives will not unfold by itself and it is up to us what we make of it.

Solution 2

According to the speaker, dying without achieving anything is not the goal of life. Our soul will really be dead if we ignore our duties, not see things for what they really are and let ourselves slumber away to our ends. 

Solution 3

The word 'numbers' in the first line of the poem refer to verses in the bible. The phrase 'Dust thou art, to dust returnest' is also a biblical reference. In the book of Genesis, God reminded Adam that he was made from the dust of the ground and that he shall return to dust. 

Solution 4

Yes. The poet makes direct references to words in the bible (the second last line of the extract) to support his ideas. Also, other ideas like doing one's duties, suppressing laziness and helping ones brother etc are influenced by Christian ideologies. 

Chapter 10 - A Psalm of Life [Poem] Passage 2

Solution 1

As we live each day, we should aim to move forward on our paths towards our goals instead of wasting our time on enjoyment or sorrow. 

Solution 2

The speaker says that though human hearts are stout and brave their beating is like a warning to each one of us that our end is nearing. 

Solution 3

The poet calls art 'long' because once it is created it will never perish. It is timeless and immortal unlike human lives which will decay or perish. 

Solution 4

The steady beating of the human heart is likened to the constant beat of the drums in a funeral march in the line above. 

Chapter 10 - A Psalm of Life [Poem] Passage 3

Solution 1

The poet wants readers to face life's struggles like a soldier fights battles heroically. The poet calls life as the 'world's broad field of battle'.  

Solution 2

The phrase 'bivouac of Life'refers to life as a temporary shelter. It re-emphasises that we are on earth only for a limited period of time and whatever we wish for should be achieved while we are alive. 

Solution 3

The poet advises us not to be tied up to our past or get mingled in worries or anticipations of the future. For this he says "Trust no Future, how e'er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead!" 

Solution 4

In the last two lines the poet urges us to live and act in the present and burn our past. He also advises us to stop worrying about the future. He says that our past or our future cannot help achieve our goals. We can only rely or trust the heart within our bodies and our God above to give us strength to live each day. 

Chapter 10 - A Psalm of Life [Poem] Passage 4

Solution 1

Sublime lives indicate lives of great worth; 'Lives' which have achieved so much that they are looked up to and praised for these things. Learning from the example of the lives of many great leaders and people who have lived before us, we can be sure that it is not impossible to make our lives sublime or worthy of respect. 

Solution 2

As we live, we should face the hardships in our path with determination. Only our will and persistence will help us overcome the obstacles. Also, when we overcome our perils confidently, others who face similar adversities will get courage through our example and succeed in life. 

Solution 3

The words 'solemn main' indicate tough times in life; times when a person is low and finds it difficult to cope with situations on his own. 

Solution 4

The poet uses the word 'brother' to highlight that selflessness is one aspect of a good and healthy life. Only when we treat others the way we want to be treated will we be able to grow personally. Being happy for someone else's success gives us a positive approach to life which in turn helps us in our strife. 

Chapter 10 - A Psalm of Life [Poem] Passage 5

Solution 1

While we are 'up and doing', in other words, when we are actively striving to achieve our goals we should also prepare our hearts for failure. We need to understand that not all efforts bear fruit. We have to accept this fact gracefully and take it in our stride as we move on in life. 

Solution 2

In the last two lines, the poet says that we should work to achieve our goals in life and not while away time. We need to learn to work hard in life but also be patient enough to wait for the fruits of our labour. 

Solution 3

In keeping with the name of the poem i.e. 'A Psalm of life' Longfellow uses a didactic tone to talk about life. The nine stanzas use allusions to the bible and different aspects of life which if kept in mind will help us live our lives more fruitfully.