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Reading Comprehension 15 - Poetry Comprehension 1
A Bird, came down the Walk - He did not know I saw, he bit an Angle Worm in halves and ate the fellow, raw!

Reading Comprehension 15 - Poetry Comprehension 1

This Upper Primary English quiz is all about poetry comprehension, which is akin to reading comprehension. It has a special significance simply because of the nature of poetry which is so vastly different from prose. Poems have a certain rhythmic quality in them that catches the attention of the reader and makes them very memorable. It would not be wrong to say that anything written in a poetic form tends to be remembered more readily than just prose.

When reading, one need not search far and wide to find examples of poetry. Just recall all your nursery rhymes and all the poems that you learnt. They should come to you easily and you can recite them without a hitch. Such is the power of poetry!

Some of the greatest of litterateurs are poets. William Wordsworth, Emily Dickenson, John Milton, William Shakespeare, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Frost and Rabindranath Tagore are some of the immortal poets who have graced the world of literature and given us enjoyment with their evocative poems. Most of these poets have used the depth and richness of the English language to create their works and have followed several different forms of poetry to put across their viewpoints. Sometimes poets even take liberties to skip some elements of grammar but without ever losing the important aspects of their message.

There is similarity in structure between prose writing and poetry writing. Stanzas and lines in poetry are akin to paragraphs and sentences in prose. Several forms of poems such as elegies, epics, ballads, limericks, couplets, sonnets and free verse are available to the poet for expressing himself.

Emily Dickinson is one of the most celebrated poets who wrote her poems in the 19th Century. One of her poems, ‘A Bird Came Down the Walk’ is a narrative poem, which is akin to a short story, comprising a setting, a plot and characters. Additionally, a narrative poem makes use of rhyming words. The poem is reproduced below and a quiz on the poem follows that will test your knowledge of poetry comprehension and reading comprehension.
A Bird Came Down.

A Bird, came down the Walk -
He did not know I saw
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass -
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass -

He glanced with rapid eyes,
That hurried all abroad -
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
He stirred his Velvet Head. -

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers,
And rowed him softer Home -

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, plashless as they swim.
What is the poem about?
A normal occurrence in nature of a bird searching for its food and its interaction with a human.
A fight between a bird and a poet.
A bird eating a beetle.
A bird teaching others how to eat a worm.
The poem describes the natural actions of a bird searching for its food and its reactions when confronted with a human. There is no fight between the poet and the bird. While the poet is cautious the bird flies away. The bird's choice of food is the worm and it actually gives way to the beetle to pass it. The bird is interested in eating its own food and is not teaching others
Find antonyms for 'careless', 'cooked', 'courageous' and 'slow' from the poem?
convenient, raw, frightened, rapid
cautious, hurried, frightened, rapid
cautious, raw, hopped, rapid
cautious, raw, frightened and rapid
'Cautious', 'raw', 'frightened' and 'rapid' are the antonyms for 'careless', 'cooked', 'courageous' and 'slow' from the poem
What did the bird do with its feathers?
The bird cleaned its feathers.
The bird spread out its feathers and flew.
The bird used the feathers to protect itself.
The bird used the feathers to push the beetle.
The poet describes the bird as having spread its feathers and then flying away from the poet. The use of feathers to fly is equated to oars on a ship and the flutter of a butterfly
Why has the poet called the grass 'convenient'?
Because the bird could see the beetle in the grass.
Because grass is greener on the other side.
Because it was easy for the bird to have dew from it.
Because the bird could see the worm in the grass.
The poet feels that after eating the raw worm the bird needed water and it could get it from the dew on the grass
How do you explain the 'plashless' in the last line?
The poet tells us that the bird cannot swim.
Since the bird does not have oars it could not splash in the water.
Since dew was on the grass the bird did not make a splash.
The poet compares the flight of the bird as though it was a 'swim' in the air without the accompanying splashes on water.
The bird, on noticing the poet, takes to flight and the flying away is described as a 'swim' in the water without the accompanying splashes. The grace of flying is equated to a splashless swim
The bird did not do which of the following?
Cook the worm and eat it.
Let the beetle pass.
Unroll his feathers.
Glance with rapid eyes.
Obviously, the bird does not cook! He ate the worm raw. He let the beetle pass by, giving way to it. He became aware of the poet and 'glanced with rapid eyes' before unrolling his feathers and flying off
How does the poet describe the eyes of the bird?
Watery like dew.
Like grass.
Like frightened beads.
Like butterflies.
The poet describes the eyes as looking on rapidly, as when someone is frightened, and equates them to frightened beads
Which of the following is a metaphor?
A bird came down the walk.
He stirred his Velvet Head.
He bit an angle-worm in halves.
And then hopped sideways to the wall.
Here the metaphor is comparing the bird's head to velvet when it clearly is not made from that material! The other options are simple and straightforward actions of the bird
"They looked like frightened Beads" - What figure of speech is found here?
A simile is a figure of speech where you describe something as similar to something else using the words 'like' or 'as.' A metaphor is another figure of speech where you describe something with a totally different set of words than what is required. A hyperbole is a statement that is grossly exaggerated to create an immediate effect and grab the attention of the listener or reader. A proverb is a statement that may be a truism or contains a message that forces the reader or listener to consider it carefully
The word 'cautious' is used in reference to which character in the poem?
The poet.
The bird.
The beetle.
The worm.
The poet cautiously offered a crumb to the bird. Here, the poet is concerned that the bird might get frightened and hence she offers a crumb cautiously. The bird is the main character along with the poet. The beetle is a supporting character and the worm is the victim
Author:  V T Narendra

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