THE BROOK Line by Line – Explanation CBSE – CLASS – IX ENGLISH


Alfred Tennyson
Born – 6 August 1809, England
Died – 6 October 1892, England.
He was known as poet laureate of great Britain and Ireland
and was one of the most popular poet of the time
Notable works –
a) The
b) The lotos
c) Ulysses
d) In memoriam
e) The eagle
I come from haunts of coot and hern
  I make a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among the fern,
  To bicker down a valley.
Ø  The brook
starts from those places which are often visited by the coot and hern (heron).
The brook emerges suddenly in this hilly area. It moves through the ferns and
sparkles when the sunshine reflects the crystal clear water. And when the brook
moves creates a lot of noise.
Poetic devices used –
‘I” (Line-1) – The whole poem brook is personified
‘hern’ is an example of poetic license. The word
‘heron’ has been turned into ‘hern’ to match the rhyming word ‘hern’.
‘I` …………….`(Line – 1)
– 2) Anaphora
“Sudden sally” (Alliteration)
“Bicker” – (onomatopoeia)
By thirty hills I hurry down,
  Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
  And half a hundred bridges.
This stanza is an account of the
brook’s flowing through different areas. The poet has created wonderful
imageries when we read the brook flowing by thirty hills, slipping between
ridges (long narrow hills), twenty villages, a little town and fifty bridges.
Poetic Devises in use –
1) By thirty
hills I hurry down (Inversion)
2) Twenty
thorpes (Alliteration)
3) By
………………………..(Line – 1)
By (Line
-3) – Repetition

Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
  To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on for ever.
The poet here tells us about the
merging point of the brook. The brook joins an overflowing river here Philips
farm is symbolised as a land mark of the ending of the journey of the brook.
Last two lines are the refrain bearing the main theme of the poem. The brook is
ever flowing, eternal without ceasing whereas we, the men are ephemeral. We
shall not live forever. We are subject to decay, decline and death.
Poetic – Devices in use
1. Till last
by Philip’s farm I flow (inversion)
2. Men may (Alliteration)
3. Come
…………..go (Line-3) (Antithesis)
I chatter over stony ways,
  In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
  I babble on the pebbles.
brook goes on the stony path creating chattering sounds. It makes sharp high
pitched sound when the brook clashes on the side banks of the land. It makes
bubbles when it falls from height in the spiral movement. When it moves on the
pebbles it creates soft pleasing sound.
Poetic Devices in use:
1. ‘Chatter`, ‘trebles`, ‘babble` –
2. Line – 3 and Line – 4 –

With many a curve my banks I fret
  By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
  With willow-weed and mallow.
brook moves on taking many curves and creates rough and unpleasant sound on the
banks of the brook. The brook moves through many field and uncultivated lands.
The brook goes through the foreland i.e. the land just before the merging
point. The poet describes the land to be fairy land as with flowers and
beautiful plants like willow and mallow it looks so.
Poetic Devices in use:
1. “With
many a curve my banks I fret” – Inversion.
2. “fairly foreland”,”
with willow seed” – Alliteration.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
  To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on for ever.
The brook creates various sounds before
merging with its destination .The last two lines are the examples of refrain
which highlights the eternal state of the brook and its activity and the
ephemeral state of we, the humans.
Poetic Device in use :
1.  Chatter
chatter- Repetition
2.  Chatter
– Onomatopoeia
3.  Chatter
chatter , men may –Alliteration
4.  ……….come
………go- Antithesis
I wind about, and in
and out ,
With here a blossom
And here and there a
lusty  trout
And here and there a
brook on its way had lots of ups and downs and in its winding movement it often
falls from height and goes in deep water and comes out to continue to flow. The
brook carries blossoms on its way. Along with the brook there go a lot of
fishes like lusty trout and grayling.
Poetic Device in use:
1) …………………..and
in and out – Antithesis
2) 2)
………about and – Alliteration
3) Line (3)
and ……………………
…………………..       Anaphora.
      4) here and there – Repetition
And here and there a foamy flake
  Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery water break
  Above the golden gravel,
When the brook moves , the waves clash with
each other and creates bubbles and those bubbles in group make pieces of foams.The
brook moves through different curves and the clashes creates silvery water
break .These foams and silvery water break can be visible on the surface of
the water and at the base of the brook there are golden coloured stones .
Poetic device in use –
1 here and there – Antithesis
foamy flake ,golden gravel –Alliteration
And draw them all along, and flow
  To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on for ever.
brook carries fishes, foams and flowers with it to join the brimming river. And
then the refrain comes meaning the eternal state of the river to that of
transient one of humans.
Poetic device in use:
1) All
along, men may – Alliteration
2) Men may –
3) Com
…………….go – Antithesis.
I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
  I slide by hazel covers ;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
  That grow for happy lovers.”
brook secretly moves though the grassy plots and lawns and moves swiftly by the
bushy hazel trees. The brook shakes and sweet forget – me- not flowers which
grow for happy lovers.
Poetic – Devices in use.
1) I (Line –
1,2 and 3) – Anaphora.
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
  Among my skimming swallows ;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
  Against my sandy shallows.
brook moves along making different movements like slipping, sliding, moving
through darkness and so on. And there we find swallow birds to skim on the
surface of the water for food. The brook waves create a net like structure on
which the sunshine sparkles and it seems to us as if the sun beams are dancing.
Poetic Devices in use
1) I slip, I
slide, ZI gloom, I glance – Asyndeton
2) Skimming
swallows – sandy shallows – Alliteration
I murmur under moon and stars
  In brambly wildernesses ;
I linger by my shingly bars ;
  I loiter round my cresses ;
night under the moon and stars, the brook goes on moving creating murmuring
sound through the natural land where thorny bushes grow. The brook often
lingers because of the stones on the way. The brook water moves purposelessly
around the plant named cresses.

Poetic Device in use
1) Murmur –
2) 2) Line –
2 and 3 – Anaphora.
And out again I curve and flow
  To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on for ever.
facing the obstacles the brook again takes a curve and starts flowing to join
the brimming river. Last two lines refer to the refrain meaning the eternal
state of the brook and transient state of the humans.
Poetic Device in use.
1) And out
again I curve and flow – Inversion,
2) Men…may –
3) Men… may
– Repetition