ovenbird by robert frost

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    THE OVENBIRD BY ROBERT FROST

    NURDALILAH BT RAZEMI

    NURFATEHAH BT MD NASIR

    MOHD IKHWAN HAIQAL BIN ISMAIL

    UMA MAGESWARY D/O BATHMANATHAN

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    QUESTIONS

    1) Write the rhyme scheme in the spaces to the right ofthe poem

    2) Line five suggests

    3) The early petal fall probably took place in

    4) What is the diminished thing? (line 14)

    5) Try to explain the following paradox:

    The bird would cease and be as other birds

    But that he knows in singing not to sing.

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    ANSWERS

    1. Write the rhyme scheme in the spaces to the

    right of the poem

    a,a,b,c,b,d,c,d,e,e,c,f,c,g

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    2. Line five suggests

    Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten" (4-5), meaning that

    the promise and beauty of spring flowers are already 90percent gone by midsummer.

    Similarly, life is already half over by the time we reach ourpeak of maturity, so that no matter how full life seems at thatpoint, it is nonetheless "a diminished thing" (14). Once one

    reaches the top of the hill, everything is downhill from there.

    3. The early petal fall probably took place in:a) late winter;

    b) late spring;

    c) late summer;

    d) autumn.

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    4. What is the diminished thing? (line 14)

    Once one reaches the top of the hill, everything is

    downhill from there.

    I'm inclined to see this poem as a question, asking uswhat will we do with the diminished things in life in

    order to move on. And also to make us realize that lifeis a cycle, that when things reach their greenest, theythen diminish, grow bleak, and then, with the passageof time, bloom again.

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    5. Try to explain the following paradox:

    The bird would cease and be as other birdsBut that he knows in singing not to sing.

    This bird "knows in singing not to sing" (12), not to

    engage in th

    e excited but not very th

    ough

    tfulcelebration that marks the songs of the birds ofspring. Instead, he sings in a minor key, to prophesyand to ask important, provocative questions.

    Like the oven bird, the poet's persona in this poemuses his poetry not to sing of love or of life'ssuperficial interests, but rather to complete the jobthe oven bird has begun.