BSEB Class 12 English Poem 5 An Epitaph Summary, Explanation, and Question Answers from Rainbow Book 

 

An Epitaph – BSEB Class 12 English Poem 5 An Epitaph Summary and detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words from Rainbow Book. Also, the explanation is followed by the literary devices used in the Poem. All the exercises and An Epitaph Question Answers given at the back of the lesson have also been solved.

 

BSEB Class 12 English Rainbow Book Poem 5 – An Epitaph

By Walter de la Mare

 

 
 

An Epitaph Introduction

The poet makes us aware of the inhuman conditions of modern life. He shows his genius by evincing fresh interest in old themes. Queen Elizabeth II honoured him with the Order of Merit in 1953. 
 
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An Epitaph Summary

An Epitaph was a poem composed by Walter de la Mare. He was known for his sensitive concerns with the world of children. This poem was the depiction of the most beautiful lady of the western world. She had a habit of moving here and there and had no commitment. So in this poem the poet was expressing his sad feelings for a lady who was lying in a grave. The poet went to the tomb which was made in the memory of that lady. He weeped there bitterly and thought about who would remember her after his death. According to the poet, she was the most beautiful lady that was ever born in the west country. The poet said that beauty would vanish and pass one day. The poet was of the opinion that man was mortal and soul was immortal. Poet explained that the body would fall down into pieces but the soul changed the other new body to live. At last, Walter said when he would crumble, who would remember the lady of the west because it would be very rare to remember someone after death. A man was remembered because of his quality. The poet meant that whoever came on the earth must die. But their fame remained permanently in this universe. The poet explained through this poem that nothing  would be permanent in the world. Everything was temporary. One who was born was to die. 
 
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Video Explanation of An Epitaph

 

 
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An Epitaph Poem explanation

Here lies a most beautiful lady,

Light of step and heart was she;

I think she was the most beautiful lady

That ever was in the West Country.

But beauty vanishes; beauty passes,

However, rare – rare it be; And when I crumble, who will remember

This lady of the West Country?

Epitaph- inscription on a tomb in memory of the dead

light of step and heart- had the habit of moving here and there and had no commitment

Vanishes- disappears

Rare- not common

Crumble- fall down in pieces, here, die

‘An Epitaph‘ was a poem written by Walter de la Mare. Epitaph was a tomb of a dead body. In the poem, Walter talked about a beautiful lady who was lying in the tomb. She had a habit of moving here & there and had no commitment. So in this poem the poet was expressing his sad feelings for a lady who was lying in a grave. The poet went to the tomb which was made in the memory of that lady. He weeped there bitterly and thought about who would remember her after his death. According to the poet she was the most beautiful lady who was even born in the west country. The poet said that beauty would vanish and pass one day. The poet was of the opinion that man was mortal and soul was immortal. Poet explained that the body would fall down into pieces but the soul changed to another new body to live. At last, Walter said when he would crumble, who would remember the lady of the west because it would be very rare to remember someone after death. A man was remembered because of his quality. The poet meant that whoever came on the earth must die. But their fame remained permanently in this universe. The poet explained through this poem that nothing  would be permanent in the world. Everything was temporary. One who was born was to die. 

 

Poetic Device

The poetic device, which is used in the poem, ‘An Epitaph’ is Ambiguity.

Ambiguity is a word, phrase, statement, or idea that can be understood in more than one way. It is commonly used in the sense of light. But in the second line of the poem, the speaker has used it for the beautiful lady moving here and there. Usually, the word light means shiny, but the use of the word light in the second line of the poem is ‘The habit of moving’.
 
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An Epitaph Question and Answer

Exercises

B.1. 1. Read the following sentences and write ‘T’ for true and ‘F’ for false statements: 

  1. a) The poet expresses his sad feeling for a lady. 
  2. b) The lady belonged to the North Country. 
  3. c) The poet considers her the most beautiful lady. 
  4. d) ‘Beauty’ remains for ever if we take proper care for it. 
  5. e) There are other persons who also know the lady. 
  6. f) The poet feels that after his death nobody will remember her.

Answer-

  1. a) The poet expresses his sad feeling for a lady. True
  2. b) The lady belonged to the North Country. False
  3. c) The poet considers her the most beautiful lady. True
  4. d) ‘Beauty’ remains for ever if we take proper care for it. False
  5. e) There are other persons who also know the lady. False
  6. f) The poet feels that after his death nobody will remember her. True

 

 

B.1 2. Answer the following questions briefly: 

1) Where does the lady lie? 

Answer-

The lady lies in an epitaph. Epitaph is an inscription on a tomb in memory of the dead. She lies there in the memory of her beloved.

 

2) How does she look to the poet? 

Answer-

She looks to the poet as the most beautiful lady ever born in the west country.

 

3) Was she a kind and considerate lady ? 

Answer

No, She was not a considerate lady. She had the habit of moving here and there.

 

4) What does the poet think about ‘beauty’? 

Answer

The poet thinks that beauty is short-lived. The poet says that beauty will vanish and pass one day. The poet explains that man is mortal and soul is immortal.  People build memorials, or write epitaphs on the graves of their dear ones.

5) What does the poet mean when he says ‘And when I crumble’.

Answer-

The poet means by ‘And when I crumble’ that when he will fall down into pieces or die, who will remember the lady of the west because it will  be very rare to remember someone after death. A man is remembered because of his quality. The poet means that whoever comes on the earth must die. But their fame remains  permanently in this universe. 

 

C.1. LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS

 

  1. ‘Ambiguity’ is a poetic device which is used to suggest more than one meaning and attitude. Comment on the ‘ambiguity’ in the use of the word ‘light’ in the second line of the poem?

Answer

‘Ambiguity’ is a poetic device which is used to suggest more than one meaning and attitude. It is commonly used in the sense of light. But in the second line of the poem, the speaker has used it for the beautiful lady moving here and there. Usually, the word light means shiny, but the use of the word light in the second line of the poem is ‘The habit of moving’. In the poem she had a habit of moving here & there and had no commitment.

 

  1. What, according to the poet, are the two qualities of ‘beauty? Discuss with your own comments’

Answer

According to the poet in the poem ‘An Epitaph’ the two qualities of’ beauty are short-lived and rare. The speaker wants to say that beauty is rare and it disappears after some time. The poet says that beauty will vanish and pass one day. The poet explains that man is mortal and soul is immortal. People build memorials, or write epitaphs on the graves of their dear ones.

 

  1. What will happen when the poet dies?

Answer

When the poet dies nobody will remember the lady of the west country because it is rare to remember someone after death. A man is remembered because of his quality. The poet means that whoever comes on the earth must die. But their fame remains permanently in this universe. The poet explains through this poem that nothing is permanent in the world. Everything is temporary. One who is born is to die. 

 

  1. Write a note on the philosophical meaning of the poem.

Answer

The poet ‘Walter De La Mare’ who has written the poem ‘An Epitaph’ has most philosophically expressed his deep concern over the death of the most beautiful lady of the west country. He is also mentally upset about who will remember the lady lying in the grave after his death. The philosophical meaning of the poem is the mortality of human life and the short-living of beauty. The other philosophical meaning of the poem is lust for life and glamour which is bound to vanish.

 

  1. What makes you feel that the poem is ‘ironical’ in meaning? 

(‘Irony’ is a poetic device that suggests two layers of meaning: the surface meaning and the implied one).

Answer

‘Irony’ is a poetic device that suggests two layers of meaning: the surface meaning and the implied one. The poem ‘An Epitaph’ depicts an irony by the feelings about the poet and how he loved his beloved. He loved her so much that when his beloved died he mourned her death but could not save her from the cruel hands of death. The beautiful lady turned into a dead body and was burned. It is but the irony of life.

 

C.3. COMPOSITION

Write a paragraph in about 100 words on the following:

  1. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Answer

Beauty is a combination of qualities that award pleasure to the senses. A beautiful object fills the heart with joy and delight. There are moments of life which we cherish. Confrontation with a beautiful thing may be of a short duration but its memory lasts for a long time. It requires a gift of imagination to revive and relive the happy moments spent in the company of beautiful things. When we talk about beauty, it doesn’t merely refer to the outward physical beauty, but also the inner beauty, the beauty of thoughts and intentions. Many great personalities like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, wore the radiance of their inner beauty. If we learn to see the beauty hidden behind everything in our lives, we will gradually reach the highest realms of truth.

 

2. All that glitters is not gold. 

Gold is a precious chemical element that emits spectacular glitter. However, glitter is also a characteristic of a lot of other substances. These substances are not gold and are of inferior quality. In relation to this, a wise saying came into existence. This wise saying is “all that glitters is not gold”. Most noteworthy, the phrase essentially means that not everything that is shiny is valuable. This is because some things can be superficially attractive only. So people must not allow themselves to be blinded by material appearances and must look into the core of things and make informed judgments about them. All that glitters is not gold” is certainly an age-old mantra that shall always remain relevant. The one who believes in this would almost never regret his life choices.

 

D.WORD STUDY

D.1. Dictionary Use

Ex. 1. Correct the spelling of the following words:

 

  

beautyful vanises crumbul  rimembar ladie

 

Answer-

 

Beautiful Vanishes Crumble Remember Lady

 

D.2. Word-formation

Read the following line carefully:

I think she was the most beautiful lady

Mark that ‘beautiful ‘ is derived from ‘beauty’ by ading suffx ‘-ful’ to it.

Write 10 words that end in ‘-ful’.

Answer-

10 words that end in ‘-ful’ are as follows-

  1. Wistful
  2. Careful
  3. Useful
  4. Plentiful
  5. Beautiful
  6. Doubtful
  7. Needful
  8. Faithful
  9. Powerful
  10. Grateful

 

 

D.3. Word-meaning

Ex 1. Fill in the blanks with the antonyms of the following words given in the box: 

 

 

beautiful light ever vanish rare   remember

 

  1. The stars suddenly ……….  from behind the clouds.
  2. As the room was …………  I could not see anything.

iii. They created an  ………. scene when they fought together.

  1. A crow is a …………  bird in India.
  2. We can never …………  the valuable sacrifice of the leaders of the freedom struggle movement. 

Answer-

  1. The stars suddenly appear from behind the clouds.
  2. As the room was dark I could not see anything.

iii. They created an  ugly scene when they fought together.

  1. A crow is a common bird in India.
  2. We can never forget the valuable sacrifice of the leaders of the freedom struggle movement. 

 

E.GRAMMAR

Ex. 1. Read the following lines from the poem carefully:

  1. Here lies a most beautiful lady,
  2. I think she was the most beautiful lady

 

The use of  ‘a most’ is uncommon. The use of ‘a’ before ‘most’ suggests general observation. ‘The most’ is commonly used, and here ‘the’ suggests ‘particular’ reference.

Fill in the blanks with ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’ to complete the sentences:

 

  1. Most of …………  students today want to work in  ………. U.S.A
  2. There is ……  red rose on ………  plant, …………  rose has become quite attractive.

iii. There are very few students in …………..  university, who want to pursue research work.

  1. ……….  apple ………  day keeps ………..  doctor away.
  2. I have met ………….  M. L..A. today.

 

Answer-

  1. Most of the students today want to work in  the U.S.A
  2. There is a red rose on the plant, the  rose has become quite attractive.

iii. There are very few students in the  university, who want to pursue research work.

  1. An apple a day keeps the  doctor away.
  2. I have met an M. L..A. today.

 
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