By Vaishnavi Tyagi
CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Book Poem 3 The Voice of the Rain Summary, Literary Devices, Explanation with Video and Question Answers
The Voice of the Rain – CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Book Poem 3 The Voice of the Rain Summary and Detailed explanation of the Poem along with meanings of difficult words.
Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the poem and literary devices used. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered. Also, Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 11
Class 11 English Hornbill Book Poem 3 The Voice of the
By Walt Whitman
The Voice of the Rain Introduction of the Poem
The poem ‘The Voice of the Rain’ is written by Walt Whitman. It is a conversation between the poet and the rain. The rain explains its eternal journey in its birth-place, i.e. earth to the poet.
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The Voice of the Rain Class 11 Video Explanation
The Voice of the Rain Poem Summary
In the poem, the poet asks the soft-falling shower, ‘Who are you?’ to which she replies that she is the poem of earth. It is a strange thing for the rain to reply to the poet. The rain told the poet that she cannot be touched as she rises in the form of water vapor in the sky from the land and the bottomless sea. It changes its shape yet it remains the same. The vapor changes into clouds due to condensation.
It falls back on the surface of the earth to provide water to the drought-prone areas and to beautify and purify the earth (its birthplace). It provides life to the seeds inside the earth and helps them grow.
The rain doesn’t care if anyone bothers about her deeds or not, she completes her work and comes back home. The poet also compares the rain with a song as they both share a common journey. The song originates from the heart of the singer, travels across to fulfill the aim and comes back with due love for the singer (its originator).
The Voice of the Rain Poem Explanation
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the
Who art thou – Who are you
Eternal – never-ending
Impalpable – which cannot be described
In the above lines, the poet asked the soft-falling shower ‘Who are you?’ to which the rain replied in a strange to state manner. The rain said that it was the Poem of the Earth and it rose continuously from the land and bottomless ocean in the form of vapours.
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed, and yet the same,
I descend to lave the droughts, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
Whence – where
Vaguely – not clearly
Descend – come down
Lave – wash; bathe
Atomics – small particles
Latent – hidden/buried
The rain tells the poet that it rises upwards towards the sky in the form of vapour where it changes its form (condenses into water droplets). It also says that although its form gets changed, it still remains the same.
The rain comes down to wash the drought and provide water. It also washes away the dust and small particles from the earth’s surface. And the seeds inside the earth grow into a plant because of the water provided by the rain. It gives life to the seeds.
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
And make pure and beautify it;
(For the song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfillment, wandering
Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)
Reck’d or unreck’d – it means whether cared for or not cared for. It doesn’t affect the rain nor the poet if someone listened to the rain or not.
The rain says that by day and night it provides life, care, enrichment, and water to the place from where it originated. The rain keeps enhancing the beauty and purity of the earth by preparing a life-cycle for itself again.
(The Rain is like a song that originates from its birth-place, just like the heart of the singer, and travels to fulfill the earth’s needs and wanders. It finally comes back to the place from where it originated. Whether it is ruined or not, it returns to the original position, with a lot of love to its birth-place).
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The Voice of the Rain Literary Devices
Personification – the poet used a non-living thing as a living thing in the poet
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain
Metaphor – an indirect comparison between the qualities of different things
I am the Poem of Earth – rain is being compared to a poem
Hyperbole – exaggerated statements
Imagery – visual description of something
The Voice of the Rain Poem Question Answers
Think it out
I. 1. There are two voices in the poem. Who do they belong to? Which lines indicate this?
Ans: The two voices in the poem are the ‘voice of the rain’ and the ‘voice of the poet’. The lines which indicate the voice of the rain are ‘I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain’ and the lines which indicate the voice of the poet are ‘And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower’.
2. What does the phrase “strange to tell” mean?
Ans: The phrase ‘strange to tell’ means that it was strange for the soft-falling rain to reply to the poet’s question. When the poet asked the rain ‘who art thou?’ the rain replied ‘I am the Poem of Earth’.
3. There is a parallel drawn between rain and music. Which words indicate this? Explain the similarity between the two.
Ans: The lines ‘For the song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfillment, wandering Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns’ draws a parallel between rain and music. Here, the poet compares the life-cycle of the rain and the song. As the song originated from the heart of the singer, wanders to the world, whether liked or not, comes back to its birth-place in the end with lots of love. Similarly, the rain that originates from earth (birth-place), fulfills its duty to beautify and purify the earth and wanders and comes back with love for its creator.
4. How is the cyclic movement of rain brought out in the poem? Compare it with what you have learnt in science.
Ans: In the poem, the water rises from the land and the bottomless sea in the form of vapour. It then changes its form, transforms itself into clouds. It comes down to the earth in the form of rain to wash drought, provide water, give life to unborn and latent seeds inside the earth. The rain purifies and beautifies the earth.
In science, the water is evaporated in the form of water vapour, condenses in the sky to form clouds, and then rains down in the form of water into rivers, streams, ground, ocean, etc. In the poem, the rain describes its eternal journey itself.
5. Why are the last two lines put within brackets?
Ans: The last two lines are put within the bracket because they are the observations made by the poet and his thoughts. He made a similarity between the rain and the music.
6. List the pairs of opposites found in the poem.
Ans: 1. Day, Night
2. Reck’d, Unreck’d
3. Rise, Descend
The Voice of the Rain Poem Grammar Exercises
Notice the following sentence patterns.
1. And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower.
2. I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain.
3. Eternal I rise
4. For song… duly with love returns
Rewrite the above sentences in prose.
1. I asked the soft-falling shower about its identity.
2. The voice of the rain presented herself as the poem of earth.
3. The rain told the poet that she rises upwards in a never-ending process
4. The poet says that rain and music are similar to the song originates from the heart of the singer, it travels across and fulfills its purpose. It comes back with all the love for the singer.
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