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A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, Class 9 English Poem with Explanation, Summary

By Ruchika Gupta

 

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal - Class 9 CBSE English Poem Explanation, Summary, Question Answers, Difficult words

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal - CBSE Class 9 English Poem - detailed explanation of the Poem along with meanings of difficult words and literary devices used in the poem. Given here is the complete explanation of the Poems, along with summary. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson.

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

By William Wordsworth

 

slumber

 

Introduction

This is one of the ‘Lucy poems’ written by William Wordsworth. These poems have been dedicated to his beloved. The poet refers to death which is a permanent sleep. The poet did not realize when his beloved Lucy slept forever i.e. she died. She had taken life for granted and realized this harsh truth of life after her death.

 

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Poem and Explanation

A slumber did my spirit seal—
I had no human fears.
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

Slumber: sleep
Spirit: soul

The poet’s soul had drifted into deep sleep as he did not have any realization of the truth. He had taken life for granted and had never thought that one day death would take Lucy away from him. When she was taken away, he could not bear the loss.

No motion has she now, no force—
She neither hears nor sees,
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course
With rocks and stones and trees.

diurnal: daily
(Earth’s diurnal course” is earth’s daily rotation on its axis)

The poet accepts the truth that Lucy is no more. She is motionless, lifeless. She cannot see nor hear. She has been buried in the earth. She will assimilate into the earth and is rotating along with the earth. One day she will become one with the rocks, stones and trees that are a part of the Earth.

 

Literary devices

1. Rhyme scheme - abab cdcd
2. Alliteration - The repetition of a consonant sound at the start of two or more consecutive words is called alliteration. The instances of alliteration are as follows -
‘Spirit sealed’, ‘rolled round’

3. Enjambment - when a sentence continues into two or more lines ending without any punctuation marks, it is called Enjambment. The instances of enjambment are as follows -
“She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.”

“Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course
With rocks and stones and trees.”

 

 

 

Summary

The poet admits that he was in a sort of a deep sleep because he did not fear the harsh reality of life. He had taken life for granted and had never thought that one day death could separate him from his beloved Lucy. For him she was like an immortal goddess who was unaffected by age and mortality.
As she is dead, she lies motionless. She cannot hear or see. She has been buried in the earth and rotates along with the Earth. One day she will get assimilated with the trees, rocks and stones that are a part of the earth.

 

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Question and Answers

1. “A slumber did my spirit seal,” says the poet. That is, a deep sleep ‘closed off ’ his soul (or mind). How does the poet react to his loved one’s death? Does he feel bitter grief ? Or does he feel a great peace?

A. The poet is full of grief and regret that he had taken things for granted and did not fear the fact that one day death could separate him from his beloved.

2. The passing of time will no longer affect her, says the poet. Which lines of the poem say this?

A. She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

3. How does the poet imagine her to be, after death? Does he think of her as a person living in a very happy state (a ‘heaven’)? Or does he see her now as a part of nature? In which lines of the poem do you find your answer?

A. The poet feels that she is a part of nature. As she has been buried in the Earth, she is a part of it and will assimilate with the rocks, stones and trees. The lines which indicate this are as follows-
“Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course
With rocks and stones and trees.”