The Power of Music Summary


ICSE Class 10 English The Power of Music Summary and Poem Explanation with difficult word meanings


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The Power of Music ICSE Class 10 English 

By Sukumar Ray 


The Power of Music Introduction

‘The Power of Music’ is a humorous poem. The poet is talking about a bad and irritating singer named Bhisma Lochan Sharma. He sings in such a loud voice that the listeners request him not to sing. Bhisma is adamant on singing which bothers even the plants and animals. Finally, he is struck by a goat and thus, his singing ends.


Theme of the Poem

The poet accepts that music touches the heart and rejuvenates the soul. However, noise in the name of music is irritating and it must be stopped.

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Also See: ICSE Class 10 English Language and Literature Syllabus 2024-25

The Power of Music Summary

During the summer season, one can hear the song of Bhisma Lochan Sharma. It is loud and can be heard from Delhi to Burma. His voice is not pleasant. So it seems that perhaps he has lost a bet and has to sing because of that or he has decided to sing forcefully. The people are confused and cannot think properly due to the unpleasant song. They run around to save themselves and a stampede occurs. Their faces are pale and they look ill due to Bhisma’s unpleasant voice. They request him to stop singing. Even the animals are affected by the loud noise. The bullock carts get overturned and the horses come out on the roads. But the singer continues. The animals disliked the sound of his song as soon as they heard it. They cry in revolt and even raise their feet in the air. The fishes try to escape the noise by diving deep into the water. Even the tree trembles and gets uprooted. The thud sound can be heard even a mile away. The birds flying in the sky overturn. All the people cry and request Bhisma to stop or else they will die. The sky also weeps on hearing his noise. 

A wise male goat appears. He attacks Bhisma with his horns. Its bellow sound is similar to the noise made by Bhisma. Bhisma is thrown up in the air, and he rotates around. Thus Bhisma stops and the world gets a gift of silence.


The Power of Music Summary in Hindi

गर्मी के मौसम में भीष्म लोचन शर्मा का गाना सुनने को मिलता है।  यह तेज़ है और दिल्ली से बर्मा तक सुना जा सकता है। उनकी आवाज मधुर नहीं है, ऐसा लगता है कि शायद वह शर्त हार गए हैं और इस वजह से उन्हें गाना। पड़ रहा है या फिर उन्होंने जबरदस्ती गाने का फैसला किया है।  अप्रिय गीत के कारण लोग भ्रमित हो जाते हैं और ठीक से सोच नहीं पाते। वे खुद को बचाने के लिए इधर-उधर भागते हैं और भगदड़ मच जाती है। भीष्म की अप्रिय आवाज के कारण उनके चेहरे पीले पड़ गए हैं और वे बीमार लग रहे हैं। वे उनसे गाना बंद करने का अनुरोध करते हैं। तेज आवाज से जानवर भी प्रभावित होते हैं। बैलगाड़ियाँ पलट जाती हैं और घोड़े सड़कों पर आ जाते हैं। लेकिन गायक जारी है।  उसके गाने की आवाज़ सुनते ही जानवरों को नापसंद हो गई। वे विद्रोह में चिल्लाते हैं और अपने पैर भी हवा में उठा लेते हैं। मछलियाँ गहरे पानी में गोता लगाकर शोर से बचने की कोशिश करती हैं। वृक्ष भी कांप उठता है और उखड़ जाता है। धमाके की आवाज एक मील दूर तक भी सुनी जा सकती है। आसमान में उड़ते पंछी पलट जाते हैं।  सभी लोग रोते हैं और भीष्म से रुकने का अनुरोध करते हैं अन्यथा वे मर जाएंगे। उसका शोर सुनकर आकाश भी रो पड़ता है।

एक बुद्धिमान नर बकरा प्रकट होता है। वह भीष्म पर अपने सींगों से हमला करता है। इसकी धौंकनी की ध्वनि भीष्म द्वारा की गई ध्वनि के समान है। भीष्म को हवा में उछाला जाता है और वह चारों ओर घूमते हैं। इस प्रकार भीष्म रुक जाते हैं और दुनिया को मौन का उपहार मिलता है।



Title Analysis of the Poem The Power of Music

The title of the poem ‘The Power of Music’ is ironical. The poet is referring to the negative effects caused by the unpleasant sound created by a so-called singer named Bhisma. The noise is powerful as it can make people run away, beg the singer to stop and even harm the animals.


Narrative Style of Poem The Power of Music

‘The Power of Music’ uses several poetic techniques to create the intended comic effect. The rhyme scheme used is abcb in some units and abab in others. Some of the rhyming words such as Sharma-Burma; hell-bent; well-meant; sickly-quickly are quite funny and amusing. The eccentric character of the singer, personified animals and birds and other objects are a part of the comic structure of the poem.

The poet has used the following literary devices : 


  • Horses, for example, behave like humans : 
    • The wretched brutes resent the blare …
  • A billy goat is called’ a sagacious fellow’ and the pronoun ‘he’ is used for it as if it were a human being
  • Then even the ‘sky’ is humanised : 
  • The welkin weeps to hear his screech . . .



The repetition of consonant sounds in nearby words is used in many lines, such as  : 

  • When summer comes, we hear the hums                      (‘m’ and ‘h’ sounds)
  • And plead, ‘My friend, we’re near our end, oh                (‘d’ sound)
  • And in the sky the feathered fly turn turtle . . .                (‘f’ and ‘t’ sounds)



The Power of Music Poem Explanation

When summer comes, we hear the hums
Bhisma Lochan Sharma.
You catch his strain on hill and plain from Delhi
down to Burma.
He sings as though he’s staked his life, he sings
as though he’s hell-bent;
The people, dazed, retire amazed although they
know it’s well-meant.

Word meanings:
Hums: sings
Strain: song / music
Staked: put on bet
Hell-bent: determined, stubborn
Dazed: unable to think clearly
Retire: leave
Amazed: greatly surprised

During the summer months, one can hear Bhisma Lochan Sharma singing. His song can be heard on hills and plains which shows that he sings loudly. He can be heard over a long distance. The poet creates humour when he says that one can hear Bhisma’s song from Delhi to Burma. He sings as if someone has forced him to do so because his song is not at all melodious. It is as if he has lost a bet and now he has to sing in return for losing, or perhaps he is determined to sing irrespective of whether his singing is pleasant or not. On hearing his unpleasant song, the audience gets dizzy and confused. They leave the show but they know that Bhisma is singing for their entertainment.

They’re trampled in the panic rout or languish
pale and sickly,
And plead ‘My friend, we’re near our end, oh
stop your singing quickly! ‘
The bullock-carts are overturned, and horses
line the roadside;
But Bhisma Lochan, unconcerned, goes
booming out his broadside.

Word meanings:
Trampled: crushed
Panic rout: stampede
Languish: force to suffer
Sickly: ill
Plead: request
Near our end: have lost patience
Overturned: turned upside down
Unconcerned: does not bother
‘booming out his broadside’: sings in such a loud voice that sounds harsh to others

The audience starts running away from Bhisma’s concert. There is a stampede. The audience feels sick. They request Bhisma to stop the noise. Even the animals are affected by his unpleasant song. The bullock carts overturn and the horses also come on the roads to escape the noise. But Bhisma continues to sing in his loud, unpleasant voice.

The wretched brutes resent the blare the hour
they hear it sounded,
They whine and stare with feet in air or wonder
quite confounded.
The fishes dived below the lake in frantic search
for silence,
The very trees collapse and shake – you hear the
crash a mile hence –

Word meanings:
Wretched: pitiful
Brutes: animals (horses)
Resent: protest
Blare: loud, unpleasant noise
Whine: cry out
Confounded: highly upset
Dived: plunge down
Frantic: desperate
Collapse: fall down
Crash: loud sound (thud)

The poor horses cry out against the loud noise as soon as they hear it. They become upset, they cry and revolt by raising their feet in the air. Even the fishes dive into the water bodies, hoping that in the depths they will get away from the noise. The trees also tremble and get uprooted, on hearing the harsh sound of Bhisma’s song. The sound of the tree falling can be heard for a distance of one mile.

And in the sky the feathered fly turn turtle while
they’re winging,
Again we cry, ‘We’re going to die, oh won’t you
stop your singing?
But Bhisma’s soared beyond our reach, howe’er
we plead and grumble;
The welkin weeps to hear his screech, and mighty
mansions tumble.

Word meanings:
Feathered fly: birds
Turn turtle: go upside down
Winging: flying
Soared: sang so loudly
Grumble: complain in an unpleasant way
Welkin: sky
Screech: loud, unpleasant sound
Mighty: strong
Mansions: buildings
Tumble: fall down

The birds flying in the sky above overturn on hearing the unpleasant sound of Bhisma’s song. The people cry and say that they will die if he doesn’t stop his singing. But Bhisma kept on singing loudly. He was not affected by the requests and complaints of the audience. Even the sky started crying due to his loud noise and the huge houses started falling apart.

But now there comes a billy goat, a most
sagacious fellow,
He downs his horns and charges straight, with
bellow answ’ring bellow.
The strains of song are tossed and whirled by
blast of brutal violence,
And Bhisma Lochan grants the world the golden
gift of silence.

Word meanings:
Billy goat: male goat
Sagacious: wise
Downs: put down
Charges: hits
Bellow: shout in a loud voice
Whirled: circled
Tossed: thrown up in the air

Then a male goat arrives. It is a wise animal. It attacks Bhisma with its horns. The goat makes a bellow sound which is similar to the noise made by Bhisma. The singer, Bhisma is hit, he is tossed in the air and rotates in the air due to the heavy blow by the goat. Thus the noise ends and everyone gets the gift of silence.


Figures of Speech:

1.Rhyme scheme – abcb
2.Personification – Horses, sky and goat have been personified.
3.Alliteration – the repetition of a consonant sound at the start of two or more consecutive words.
He’s hell-bent
Booming out his broadside
Feathered fly
Turn turtle
Stop your singing
Welkin weeps
Hear his
Mighty mansions
His horns
Strains of song
Blast of brutal
Golden gift


Also See: 

ICSE Class 10 English Summary, Explanation



ICSE Class 10 English Important Question Answers