‘The Ball Poem’ Textbook exercise solutions are available here. All answers are written according to CBSE standards for higher possible scoring. ‘The Ball Poem’ is written by John Berryman. The poem conveys the message of resilience in life despite heart breaking ups and downs in life.
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THINKING ABOUT THE POEM
1. Why does the poet say, ‘‘I would not intrude on him’’? Why doesn’t he offer him money to buy another ball?
Ans. The poet does not want to get involved in this situation as it would be of no use. He doesn’t offer the boy money to buy another ball because a new ball would have given him no consolation. He had great attachment for the ball he had lost.
Ans. Yes, the boy has had the ball for a long time. He developed great attachment for it. It is certainly linked with the memories of the days when he played with it.
3. What does ‘‘in the world of possessions’’ mean?
Ans. The phrase means ‘in this materialistic world’.
4. Do you think the boy has lost anything earlier? Pick Out the words that suggest the answer.
Ans. The boy has not lost anything earlier. This is made clear by the following words:
(i) ‘He senses first responsibility’
(ii) ‘He is learning … the epistemology of loss’.
5. What does the poet say the boy is learning from the loss of the ball? Try to explain this in your own words.
Ans. The boy is learning that we may lose whatever we possess. Loss is part and parcel of life. This enables us to bear our losses without feeling upset.
6. Have you lost something you liked very much? Write a paragraph describing how you felt then, and saying whether— and—how—you got over your loss.
Ans. There are many things which I have lost in my life. But my most precious possession was the watch. It had a special sentimental value for me as it was gifted by my late father on the occasion of one of my birthdays. Once I had to travel from Delhi to Bangalore. There was a large crowd on the platform. As the train arrived, people began to rush into the compartments to get a seat. I was able to get into the compartment after a lot of jostling and elbowing. But as I entered it, I found that, I had lost my watch. I couldn’t get over this loss for a long time as the watch was associated with the memories of my father.