The Ball Poem
1 / 12
What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street,
and then Merrily over - there it is in the water!
No use to say - '0 there are other balls':
a. What has happened to the boy?
b. Why does the poet say 'No use to say - '0 there are other balls'?
c. Which word means 'happily'?
d. What is the poetic device used in the above lines?
2 / 12
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him,
A dime, another ball, is worthless.
a. How has the loss affected the boy?
b. Where had the boy's ball gone?
c. What did the boy do?
d. Why is the ball so important to the boy?
e. Why does the poet not console the boy?
3 / 12
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions. People will take
Balls, balls will be lost always, little boy.
And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.
a. What does the boy learn?
b. What poetic devices have been used in the above stanza?
c. What does the word 'balls' signify?
d. Explain ‘Money is external’.
e. Why have the eyes of the boy been referred as ‘desperate’?
f. What would the loss teach the boy?
4 / 12
What does John Berryman want to convey through this poem?
5 / 12
How does the boy feel at the loss of the ball?
6 / 12
What is the sum of the poem?
7 / 12
Why did the poet not offer any money to buy another ball?
8 / 12
Why does the poet say, “I would not intrude on him”? Why doesn’t he offer him money to buy another ball?
9 / 12
“… staring down/All his young days into the harbour where/His ball went …” Do you think the boy has had the ball for a long time? Is it linked to the memories of days when he played with it?
10 / 12
What does “in the world of possessions” mean?
11 / 12
Do you think the boy has lost anything earlier? Pick out the words that suggest the answer.
12 / 12
What does the poet say the boy is learning from the loss of the ball? Try to explain this in your own words.
The Ball Poem
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