Test on the poem The Laburnum Top by Ted Hughes

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  • Topic: Meaning of life, Poetry, Infinity
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  • Published : August 6, 2011
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C.B.S.E – Mathematics +1
English Literature – The Laburnum Top
Maximum Marks – 30
Maximum Time - 1 hour 15 minutes
* Two Marks Type:
Q 1 ‘She launches away, towards the infinite’. Explain the given line.  Q 2 Why is the image of the engine evoked by the poet? 
Q 3 What happened when the goldfinch came to the laburnum tree?  Q 4 How is the tree transformed during the bird’s visit? Write the line that shows this transformation.  Q 5 To what is the movement of the goldfinch compared? What is the basis for the comparison?  Q 6 What does the phrase ‘her barred face identity mask’ mean?  Q 7 ‘The whole tree trembles and thrills’. Explain the poetic device used by the poet.  Q 8 ‘It is the engine of her family, she strokes it full.’ Explain the significance of these lines.  Q 9 Explain the line ‘And the laburnum subsides to empty’. 

* Four Marks Type:

Q 10 A few leaves yellowing, all its seeds fallen
Till the goldfinch comes, with a twitching chirrup
A suddenness, a startlement, at a branch end.
a) What has happened to the tree?
b) How does the mood change on the arrival of the goldfinch? c) There is a comparison of the goldfinch with an animal. Which animal is that? Q 11 Then with eerie delicate whistle-chirrup whisperings

She launches away, towards the infinite
And the laburnum subsides to empty.
a) Who has been described in the first line?
b) What impression is created by the description?
c) What effect does the last line create?
Q 12 Then sleek as a lizard, and alert and abrupt, 
She enters the thickness, and a machine starts up 
Of chitterings and a tremor of wings, and trilling
The whole tree trembles and thrills.
a)    Who is ‘she’ in the first line? Where does she enter?  b)    What is the ‘machine’ referred to in line 2?  c)     Explain the meaning of the last line.  
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