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The Comet

The Comet


Rampaging through the heavens

Never stopping day or night,

A spectacle of a lifetime

A comet in full flight.


Faster than a cheetah

With a tail that’s miles long,

Bigger than a mountain

So powerful and strong.


The outer ice is melting

Causing vapor from the force,

And leaves a trail behind it

As it travels on its course.


If one should come too close to earth

The atmosphere will shake,

With shockwave reaching to the ground

Causing the land to quake.


Scientists say the chemicals

In the dust they leave behind,

Could have started life on the earth

Which resulted in mankind.


I cannot say if this is true

I do not have the right,

But I know no better spectacle

Than a comet in full flight.


- Norman Littleford


Norman Littleford (18 May 1889 - 20 May 1947) was an American poet, born in Maryland, USA. Most of his works focused on life and nature. His poems are simple but deep in thought and provoke the readers to absorb the ideas beyond the usual.


Glossary


rampaging (v) - going through an area making a lot of noise and causing damage

spectacle (n) - an unusual or unexpected event or situation that attracts attention, interest

comet (n) - an icy small Solar body, which when passing close to the Sun, warms and begins to release gases that are seen on rare occasions from the earth as a bright line in the sky

trail (n) - a path often made or used for a particular purpose

quake (v) - a sudden violent movement of the earth's surface, some times causing great damage (short form of earthquake).


Read the following lines and answer the questions.


1. Rampaging through the heavens

Never stopping day or night,


a. How does the comet travel?

Ans: The comet travels through the sky, making a lot of noise and causing damage.


b. Which word could you replace 'rampaging' with?

a. charging b. rolling c. speeding d. flying

Ans: Speeding


2. Faster than a cheetah

With a tail that’s miles long,


a. Why is the comet compared to a cheetah?

Ans: Comet is compared with the cheetah because of its speed.


b. Whose tail is compared here?

Ans: The tail of the comet is compared here.


3. With shockwave reaching to the ground

Causing the land to quake


a. What is reaching to the ground?

Ans: The shockwaves of the comet reaches the ground.


b. What is causing the land to quake?

Ans: The shockwave is causing the land to quake.


4. In the dust they leave behind,

Could have started life on the earth

Which resulted in mankind


a. What does the word 'they' refer to?

Ans: “they” refers to the Comet.


b. According to scientists, how did life start on earth?

Ans: According to scientists, life started on the earth by the dust left behind by the comets.


5. But I know no better spectacle

Than a comet in full flight.


a. Who does 'I’ refer to?

Ans: I refers to the poet.


b. What is the best spectacle mentioned in the above lines?

Ans: The flight of the comet.


Complete the summary by filling in the given spaces with suitable words/phrases given below


a trail, spectacular,  spectacular scene,  outer ice,  a cheetah, day or night, emerging of life, powerful and strong, shock wave scientists


The poet describes a moving comet which speeds through the heavens and never takes a break by ____________. When a comet is in full flight, it gives a ____________ which can never be compared to anything else for a lifetime. The comet is compared to ____________ for its speed and a mountain as it is ____________. The ____________ melts which causes a vapour from the force and leaves behind _________ as it travels on its way. If it comes very close to the atmosphere, it causes a shake which in turn produces a ____________ that reach the Earth’s surface. According to the ______________ the comets leave behind chemicals in the form of dust which resulted in the ____________ on earth and mankind came into existence. But the poet is not sure whether this principle is true or not but he knows for sure that whatever the truth may be, the sight of the comet in full flight is ____________.


Answer:


The poet describes a moving comet which speeds through the heavens and never takes a break by day or night. When a comet is in full flight, it gives a spectacular scene which can never be compared to anything else for a lifetime. The comet is compared to a cheetah for its speed and a mountain as it is powerful and strong. The outer ice melts which causes a vapour from the force and leaves behind a trail as it travels on its way. If it comes very close to the atmosphere, it causes a shake which in turn produces a shock wave that reach the Earth’s surface. According to the scientiststhe comets leave behind chemicals in the form of dust which resulted in the emerging of life on earth and mankind came into existence. But the poet is not sure whether this principle is true or not but he knows for sure that whatever the truth may be, the sight of the comet in full flight is spectacular.


Poem appreciation


If one should come too close to earth

The atmosphere will shake,

With shock wave reaching to the ground

Causing the land to quake.


1. Pick out the rhyming words.

Ans: shake - quake


2. Mention the rhyme scheme of the stanza.

Ans: a b c b

 

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