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Samacheer Kalvi 6th English Books A Tragic Story

English : Term 3 Unit 2 : Poem : A Tragic Story


sage – wise man

yore – long ago

pigtail – a plaited lock of hair worn singly at the back

mused – thought over

curious – eager to learn more

mystery – puzzle

stout – thick in structure

A. Answer the following

1. What made the sage upset?

The pigtail of the sage hung behind his head. This made the sage upset.

2. Why did the sage spin all day?

The sage spun all day to make his pigtail hang at his face.

3. What solution did he arrive at for the mystery that he found?

The sage decided to turn his whole body round.

4. Was he finally successful in changing his pigtail’s position? Support your answer with a line from the poem.

No, he was not finally successful in changing his pigtail’s position.

“But still it hung behind him.”

5. Did something dreadful happen? How would you describe the events in the poem– comedy or tragedy?

No, nothing dreadful happened. The events in the poem form a comedy. To the sage, it is a tragedy.

B. Read the poem lines and answer the questions given below.

1. But wondered much and sorrowed more Because it hung behind him.

a) What was he wondering about?

He was wondering about the pigtail hanging behind him.

b) What does the word it’ refer to here?

‘If refers to the pigtail.

2. And though his efforts never slack

And though he twist, and twirl, and tack,

Alas! Still faithful to his back

The pigtail hangs behind him.

a)  Pick out the rhyming words from the above lines and give the rhyme scheme for the same.

Rhyming words: slack, tack, back

Rhyme scheme: a a a b

b)  Did he uit his trying? How can you say?

The sage did not quit his trying. The lines ‘his efforts never slack’ and ‘he twist and twirl, and tack’ show that the sage did not quit his trying.

3. ‘He mused upon this curious case’

What is the figure of speech used in this line?

The figure of speech is ‘irony’.

4. Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning. It may also be a situation that ends up in quite a different way than what is generally anticipated. In simple words, it is a difference between appearance and reality.

Can this poem be called an ironic poem? Justify your answer.

In irony we say one thing. But we mean the opposite of what we say. The man is called a sage or a wise man. Actually he is an idiot.

The pigtail hanging behind is a common thing. There is nothing to feel surprised at. The wise man thinks that it is a ‘curious case’. This is an example for irony.

C. Fill in the table with the appropriate poem lines. A few lines may be used more than one time.

Pick the line or lines that

• suggest the sage lacked practical common sense :

e.g. And swore he’d change the pigtail’s place

• make the poem humorous :

Says he, “The mystery I’ve found”

I’ll turn me round.

• show the clowning movements of the sage :

1) Then round and round, and out and in All day did the puzzled sage spin

2) And right and left and round about

And up and down and in and out

3) And though he twist and twirl and tack stiil faithful to his back,

The pigtail hangs behind him.

• that are actually funny but have a serious tone

Still faithful to his back,

The pigtail hangs behind him.

D. The summary of the poem is given.But there are some words missing. Fill in the blanks with the help of the box given below.

faithfully, change, pigtail, round, sage, down, slack, out, hung, place, behind, vain, face

Once upon a time there lived a sage. He had a handsome pigtail. He was worried and pondered over his pigtail’s place. He wanted to change   it’s place. He wanted it hanging at his face.  He didn’t like it hanging there  round him.  So he turned right and left and round about, up and down, and in and out but it still hung behind him. However he tried, his efforts were in vain. But he didn’t slack  in his efforts. Nevertheless his pigtail hung faithfully behind him.

E. Role play

Work with a partner. Let one student read the poem and the other to pantomime (communication by means of gesture and facial expression) the poem as he or she reads.

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