Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day.

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August 21, 2013 · 2:52 am

Beautiful Words

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EXERICISES ON HE HAD SUCH QUIET EYES

EXERICISES ON HE HAD SUCH QUIET EYES.

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EXERICISES ON HE HAD SUCH QUIET EYES

1.       In stanza 1, what does the phrase, the two pools of lies refer to?

The man’s eyes

2.       Explain the meaning of the last line of stanza 1 – And to render him paradise

To give the man happiness / joy / pleasure

3.       Which line in stanza 3 shows that the person had made a mistake?

“If only she’d been wise.”

4.       In your words, explain the main theme of the poem.

The theme is about exploration of human feelings in a relationship whereby the persona has gone through a bad experience of betrayal and advises others to be careful when starting a relationship.

 

5.       Why do you think the writer says that the man’s eyes are layered with the thinnest ice?

To show deception as the man disguises his true intention because eyes usually mirrors one’s feelings and innermost thoughts

6.       Explain the advice given in this line:

i.          Be sure that nice really means nice

It means that when you befriend someone, the person must be trustful, sincere, kind and pleasant.

ii.          Never to compromise. In your own words, what do you think the persona means by the statement.

            Not to give up one’s principles

7.       What should she have listened to?

To the advice by her elders and family

8.       Why should she not have compromised?

The she would not have been betrayed / cheated / deceived

9.       Be sure that nice really means nice

What do you think this phrase means?

It means that when you befriend someone, the person must be trustful, sincere, kind and pleasant.

10.   What is the advice that is given in the second stanza?

Never to give up one’s principles / values / beliefs to men who like to flirt and are only looking for pleasure

11.   What happened when she did not listen to the advice?

She was betrayed / hurt / let down / deceived.

12.   Which line tells you not to take chances?

“Then you’ll never be losing at dice.”

13.   In your own words,

i.                     What do you think about the advice given in the last stanza?

It is a good advice for young girls so that they will not be taken advantage and are able to differentiate between sincerity and falsehood.

ii.                   What can happen if girls do not listen to the advice?

They would be played out / cheated / deceived / betrayed / hurt.

14.   From stanza 2, what should the woman have done?

She should have listened to the advice given to her that is not to give up her principles /values / beliefs.

15.   What does the poet mean when he says, ‘She’d be free of “the hows and whys”?

She would not be asking herself why she had been cheated / betrayed / hurt.

16.   What can you say about the woman’s character from the stanza 2 and 3?

She is regretful and is helpful as she advises other girls from falling into the same boat.

17.   What is the persona’s advice in the last stanza?

She wants the other young girls to be careful when starting a relationship and the relationship must be based on true love.

18.   Which line in stanza 2 tells you that the persona may have been deceived?

“If only she’d been wise.”

19.   Why does the persona not realise she has been deceived?

She is naïve and gullible to believe the man’s lies as true love.

20.   Which word in the poem is similar to ‘pleading’?

Imploring

21.   What message do you get from reading the poem?

To be careful when starting a relationship and not gamble with affections to avoid serious consequences.

22.   How does the man try to persuade the woman to be nice?

Using his eyes to make her feel compelled her to be nice to him

23.   From stanza 2,

i.                     What advice does the woman ignore?

Never to compromise with pleasure seeking guys.

 

ii.                   Describe the poet’s tone in this stanza?

Sympathetic towards the girl’s situation.

 

24.   Suggest a theme of the poem.

Exploration of human feelings in a relationship / Betrayal of love / Deception

25.   Why did the poet describe the man’s eyes as ‘two pools of lies?

He eyes were showing signs of love but those eyes were actually disguising his actual intentions of deception.

 

26.   What do you think the phrase, ‘lose your heart’ means?

Falling in love.

27.   What kind of image does the word ‘paradise’ give?

Happiness

28.   What is the advice given to young girls in stanza 3?  Explain using your own words?

Young girls should be careful when starting a relationship and their relationship should be based on true love and not merely physical attraction.

31     How does the man appear to the woman?

Sincere and loving

32     From stanza 2, how could the woman be wise?

She should have listened to the advice given by the elders and her family.

33     From stanza 2, what is the advice given?

Never to give up one’s principles / values / beliefs to men who like to flirt and are only looking for pleasure

34     What is your opinion on the advice given in the poem?

It is a good advice to help / save other young girls from falling into the trap of deception and get hurt.

35     What did the girl not realise about the man’s eyes?

They were full of lies

36     Why do think the eyes are described as ‘two pools’?

To show the severity / seriousness / of deceit in both eyes

37     How was the man making use of his eyes?

Using his eyes to deceive her into thinking that he needed someone to love.

38     In your own words, do you think the girl was charmed by the man? Give a reason.

Yes, she was because she believed that his quiet eyes were signalling love.   

39     What is the main theme in the poem?

Exploration of human feelings in a relationship / Betrayal of love / Deception

40     Why do you think the poet uses the words, ‘be sure that nice really means nice in her advice’?  In your own words, give a reason to support your answer.

It means that when you befriend someone, the person must be trustful, sincere, kind and pleasant so that the relationship is based on true love and not on physical attraction.

41     What are the man’s eyes compared to?

Two pools

42     Write two words that are related to feelings of happiness.

nice

paradise

43     How do you think the man managed to charm the girl into accepting him?  In your own words, give a reason to support your answer.

Using his sincere looking eyes which disguised his insincerity to make her think that he truly loves her. 

44     In stanza 1, what did the persona think the man’s ‘quiet eyes’ were conveying to her?

He was longing for love and companionship.

45     What truth did the persona finally learn about the man’s ‘ quiet eyes’?

His quiet eyes were actually filled with deceit as she was left heart-broken.

46     Which line in stanza 3 suggests that we will not lose out or get hurt if we are cautious?

“Then you’ll never be losing at dice.”

47     What do you think happened to the persona when she allowed herself to be compromised?

She was cheated and hurt.

48     What advice would you give a friend who had met a stranger?

I would advise her / him to be very careful make sure that the person is thoroughly sincere and innocent.

49     Why does the girl believe the man cares for her?

He shows her that he is in love with her through his “sincere-looking” quiet eyes.

50     Write two words related to happiness?

nice

paradise

51     What do you think the man said to convince the girl to accept him?  In your own words, give a reason to support your answer.

He must have said that he truly love her because she believed in him and had willing given up her principles to show her love to him.

52     What does the poet mean by the following lines?

i.                     He had such quiet eyes?

His eyes were sincere-looking and were sign of love.

 

ii.                   She’d free from ‘the hows and whys’

She would not be asking herself why she had been cheated / betrayed / hurt.

 

53     What is the poet’s tone of voice when she criticises the man for using trickery to charm the woman?

The tone was serious but at the same time understanding and sympathetic towards the girl.

54     Do you think this kind of human relationship is difficult to handle?  Give a reason for your answer.

No, if the person involved, is not easily influenced by sweet nothings and is more careful when going into a relationship.

55     What does the title of the poem suggest about the poet’s feelings concerning the pair of eyes?

The man concerned has insincere and deceit eyes.

56     Give two reasons why the persona thinks the eyes are so irresistible?

i.                    He was using the eyes to breath desolate / sad / unhappy signs

ii.                  Imploring / pleading / begging her to be nice.

57     Do you think the woman charmed by the man has been foolish?    Give a reason for your answer.

Yes, because she too naïve to realise that the man was a cheater and finally she was ditched / betrayed / hurt.

58     What does the expression quiet eyes suggest the nature of the man?

He was not a trustworthy / sincere / loving person.

59     Give two reasons those quiet eyes made the woman give in to his woes.

He was using the eyes to breath desolate / sad / unhappy signs

Imploring / pleading / begging her to be nice.

60     If you met a man and fell in love with him, would you believe him by looking at the expression in his eyes?  Why?

No, not really, as eyes can be deceiving and do not reveal the true identity or character of a person.

61     What does the first stanza imply?

The girl is unaware that the man she is in relationship with only wants pleasure from her and he plays with her feelings using his “sincere’ looking eyes.

62     Give a word from the poem which means giving up something to reach an agreement.

Compromise

63     Explain what the expression “hows and whys” means?

It is an idiom that refers to confusion where the person is asking herself why and how she allowed herself to be betrayed..

64     What lesson can you learn from the last stanza?

When starting a relationship, one has to be extra careful in recognising the partner’s true intention, differentiate between sincerity and falsehood and may only meet the right person after losing their hearts a few times  .   

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POEM: ARE YOU STILL PLAYING YOUR FLUTE

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR ARE YOU PLAYING YOUR FLUTE

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR ARE YOU PLAYING YOUR FLUTE.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR ARE YOU PLAYING YOUR FLUTE

1                     Which lines in stanza 1 tell you that the flautist plays the flute beautifully?

 

“Uncovered by ………….depth of my heart”

2                     In the second stanza, what does the word deserted mean?

 

Empty / abandoned / neglected / vacant

 

3                     In the second stanza, why are the rice fields deserted?

 

The farmers have left the fields for the city / better income jobs away from the village.

 

4                     In your own words, explain the meaning of the last stanza.

The persona is feeling anxious because there are political and economical problems in her city and she feels the world is changing for the worst.

 

5                     From stanza 1, what does the persona want to hear?

The flautist’s song / flute music. / The flautist playing his flute.

 

6                     In stanza 2, what does the word here refer to?

The city / town / persona’s place

 

7                     In stanza 3, why does the persona feel guilty for thinking about her beloved?

She feels guilty because at present people around her are suffering.

 

8                     Suggest two things you would do to stop the world from bleeding.

Spread the message of peace, tolerance and living in harmony

 

Learn to appreciate what life has offered and be happy with it.

 

9                     How is the rice field?

Sick / unhealthy / infertile / neglected

 

10                 State two activities that ‘I’ consider luxuries.

 

i.                     Spend time watching the rain / gazing at the evening rays

ii.                  Collecting dew drops/ Enjoying the fragrance of flowers

 

11                 Why do you the persona’s conscience is disturbed?  Give reasons for your answer.

 

Thinking of the flautist while feeling worried about the troubled with the situation around her.

 

12                 What musical instrument is the poet’s friend playing?

 

A flute

 

13                 Describe the village.

 

It is empty has people have left for the city.

14                 Who feels guilty?

The persona

15                 While here it has become a luxury!

To spend time watching the rain

Why do you think the persona says it is a luxury to spend time watching rain?  Give reasons for your answer.

 

Life in the city is so busy that one has no time for simple pleasures and there are other problems to worry about.

 

16                 Why does the persona ask if the flute player is still playing his flute?

 

She does not know if he is still in the village enjoying his favourite pastime.

 

17                 How does she feel about his music?

 

Nostalgic / desirous / wishful

 

18                 Write down the line which shows that the persona thinks highly of his music.

 

To the depth of my heart

 

19                 In your own words,

i.                     What kind of a person do you think is the flute player?

Passionate / Obsessed / An introvert / A sequester

 

ii.                   Have you been involved in a similar passion over any interest or hobby? Provide explanation.

 

 

20                 Identify two words used to describe the village.

 

Quiet and deserted

 

21                 What has happened to the village?

 

It is deserted as the people have left for better jobs.

 

22                 In stanza 2, what does the words here refers to?

 

The city / town / persona’s place

23                 In your own words,

i.                     What do you of the things the persona consider luxuries?

Rain, sunset (evening rays) / dew / fragrance of flowers

 

ii.                   What would you enjoy doing for pleasure?

 

 

24                 Why does the poet feel guilty?

To be longing for the flautist’s song

 

25                 What musical instrument does the poet’s love play?

Flute

26                 How is the situation in the village?

Quite bad as it is empty because the villagers have left the village for better jobs and conditions.

 

27                 Why do think the poet is surprised that the flautist is still playing his flute?  Give reasons for your answer.

She thinks that he is undisturbed with the turmoil in the nation and the world.

 

28                 Why is the village so quiet and deserted?

 

The villagers have left the village for better jobs and conditions.

 

29                 Which phrase in stanza 1 implies how much the music affected the poet?

 

To the depth of my heart

 

30                 What does the poet mean by using the words concealed and uncovered to describe the music?

 

It means that the melody is in the bamboo and will only be heard when the flautist plays the flute. 

 

31                 What could the poem be about?

 

It is about upholding values, accepting changes in life and appreciating simple pleasures of life.

 

32                 Describe ONE emotion the poet is feeling in the first stanza.

Guilty / nostalgic

 

33                 What does the phrase, slim hollow of the bamboo refer to?

The flute

 

34                 Describe a significant memory that you have.  Explain briefly why it is significant to you.

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

35                 Based on stanza 2, where do you think the persona is?

In the city

 

36                 Based on stanza 2, what is the contrast between the persona’s place and the flautist’s?

The flautist’s place is empty and deserted whereas the persona’s place is undergoing a turmoil [ political and economical crisis].

 

37                 Based on stanza 2, in the first line, what do you think the persona is feeling?

A sense of doubt / unsure / puzzled

 

38                 Based on stanza 1, which line reveals the intensity of the persona’s feelings?

To be longing for your song

 

39                 Based on stanza1, how does the persona feel about the flautist?

 

Longing / pining/yearning/passionate / love

 

40                 Based on stanza 1, which line (s) reveal (s) that the persona is struggling with her feelings?

Where there is hardly time for our love

 

41                 Based on stanza 1, describe the persona’s mood.

Sombre / solemn / Sad

 

42                 What is so distinctive about the melody from the flute?

It touches the depth of her heart

 

43                 Why is the rice field described as sick?

It has been neglected so it is no longer productive and fertile.

 

44                 What is the meaning of the metaphor ‘slaughtered mercilessly’?

People are no longer tolerant of each other and people are being killed cruelly.

 

45                 What kind of feeling is expressed by the persona in the poem?

A sense of sadness, hopelessness, despair and misery

 

46                 Why does the persona feel guilty?

To be longing for the flautist’s song.

47                 Why is the persona’s conscience disturbed?

She is worried about the present situation in her nation which is facing a crisis.

 

48                 In your opinion, does the persona feel depressed about this world?  Give your reasons.

Yes,..

 

49                 Based on stanza 2, how would you describe the person who seems to be very interested in his flute?

Idle / unaffected by the crisis / carefree / in his own world

 

50                 Write the two words that relate to how a flute is played?

Breath and fingers____________________________________________________________

51                 What do you think the persona feels about the other person’s obsession with playing the flute?  Using your own words, give a reason to support your answer.

 

 

52                 What is the main theme in the stanza above?

Upholding values, appreciating simple pleasures of life, accepting changes in life

 

53                 Write two words that are related to the condition of the village.

Quiet and deserted

 

54                 Where do you think the persona is?  Using your own words, give a reason to support your answer.

In the city because ….

 

55                 Who is playing the flute?

The flautist in the village / The persona’s love

 

56                 Why does the persona feel guilty?

To be longing for the flautist’s song

 

57                 Where does the melody originate from?

The bamboo / The slim hollow of the bamboo

 

58                 Which two lines best describe how a flute is played?

Uncovered by the breath of an artist & composed by his fingers

 

59                 Which word would you use to describe the persona’s village?   Name one.

Quiet / deserted

 

60                 What does the persona mean by ‘the sick rice field’?

The paddy fields are neglected so they are barren and unproductive.

 

61                 What are the evening rays referred to?

Sunset

 

62                 Write two activities that are considered a luxury by the persona.

Spend time watching the rain / gazing at the evening rays

Collecting dew drops/ Enjoying the fragrance of flowers

 

63                 Why is the person still thinking of her beloved?

She has feelings for him. / She still loves him.

 

64                 Write two problems faced by the persona as mentioned in the stanza above.

Her brothers are unemployed and desperate / Her people are disunited by politics / Her friend is slaughtered mercilessly

 

65                 What is the tone used?  Give a reason for your answer.

Sad / Hopelessness / Despair / Anxious

 

66                 Where do you think the persona is likely to be?

In the city / town

 

67                 Where is the flautist playing his flute?

In the village

 

68                 What does the flute represent?

Tradition

 

69                 Why is the phrase, ‘Are you still playing your flute?, repeated three times in the poem?  Using your own words, give reasons to support your answer.

To reinforce the emotion (wondering/puzzled) behind the question and create a dramatic effect

 

70                 In stanza 1, what poetic device does the first line above refer to?

Rhetorical question

 

71                 In stanza 1, what does line 2 tell us about the relationship between the persona and the flautist?

They loved each other when they were together.

72                 What is the persona guilty about?

To be longing for the flautist’s song.

73                 The poet used certain words to indicate where the melody is:

i.                     What are these words?

Concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo

 

ii.                   Do you think they are suitable?  Why?

Yes, because the flute is played by blowing into hollow of the bamboo and melody is created by the fingers.

 

74                 In stanza 1, why does the persona feel guilty listening to music of the flautist?

She is very busy and also her nation is undergoing a crisis.

 

75                 Why is enjoying the fragrance of flowers regarded as a luxury by the persona in stanza 2?

In the city, one can be very busy in the rat race that they have no time to even appreciate the flowers growing around them.

 

76                 Give one problem the nation is undergoing.

Political crisis / Economical crisis / Disharmony

 

77                 Explain in your own words why the persona feels her world is too old and bleeding.

The world is changing for the worst and non-renewable resources cannot be replenished.

 

78                 What do you think the ‘flute’ represents?

Tradition

 

79                 What do you think the phrase, ‘the world is too old and bleeding’ represents?

The world is changing for the worst and non-renewable resources cannot be replenished.

 

80                 Suggest a reason why the persona cannot forget the music from the flute?

The music must have been beautiful and special that it has embedded in her heart.

 

81                 Do you think the persona has made the right decision in leaving the village?  Give a reason.

Yes, ……

No, …….

 

82                 What is it like in the village?

Quiet and empty

 

83                 What does the word sick imply about the rice field?

Barren / Unproductive / Infertile / Neglected

84                 What are the luxuries mentioned by the poet?  State two of them.

Spend time watching the rain / gazing at the evening rays

Collecting dew drops/ Enjoying the fragrance of flowers

 

85                 Do you like to live in the village?  Give reasons to your answer.

Yes,…

No, …..

 

86                 In the last stanza, what is the persona’s feeling when she remembers the flautist?

Guilty / Remorseful /

 

87                 Why is there disunity among the citizens of the country?

They lack tolerance and understanding.

 

88                 What happened to the persona’s friend?

Killed cruelly

 

89                 What do you think the last line of the stanza mean?

The world is changing for the worst.

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A CHARACTER THAT INFLUENCES OTHERS IN A NEGATIVE WAY

The novel that I have chosen is The Curse by Lee Su Ann.  In this novel there are a few strong characters.  Among these characters, the character that I think has strongly influenced the others in a negative way is Puan Normala.

 Puan Normala, one of the villagers, is described by Siti as a “slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue.”  Nobody likes the gossips that she spreads.  Branded as a rumour-monger, I find that she easily influences the narrow minded people of her village.   As a “news broadcaster” of the village, everything that happens there does not escape her eyes and ears.  Immediately, it becomes a topic for her to talk about.  Her idle talks are capable of ruining the reputations of the person concern.  Most of the villagers, who fail to think rationally, are easily influenced by her tales which causes a negative impact on the village.

 After Madhuri’s body is recovered, she talks about Madhuri’s death so frequently that her daughter carries the gossips to school too.  She tells her classmates that Madhuri is murdered.  In another incident, she also talks about Madhuri’s marriage to Haji Ghani, the village headman and how their young, handsome teacher is affected by it.  This is a strong negative influence that Noor has acquired from Puan Normala as it is bad for Noor to talk about matters that are not related to her.

The next incident is when Puan Normala admits that she has seen Madhuri’s dead body and that her body was bleeding white blood.  Being superstitious, she spreads the rumour that the village is cursed with Madhuri’s death.  She states that since the village is cursed, many bad things will happen and the village will soon experience disaster.  She waves the villagers’ hearts and spoils the harmony of the village.  This is a clear evident that shows how influent she can be in a negative way.

 In another incident where we can witness her negative influence on the villagers is when she blames the old lady’s visit to Asraf’s house as the reason for the continuous rain. Furthermore, she is also a mean and malicious person. For example, her influence on the villagers caused them to provoke Mohd Asraf to confront the old lady by accusing the old lady as the reason why Asraf’s grandmother’s dies. Because of that instigation, Asraf’s anger is the main cause for the fire that causes the old lady to die.

 Apart from the above evident, there are many other incidents where she tries to influence the others such as her own daughter and also Siti, her neighbour’s daughter.  Noor, her daughter is exactly like her and can be branded “Like mother like daughter.  In her class, she plays the role that she inherited from her mother.  This is a very clear evident that shows Puan Normala’s negative influence on her daughter.

 In conclusion, based on the above reasons and evident, I find that Puan Normala is the one and only character that can influence the others in the negative way.  We should not be like Puan Normala as what we may say, may harm others.  Therefore it is necessary for us to stay wise to create a more peaceful world.

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