A Sea of Foliage Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share A Sea of Foliage Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Toru Dutt. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of Homesickness, The Master Artist, Uncomfortable Bed and Maps Poem so, you can check these posts as well.

A Sea of Foliage Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Foliage – vegetation, greenery
  • Unvaried – exist in large numbers
  • Grids – surrounds
  • Green profound – deep, dark green
  • Clumps – bunches or clusters, things close to each other
  • O’er – over
  • Swoon – feel dizzy
  • Seemuls – silk cotton trees with red flowers
  • In amaze – in amazement or wonder
  • A primeval Eden – the first garden where, according to the Bible, Adam and Eve, the first human beings, lived

Question 1: Read the line and answer the questions:

A sea of foliage… but not a sea of dull unvaried green.

(a) Why is the foliage compared to a sea?

Answer: The foliage is compared to a sea because it appears as vast and endless like a sea but unlike a sea which has an unvarying shade of green throughout, the foliage in her garden has a different exciting and contrasting shade of green. This breaks the dullness seen in the sea.

(b) How is the sea not of dull, unvaried green? Give an example of how the green varies.

Answer: Just one type of plant everywhere, like the sea, which remains unchanged, will be dull. In the same way similar type of plant will give a dull impression. But in the poet’s garden, there is a mixture of plants, colours and textures which could be a sea of foliage around her garden. Her garden is filled with different and exciting and contrasting shades of green like the light green of the tamarind tree, the deep green of mango grove.

(c) What effect does the variation have on the garden and the speaker?

Answer: The variation brightens the look of the garden which would have looked dull otherwise. The poets spirit is also lifted looking at the contrasting shades of green.

Question 2: The poem describes a garden at two different times. What are those times? How do you know?

Answer: The poet describes the garden in the daylight and at night. This is evident from the description of the different shades of green seen in the foliage which is visible only in the sunlight. Then she talks about the moon peeping between the bamboo trees. This indicates that it is night.

A Sea of Foliage Questions & Answers

Question 3: …the white lotus changes into a cup of silver. What does this mean?

Answer: This means that white lotuses are gleaming like silver cups when the moon shines on them.

Question 4: Why does the speaker consider the scene among the bamboos the loveliest spot in the garden? What effect does this beauty have on her?

Answer: The scene among the bamboos is the loveliest spot because the beautiful silver moon peeps between the tall grey bamboos and shines dazzlingly on white lotuses glowing in the pool. This beautiful sight is so intoxicating that the poet feels drunk with the amazing beauty of the scene. She almost feels dizzy.

Question 5: palms arise, like pillars grey This is an example of simile – a comparison of one thing with another, using words such as ‘like’ or ‘as’ to point to a particular quality.

(a) Which quality of the palms does the simile point at?

Answer: The simile points out at the tallness and straightness of the palm trees

(b) Find another simile in the first stanza of the poem.

Answer: Another simile is ‘o’er the quiet pools the seemuls lean/Red-red, and startling like a trumpet’s sound.’ This means that the seemul trees lean over the quiet pools of water, red in colour and presenting a contrast to the green around them. This contrast and difference may surprise or startle someone who is not expecting it. what is unusual about this simile is that it compares a sight to a sound, instead of to another sight.

Question 6: This poem asks us to look all around the garden – not only from one side to another but also from high above to down below. How does it do that?

Answer: This poem asks us to look around the garden from one side to another as it points at the different trees standing side by side, from the tamarind to the mango to the seemuls. It also begins by saying that the foliage surrounds the garden on all sides so that to see the foliage, we have to look all around. It then talks about the moon in the sky visible through the bamboo trees and goes on to describe the white lotus floating on a pool of water, thus making us look from the sky above to the ground below.

So, these were A Sea of Foliage Questions & Answers.

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