In the Garden Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share In the Garden Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Emily Dickinson. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of Great Expectations, Life and After Twenty Years so, you can check these posts as well.

In the Garden Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Angle-worm – a worm that is used as bait in fishing
  • Sidewise – sideways
  • Abroad – over a wide area
  • Seam – a line where two edges of fabric or other material have been joined together
  • Plashless – smoothly; elegantly; in a flowing manner, without splashing; without disturbing the surface of the water

Question 1: In the first two stanzas, which words and phrases personify the bird? Of these which make him seem gentlemanly?

Answer: ‘He did not know I saw; He bit an angle-worm in halves’ ‘And then hopped sidewise to the wall to lot a beetle pass’ personify the bird and make him seem gentlemanly.

Question 2: What word, which might be more appropriate, does ‘grass’ remind you of in the phrase ‘a convenient grass’?

Answer: The words ‘from a suitable grass’ remind us of the phrase ‘a convenient grass’.

Question 3: In which stanzas is the bird unaware of being watched? When does if become aware?

Answer: In the first stanza, the bird is unaware of being watched. He becomes aware when he watches with a rapid glance and hurried all abroad.

Question 4: Each stanza contains (at least) one noun for a man-made object – list three items.


  • First stanza – Angle worm
  • Second stanza – wall
  • Third stanza – beads
  • Fourth stanza – crumb
  • Fifth stanza – oars

Question 5: Pick one verb to describe the bird’s action in each stanza.


  • First stanza – ate
  • Second stanza – drank
  • Third stanza – glanced
  • Fourth stanza – rowed
  • Fifth stanza – swim

Question 6: What are two of the narrator’s actions?

Answer: Saw and thought are two of the narrator’s actions.

Question 7: What are the bird’s wings compared to and what are their movements softer than?

Answer: The birds’ wings are compared to butterflies. Their movements are softer than the oars that divide the ocean or butterflies leap off banks at noon.

In the Garden Questions & Answers

Question 8: Read and answer the questions:

1. ‘And ate the fellow raw.’

(a) Who is ‘the fellow’? What effect is created by the use of this word?

Answer: The angle worm is ‘the fellow’. The use of the word ‘fellow’ creates sympathy for the worm.

(b) What is not unusual about the fact he is eaten ‘raw’? What effect is created by the use of this word?

Answer: His being eaten raw is not unusual because nature has not taught him to cook food. The effect of death is created.

(c) What response(s) or effect(s) do you think Dickinson aimed to achieve here?

Answer: Emily Dickinson aimed to create the effect of death that comes without information and eats one up in a few seconds and that death is beyond control. The response she has created is that the strong exploit the weak.

2. ‘Or butterflies, off banks of noon.
Leap, plashless… as they swim’

(a) What other thing, already mentioned by the poet, is signalled by the use of ‘Or’?

Answer: The butterflies.

(b) In the final line, what are the two actions performed by the butterflies?

Answer: In the final line, leap and swim are the two actions performed by the butterflies.

(c) What do these lines make the bird’s flight seem like to you?

Answer: The birds seem to soar (sight) without fluttering their wings (sound).

Question 9: Does the poem have a rhyme scheme? Are there any half rhymes or sight rhymes?

Answer: The rhyme scheme is abca. There is no example of half rhyme. Grass-pass, heads-beads are examples of sight rhyme.

Question 10: Count the syllables in each line. What do you notice? What is the significance of the change?

Answer: Each line has one, two, or three syllabic words. It helps set the tone of the poem and adds flair.

Question 11: Does the pace and rhythm change? How has Dickinson maintained the ‘flow’ of the poem?

Answer: The pace and rhythm change in each line. The poet has maintained the flow of the poem by adding rhythm with the frequent fluctuations.

Question 12: like frightened beads
What is being described? Why is it frightened? How are they like beads?

Answer: The bird’s eye is being described. It is frightened because it feels the stranger or unfamiliar person. It was unlikely to spend a time in the garden with unknown danger.

Question 13: stirred his velvet head/Like one in danger
What does ‘stirred’ mean? What are the associations of velvet? Why might they be feeling as if they are in danger?

Answer: ‘Stirred’ means to move or awaken from sleep. Velvet is associated with softness and smoothness as the bird’s head was smooth because of the feathers. The bird might be fearing that some animal or larger bird might be nearby waiting to attack it.

Question 14: unrolled his feathers
What is being described? Is this a quick action or a slow one? Can wings be unrolled? What nautical things can be unrolled? What impression is created here?

Answer: The act of spreading its wings by the bird. It is a quick action. Wings cannot be unrolled, but they can be unfolded. The sails on a ship can be unrolled. Thus, the reference to unrolling feathers suggests that the feathers of a bird are similar to the sails of a ship.

Question 15: rowed him softer home
What rows him home? What is similar about rowing and a bird taking flight? What connotations does the word ‘home’ have? Comment on the word ‘softer’.

Answer: The wings of the bird row it home. The action is similar to rowing because like the oars of a boat, the wings of a bird cut through the air in order to push it forward. The word ‘home’ has connotations of shelter, safety, and warmth. The word ‘softer’ suggests that the bird flies smoothly through the air.

So, these were In the Garden Questions & Answers.

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