When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Walt Whitman. In my previous posts, I have also shared the questions and answers of A Shot in the Dark, Where The Mind Is Without Fear and On the Grasshopper and The Cricket so, you can check these posts as well.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer Questions & Answers

Question 1: Choose the correct option:

(a) “When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;” – the line indicates to the reader that –

i. the speaker is fascinated by mathematics
ii. the speaker is not smart enough to understand the lecture
iii. the speaker is able to see errors in the lecturer’s figures
iv. the speaker is not at all that interested in what the lecturer is presenting.

(b) The word “unaccountable” conveys –

i. the speaker is confused by all mathematical explanations
ii. the speaker doesn’t know exactly why he feels “tired and sick”
iii. the speaker wants to be able to explain astronomical concepts
iv. the speaker thinks the lecturer is not explaining things clearly.

(c) The poem’s setting is significant because it helps to contrast –

i. city and country
ii. earth with sky
iii. indoors and outdoors
iv. past with future

Question 2: Complete the following statement.

(a) When I heard the learn’d astronomer.
(b) When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me.
(c) How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick.
(d) In the mystical moist night-air.
(e) Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Question 3: In the first half of the poem, where is the poet?

Answer: In the first half of the poem, the poet is sitting in a lecture room.

Question 4: In the first half of the poem, who is the poet with and what is he doing?

Answer: The poet is with other audience listening to a lecture of an esteemed astronomer.

Question 5: Which words or phrases show that the astronomer is respected by the poet and the audience?

Answer: The word, ‘Learn’d’ and phrase, ‘with much applause’ shows that the astronomer is respected by the poet and the audience.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer Questions & Answers

Question 6: What scientific tools and methods does the astronomer use?

Answer: The scientific tools and methods used by the astronomer are in the form of proofs and figures shown in charts and diagrams to add, divide and measure.

Question 7: In the second half of the poem, where is the poet?

Answer: In the second half of the poem, the poet is outside the lecture room under the sky.

Question 8: In the second half of the poem, who is the poet with and what is he doing?

Answer: In the second half of the poem, the poet is all alone in the enjoying the mystical moist night air along with gaze at stars in the sky in the perfect silence of night.

Question 9: What words and images in the first half of the poem are contrast to ‘the perfect silence’ in the final line?

Answer: The phrase, ‘with much applause’ in the first half of the poem is in contrast to ‘the perfect silence’ in the final line of the poem.

Question 10: What is the message of this poem?

Answer: The message that the poet is trying to convey is, that wisdom or knowledge is just not only about mathematical charts, figures or calculations, the mystery of nature cannot be summed up in fact and figures. One must get into the lap of nature to experience its true beauty. 

Question 11: Why was the night mystical to the poet?

Answer: The night was mystical as it inspired interest and awe in the poet in contrast to the unexciting lecture of the astronomer.

Question 12: What was the poet doing when he was not looking at the stars?

Answer: The poet was sitting in the lecture room listening to the lecture of a learned astronomer before he walked out under the sky and started looking at the stars.

Question 13: Answer the following with reference to the context.

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself;

(a) Who is ‘I’ here?

Answer: ‘I’ is the poet here.

(b) Where was the speaker?

Answer: The speaker was in the lecture room.

(c) What was he doing?

Answer: He was listening to the lecture being given by a learned astronomer.

(d) Why did the speaker rise and glide out by himself?

Answer: The speaker i.e the poet was getting uncomfortable and bored during the lecture being delivered by the astronomer. He did not want to disturb the lecturer and the audience, hence, he stood up and walked out softly.

So, these were When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer Questions & Answers.