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Hi, Could someone please please please have a through look at the answers for grammar mistakes, and weird lines, and edit them?



I will be so nice of you.



Thanks in anticipation.

Children Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Come to me, O ye children!
For I hear you at your play,
And the questions that perplexed me
Have vanished quite away.

Ye open the eastern windows,
That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows
And the brooks of morning run.

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,
But in mine is the wind of Autumn
And the first fall of the snow.

Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.

What the leaves are to the forest,
With light and air for food,
Ere their sweet and tender juices
Have been hardened into wood, --

That to the world are children;
Through them it feels the glow
Of a brighter and sunnier climate
Than reaches the trunks below.

Come to me, O ye children!
And whisper in my ear

What the birds and the winds are singing
In your sunny atmosphere.

For what are all our contrivings,
And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
And the gladness of your looks?

Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead.

1. What are the children doing?

They are playing.

2. What is the question that is disturbing the poet?

What would life be like without the innocence of children?

3. How has the question been answered?

It's been answered by the sound of the soft and sweet voices of the children.

4. What does the poet mean by saying that the children open the windows that look to the east?

It's children that make the sun rise and show its brightness to the world.

5. To what does the poet compare the thoughts?

He compares the thoughts to singing swallows.

6. Why does he compare them so?

He compares them because children's thoughts are as innocent and nonchalant as the singing birds, which soar carelessly in the sky at dawn and give a beautiful picture of tranquility.

7. How can the birds and the sunshine be in the hearts of the children? What does the poet mean?

He means children are generally carefree, like the birds which glide high in the sky, away from the cares in the world, droning soft and mellow tunes. Children speak their hearts, and their hearts are as pure and radiant as the Sunshine.

8. The poet says that the children are thinking of the brooks while he is thinking of autumn. What does this mean?

The poet says so, because he has grown old and feeble, and his life is about to end like a plant that gets dried out in Autumn, while the children are young, energetic and lively like running brooks.

9. Is the poet using the word autumn for old age?

Yes, he is using it to describe time of late maturity.

10. What other words does the poet use to show the coming of old age upon him?

First fall of the snow

11. How are the children different from the poet?

The children differ from the poet in many aspects. Their thoughts are as innocent and nonchalant as the singing birds, which glide carelessly in the sky at dawn, droning soft and mellow tunes. In their hearts "are the birds and the sunshine”, and in their thoughts "the brooklet's flow”, while the poet is seized in the hands of trouble, and in his heart and thoughts “is the wind of Autumn, and the first fall of the snow.” And most importantly, he has grown old and fragile, it has taken almost all his lifetime to make his fortune, whereas the children are young and bouncy, and it’s just the beginning of their journey.

12. What question does the poet ask?

What would life be like without the children and their innocence?

13. In the third and fourth lines of the 4th stanza, the poet says if there were no children, we would fear the desert behind us, and more than that we would fear the dark in front of us. What do the desert and the dark mean?

Desert is the past, dark the future. The term desert actually refers to a world devoid of gaiety and cheerfulness, and the dark signifies the atmosphere which would be very dreadful and gloomy without children.

14. What would happen to the trees if there were no leaves?

They would harden into woods.

15. What would happen to us, if there were no children?

We would have no hope, life would be depressing, pointless.

16. Why does the poet ask the children to come to him?

He calls them to whisper to him.

17. What songs does the poet wish to be whispered in the ear?

Tell him what the birds and winds are singing.

18. To what does the poet compare children?

He compares them to ballads and poems.

19. How can the children be like the ballads and the poems?

They can be like the ballads and the poems for they are full of emotions, feelings, energy and music.

20. The poet calls the children living and the rest all dead. Why does he say this?

He says this, because we have lost our innocence.

21. The grown up people have wisdom and books. What do the children have?

They have innocence, emotions of love and affection, pleasure and self-contentment.
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Comments  
No reply!!Emotion: sad
Hi, they look mostly ok to me, but of course I don't know what answers your teacher is expecting.

I'd take another look at 13. though, there is a deeper meaning there that you have missed. Think about deserts as barren places, and the ultimate darkness is ...?
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Thanks NTB!

I feel that my answers sound a bit odd. They are just OK. not up to very good. I think that I failed in getting glibness, and beauty of words, which a native English speaker could do. I mean if a native English speaker had to answer the questions, would he answer the same way I did? Apart from that I have some grammar perplexities. I have parenthesized my them. Could someone please please clarify them to me and help me answer the questions as an expert grammarian could do so.
1. What are the children doing?

They are playing.

2. What is the question that is disturbing the poet?

What would life be like without the innocence of children?

3. How has the question been answered?

It's been answered by the sound of the soft and sweet voices of the children.

4. What does the poet mean by saying that the children open the windows that look to the east?

It's children that make the sun rise and show its brightness to the world.

5. To what does the poet compare the thoughts?

He compares the thoughts to singing swallows.

6. Why does he compare them so?

He compares them because children's thoughts are as innocent and nonchalant as the singing birds, which soar carelessly in the sky at dawn and give a beautiful picture of tranquility.

7. How can the birds and the sunshine be in the hearts of the children? What does the poet mean?

He means children are generally carefree, like the birds which glide high in the sky, away from the cares in the world, droning soft and mellow tunes. Children speak their hearts, and their hearts are as pure and radiant as the Sunshine. (OK. now?)

8. The poet says that the children are thinking of the brooks while he is thinking of autumn. What does this mean?

The poet says so, because he has grown old and feeble, and his life is about to end like a plant that gets dried out in Autumn, while the children are young, energetic and lively like running brooks.

9. Is the poet using the word autumn for old age?

Yes, he is using it to describe time of late maturity.

10. What other words does the poet use to show the coming of old age upon him?

First fall of the snow

11. How are the children different from the poet?

The children differ from the poet in many aspects. Their thoughts are as innocent and nonchalant as the singing birds, which glide carelessly in the sky at dawn, droning soft and mellow tunes. In their hearts "are the birds and the sunshine”, and in their thoughts "the brooklet's flow”, while the poet is seized in the hands of trouble, and in his heart and thoughts “is the wind of Autumn, and the first fall of the snow.” And most importantly, he has grown old and fragile, it has taken almost all his lifetime to make his fortune, whereas the children are young and bouncy, and it’s just the beginning of their journey.(OK. now?)

12. What question does the poet ask?

What would life be like without the children and their innocence?

13. In the third and fourth lines of the 4th stanza, the poet says if there were no children, we would fear the desert behind us, and more than that we would fear the dark in front of us. What do the desert and the dark mean?

(the?)Desert is the past, (and?)(the?)dark .(is?)the future. The term desert actually refers to a world devoid of gaiety and cheerfulness, and the dark signifies the atmosphere which would be very dreadful and gloomy without children.

14. What would happen to the trees if there were no leaves?

They would harden into woods.

15. What would happen to us, if there were no children?

We would have no hope, life would be depressing,(and?) pointless.

16. Why does the poet ask the children to come to him?

He calls them to whisper to him.

17. What songs does the poet wish to be whispered in the ear?

Tell him what the birds and winds are singing. (Is it fine?Can it be answered some other way?)

18. To what does the poet compare children?

He compares them to (the?)ballads and (the?)poems. (the?)

19. How can the children be like the ballads and the poems?

They can be like the ballads and the poems for they are full of emotions, feelings, energy and music. (Is it fine)

20. The poet calls the children living and the rest all dead. Why does he say this?

He says this, because we have lost our innocence.

21. The grown up people have wisdom and books. What do the children have?

They have innocence, emotions of love and affection, pleasure and self-contentment.(Is it fine)
After spending weeks on the answers, I feel they are not quite right, and don’t sparkle. I am not sure if grammar, sentence structure, flow, punctuation, mood and tense are presented in a manner that makes sense. Emotion: sadI have put parenthesis where confusion is arising. Emotion: rolleyesCould you please do the checking, and make sure that the flow of readability of the answers is correct, and the style is consistent?

Your help will be highly appreciated.
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I am looking at this because you asked me to, but I am terrible at poetry interpretation.

I still think that #13 isn't quite right - deserts are baren and lifeless, and the dark is coming death.

When we wants them to whisper in his ear, he wants to be reminded of what it feels like to be young and carefree. He's not asking for a literal interpretation, but for them to share their joy of living.

I'm sorry, this is the best I can do. I write technical papers and marketing papers, and sometimes, just for fun, short stories, but I do NOT do poetry.
Hello H.,

It needs a little more work, as you suspected. Here are my thoughts on the grammar:

3. How has the question been answered?

It's been answered by the sound of the soft and sweet voices of the children.

— I would say "It has been", rather than "It's been", as the register elsewhere is formal.

4. What does the poet mean by saying that the children open the windows that look to the east?

It's children that make the sun rise and show its brightness to the world.

— I would avoid the cleft construction.

6. Why does he compare them so?

He compares them because children's thoughts are as innocent and nonchalant as the singing birds, which soar carelessly in the sky at dawn and give a beautiful picture of tranquility.

— "He compares the children to the birds because..."

— carelessly → in a carefree way

— perhaps "present", rather than "give".

7. How can the birds and the sunshine be in the hearts of the children? What does the poet mean?

He means children are generally carefree, like the birds which glide high in the sky, away from the cares in the world, droning soft and mellow tunes. Children speak their hearts, and their hearts are as pure and radiant as the Sunshine. (OK. now?)

— I would not use "drone"; it suggests a tedious melody.

— "Children speak their hearts" is an odd phrase.

8. The poet says that the children are thinking of the brooks while he is thinking of autumn. What does this mean?

The poet says so, because he has grown old and feeble, and his life is about to end like a plant that gets dried out in Autumn, while the children are young, energetic and lively like running brooks.

— Consider the possibility that the "autumn" is metaphorical, not literal.

— "like a plant that gets dried out in Autumn" isn't quite in keeping with the general tone of your answers. A simpler phrase might be better!

9. Is the poet using the word autumn for old age?

Yes, he is using it to describe time of late maturity.

— try "describe the period of".

10. What other words does the poet use to show the coming of old age upon him?

First fall of the snow

— It might be better to answer with a sentence here.

11. How are the children different from the poet?

The children differ from the poet in many aspects. Their thoughts are as innocent and nonchalant as the singing birds, which glide carelessly in the sky at dawn, droning soft and mellow tunes. In their hearts "are the birds and the sunshine”, and in their thoughts "the brooklet's flow”, while the poet is seized in the hands of trouble, and in his heart and thoughts “is the wind of Autumn, and the first fall of the snow.” And most importantly, he has grown old and fragile, it has taken almost all his lifetime to make his fortune, whereas the children are young and bouncy, and it’s just the beginning of their journey.(OK. now?)

— I've underlined some passages that require a little more attention.

13. In the third and fourth lines of the 4th stanza, the poet says if there were no children, we would fear the desert behind us, and more than that we would fear the dark in front of us. What do the desert and the dark mean?

(the?)Desert is the past, (and?)(the?)dark .(is?)the future. The term desert actually refers to a world devoid of gaiety and cheerfulness, and the dark signifies the atmosphere which would be very dreadful and gloomy without children.

— Include the articles. You may want to look again at the passage I've underlined.

14. What would happen to the trees if there were no leaves?

They would harden into woods.

— No; this will need a little more work!

15. What would happen to us, if there were no children?

We would have no hope, life would be depressing,(and?) pointless.

— "We would have no hope; life would be depressing and pointless."

17. What songs does the poet wish to be whispered in the ear?

Tell him what the birds and winds are singing. (Is it fine?Can it be answered some other way?)

— Try a sentence that begins: "The poet wants the children..."

18. To what does the poet compare children?

He compares them to (the?)ballads and (the?)poems. (the?)

— No "the".

19. How can the children be like the ballads and the poems?

They can be like the ballads and the poems for they are full of emotions, feelings, energy and music. (Is it fine)

— Are you sure about "for they are"? Can you think of an alternative?

All the best,

MrP
PS: I'm not sure what kind of swallow Longfellow was thinking of, when he wrote the poem.

But you may want to look at this description of Hirundo rustica, the barn swallow:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/s/swallow/index.asp

And perhaps listen to this recording of its song:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/s/swallow/gallery.asp

All the best,

MrP
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