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1st Year English Night Mail Poem Explanation of All Stanzas

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In this post, I am sharing the 1st Year English Night Mail Poem Explanation of all stanzas with Reference to the context. This is the 2nd Poem in 11th Class English Book 3. If you want complete notes of 1st Year English Book III, you should click this link. However, the students who want English Book 1 Class 11 Notes, can follow this link. One more thing, there are a few more things besides these two books like Pair of Words, Moral Stories, Letters and Applications. To get all the stuff, you should go through complete 1st Year English Notes.

Night Mail Poem Explanation with Reference to the Context for Class 11

Here is the explanation with reference to the context of the poem Night Mail written by W.H Auden for those students who are looking for good study material.

Explanation of Lines with Reference to the Context

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,

Bring the cheques and the postal order,

Reference

These lines have been taken from the poem, “Night Mail” by W.H. Auden.

CONTEXT

The poet personifies a crude object like Night Mail as a vibrant horse. It establishes communication between different segments of society. It maintains its steadiness despite the difficulties in its way.

Explanation, (Lines 1-2)

It travels from one country to another, from place to place and brings the posts such as letters, cheques, and postal orders for people. The border mentioned in the poem is the border of England and Scotland. By crossing all boundaries, it hands over the mail to all sorts of people. It does not know racial distinctions and other prejudices.

Critical Appreciation

The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a.

Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,

The shop at the corner, the girl next door,

Lines (3-4)

It carries different sorts of letters having different messages to various classes of people. It carries formal as well as informal letters. Thus, it is a source of satisfaction and comfort for the poor and the rich, for the businessmen and the common people. It does not know any sort of discrimination. It satisfies the need of all sorts of people.

Critical Appreciation

The poet personifies Night mail as he gives human qualities to it by using the pronoun ‘she’ for the train. The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a.

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb;

The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time.

Lines (5-6)

Its journey is very arduous. Sometimes it runs up Beattock, a hilly place, along the steep slope, overcomes the sheer ascent and reaches its destination on time. Although it is difficult to move along a sharp rise, it does not get late and is always on time. It crosses all the hurdles and obstacles on its way. Human weaknesses such as laziness and lethargy are unknown to it.

Critical Appreciation

In the phrase ‘her shoulder’, the poet personifies Night Mail as he gives human qualities to it by talking about the train as though it were a woman. The shoulder is a part of the human body, not a part of the train. The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a. The visual images like ‘white steam’ and ‘moorland boulder’ give the readers a clear picture of the train’s journey.

Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder,

Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,

Lines (7-8)

The train goes past the cotton fields and uncultivated rocky land without taking any notice of them. It covers long distances. The poet personifies the Night Mail in this verse and compares it to a lady who is scooping and shovelling steam over her shoulders while racing to reach her destination. The train rushes past and, overloads everything. It seems that it is concerned only with conveyance and transportation of correspondence. She moves on and never stops.

Critical Appreciation

The poet personifies Night mail as he gives human qualities to it by using the pronoun ‘she’ for the train. The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a.

Snorting noisily, she passes

Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Lines (9-10)

Roaring and creating a loud snorting sound, the train proceeds and passes on from one point to another. She covers the long distances and passes by the grassy fields. When it passes nearby the grassy fields, the pressure of the air causes the grass bend and bow. By using the word ‘silent miles’ the poet uses a figure of speech called ‘transferred epithet’. In this figure of speech, an epithet (adjective) is transferred from its proper word to another word closely connected with it. There is silence in the grassy field and miles are not silent. Thus, the poet transfers the epithet ‘silent’ from the proper word ‘wind-bent grasses to miles’.

Critical Appreciation

The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,

Stare from bushes at her blank-faced coaches.

Lines (11-12)

The noise ad blast of the coming train makes the birds look at it from their bushes. They look at it with surprise, keenness and pleasure. They can see no human faces and find the carriages impressionless. They realize at once that the coach has an impassive face. She only takes interest in her aim of distributing the postal matter on time.

Critical Appreciation

The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a.

Sheepdogs cannot turn her course;

They slumber on with paws across.

Lines (13-14)

Sheep-dogs are very sensitive. They get up whenever some intruder tries to get nearer the herd. But o the arrival of the train they do not awake. The train is no more a subject of curiosity for them. They know she is harmless. They are also aware of the fact that they are unable to affect the journey of the train. Realizing the reality, they do not move ad remain in the same posture, cross-legged ad relaxed.

Critical Appreciation

The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a.

In the farm she passes; no one wakes,

But a jug in a bedroom gently shakes.

Lines (15-16)

The people living along the railway track have become habitual of her arrival and they do not feel ay disturbance. They know she is always in service of human beings. They know she is harmless. She does not cause any change while crossing the fields ad farms except a little vibration. Petty things, like a jug in a bedroom shakes and vibrates as the train passes by the farms and countryside.

Critical Appreciation

The rhyme scheme in these lines is a, a.

What is the Main Idea of the Poem Night Mail?

Main Idea: The poem is the depiction and admiration of Night Mail that brings luxury, ease and comfort to our lives. It has human characteristics as it treats both the rich and poor alike. It carries cheques, postal orders and letters for everyone. In spite of its arduous journey, it overcomes all hurdles ad barriers ad is always on time. Everyone has become used to it as it is no more an object of disturbance even for birds and animals.

Night Mail Poem Other Notes

I have tried to cover Night Mail Poem Exploration of all lines with reference to the context in this post. Here are relevant notes from this poem.

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