Practice 1

I WONDER

I wonder why the grass is green,

And why the wind is never seen?

Who taught the birds to build a nest,

And told the trees to take a rest?

O, when the moon is not quite round,

Where can the missing bit be found?

Who lights the stars, when they blow out,

And makes the lightning flash about?

Who paints the rainbow in the sky,

And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

Why is it now, do you suppose,

That Dad won’t tell me, if he knows?

Jeannie Kirby

 

  1. Who is the persona in the poem?

_______________________________________

 

  1. (a) Can a tree take a rest?

 

_______________________________________

 

(b)What does the poet really mean when she says that the trees take a rest?

 

______________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Heir Conditioning
Grand dad did you breathe
before air cons were invented?
was it hard staying
alive without modern inventions?
Grandma weren’t you flustered
as you fluttered with paper fans?
could you communicate before
faxes and long distance calls
became basic necessities?

Grandchild we lived
before your age. Because
of our ignorance,
we did not know
pollution, stress, traffic jams
destruction of forests, streams and
hills
we feared God and nature
now nature fears you and
money is your new God.

by SHANmugalingam

 

  1. List three things in the poem that indicate the negative effects of modernization?

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

  1. What does the title of the poem mean to you? Provide an explanation for your answer

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

I WONDER

I wonder why the grass is green,

And why the wind is never seen?

Who taught the birds to build a nest,

And told the trees to take a rest?

O, when the moon is not quite round,

Where can the missing bit be found?

Who lights the stars, when they blow out,

And makes the lightning flash about?

Who paints the rainbow in the sky,

And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

Why is it now, do you suppose,

That Dad won’t tell me, if he knows?

Jeannie Kirby

 

 

  1. List three things that the persona is wondering about.

 

_______________________________________________________

 

  1. State one moral value found in the poem.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 4

Heir Conditioning
Grand dad did you breathe
before air cons were invented?
was it hard staying
alive without modern inventions?
Grandma weren’t you flustered
as you fluttered with paper fans?
could you communicate before
faxes and long distance calls
became basic necessities?

Grandchild we lived
before your age. Because
of our ignorance,
we did not know
pollution, stress, traffic jams
destruction of forests, streams and
hills
we feared God and nature
now nature fears you and
money is your new God.

by SHANmugalingam

 

  1. What is the poet’s main concern in the second stanza?

 

_______________________________________________________

 

  1. What is the message that the poet wishes to express in this poem?

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 5

I WONDER

I wonder why the grass is green,

And why the wind is never seen?

Who taught the birds to build a nest,

And told the trees to take a rest?

O, when the moon is not quite round,

Where can the missing bit be found?

Who lights the stars, when they blow out,

And makes the lightning flash about?

Who paints the rainbow in the sky,

And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

Why is it now, do you suppose,

That Dad won’t tell me, if he knows?

Jeannie Kirby

 

 

  1. Identify the word that means –‘to make something look bright’?

 

 

_______________________________________________________

 

  1. (a) What does the title of the poem imply about the persona?

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

(b) Explain in your own words, what you understand by the last two lines.

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Practice 6

Heir Conditioning
Grand dad did you breathe
before air cons were invented?
was it hard staying
alive without modern inventions?
Grandma weren’t you flustered
as you fluttered with paper fans?
could you communicate before
faxes and long distance calls
became basic necessities?

Grandchild we lived
before your age. Because
of our ignorance,
we did not know
pollution, stress, traffic jams
destruction of forests, streams and
hills
we feared God and nature
now nature fears you and
money is your new God.

by SHANmugalingam

 

  1. What can you infer from the line Grand child we lived before your age?

_______________________________________________________

 

  1. Explain why “Grand child” would find it difficult to live without modern inventions.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

 

Practice 7

 

I WONDER

I wonder why the grass is green,

And why the wind is never seen?

Who taught the birds to build a nest,

And told the trees to take a rest?

O, when the moon is not quite round,

Where can the missing bit be found?

Who lights the stars, when they blow out,

And makes the lightning flash about?

Who paints the rainbow in the sky,

And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

Why is it now, do you suppose,

That Dad won’t tell me, if he knows?

Jeannie Kirby

 

 

  1. Who is the speaker relating the events to?

 

___________________________________________________________

 

  1. (a) What is the half moon seen as?

 

___________________________________________________________

 

(b) The poem somehow portrays the thinking of a child. Describe the characteristics of the child.

 

__________________________________________________________

 

__________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 8

 

 

Heir Conditioning
Grand dad did you breathe
before air cons were invented?
was it hard staying
alive without modern inventions?
Grandma weren’t you flustered
as you fluttered with paper fans?
could you communicate before
faxes and long distance calls
became basic necessities?

Grandchild we lived
before your age. Because
of our ignorance,
we did not know
pollution, stress, traffic jams
destruction of forests, streams and
hills
we feared God and nature
now nature fears you and
money is your new God.

by SHANmugalingam

 

 

  1. What is the tone of the poem?

 

____________________________________________________

 

  1. (a) Who is the persona in the second stanza?

 

____________________________________________________

 

(b)    How does the poet view modernization?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

 

 

Practice 9

 

I WONDER

I wonder why the grass is green,

And why the wind is never seen?

Who taught the birds to build a nest,

And told the trees to take a rest?

O, when the moon is not quite round,

Where can the missing bit be found?

Who lights the stars, when they blow out,

And makes the lightning flash about?

Who paints the rainbow in the sky,

And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

Why is it now, do you suppose,

That Dad won’t tell me, if he knows?

Jeannie Kirby

 

  1. Identify a phrase/line that shows human characteristics in non living things?

 

______________________________________________________________

 

  1. (a) What is the mood of the poem?

 

______________________________________________________________

 

(b) What is the poem about?

______________________________________________________________

 

_______________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 10

 

 

Heir Conditioning’ (stanza 1)

Grand dad did you breathe
before air cons were invented?
was it hard staying
alive without modern inventions?
Grandma weren’t you flustered
as you fluttered with paper fans?
could you communicate before
faxes and long distance calls
became basic necessities?

by SHANmugalingam

 

 

  1. Based on stanza 1, list two things that the grandparents did not have.

 

____________________________________________________

 

  1. (a) What is another word which sounds similar to the title?

 

____________________________________________________

 

(b)What does the title suggests? Briefly explain as you understand it.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

 

ANSWERS;

Practice 1

  1. A young child
  2. (a) No, they are not human

(b) Wind is not blowing to make the leaves sway or move.

Practice 2

  1. pollution, stress, traffic jams
    destruction of forests, streams and
    hills
  2. The title of the poem “Heir Conditioning” suggests about the conditioning of the minds of the younger generation who are so dependent on modern inventions in their daily life. Their minds are so tuned/conditioned to having modern inventions to manage their daily life that to them it may seem impossible to live without these inventions.

 

 

Practice 3

  1. Why the grass is green/ why the wind is never seen/who taught the birds to build a nest/
  2. We must always be resourceful and independent in enriching our world of knowledge. As for example, by being inquisitive and asking people around us and taking the initiative to read to broaden our horizon!

 

Practice 4

  1. The poet expresses his concern that though there is progress with modern inventions, man is regressing.  If modern amenities and development are there to give us comfort, easy access and a better lifestyle, how come we have to deal with calamities and problems like stress and traffic jams?
  2. The poet is trying to impart the message that modernization should be a gradual process and  that mankind should not be overly dependent or taken up with new inventions that could  lead to the destruction of the environment.

 

Practice 5

  1. Flash
  2. (a) curious child who seeks for answers to questions about the wonders of life and nature.

(b) Towards the end of the poem, she is annoyed as her father fails to answer her questions.

 

 

 

Practice 6

  1. The grandparent explains that he/she lived a longer life(before your age)
  2. The grandchild’s questions seem naive, childlike and amusing when the grandchild asks grandparents how they could actually live without modern inventions such as air conditioners, fans, and fax machines. It is as though without these inventions, the older generations seemed to have suffered living.

Practice 7

  1. The persona himself/herself
  2. (a) incomplete puzzle

(b) In this poem, the persona is a child who is enthusiastic in exploring the nature. The inspiring curiosity within the child himself leads him to learn more about the miracles of nature. He seems to appreciate every detail of the world and he wants to know how such things happen

Practice 8

  1. The poem is light yet punctuated with irony and scarsm.
  2. (a) The grandfather

(b) Here, he is speaking very strongly from a personal point of view. He uses “we” to show that the older generation lived a rich and peaceful life. They were spared from living in a polluted world as they were not dependent on modern gadget.

Practice 9

  1. the trees to take a rest
  2. (a) the tone of the poem is informal, easy and relaxed.

(b) The poem shows that our beautiful world is so big and mysterious and that there are so many unanswered questions. But we always try and look for ways to find out the answers to all of our questions.

 

Practice 10

  1. Electric fan, telephone.
  2. (a) air conditioning

(b) The poet is deeply conscious of the fact that the new generation are ‘heirs’ to a future world doomed by the conditioning need for development and modern gadgets.