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Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 11th English Solutions Poem Chapter 2 Confessions of A Born Spectator
Not everybody loves to play and participate in games, sports and other extra-curricular activities. Some of us wish to be mere spectators. List out the activities in which you like to be either a performer or a spectator. Share your views with the class.
|performer / player
|spectator / audience
|performer / player
|spectator / audience
Samacheer Kalvi 11th English Confessions of A Born Spectator Textual Questions
1. Based on your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions in a sentence or two.
One infant grows up and becomes a jockey,
Another plays basketball or hockey,
This one the prize ring hates to enter
That one becomes a tackle or center,
I am just glad as glad can be
That I am not them, that they are not me.
With all my heart I do admire
Athletes who sweat for fun or hire,
Who take the field in gaudy pomp,
And maim each other as they romp,
My limp and bashful spirit feeds
On other people’s heroic deeds.
Now A runs ninety yards to score,
B knocks the champion to the floor,
Cracking vertebrae and spines,
Lashes his steed across the line,
You’d think my ego it would please
To swap positions with one of these.
Well, ego it might be pleased enough,
But zealous athletes play so rough
They do not ever in their dealings
Consider one another’s feelings.
I’m glad that when my struggle begins
‘Twixt prudence and ego, prudence wins.
When swollen eye meets gnarled fist
When snaps the knee, and cracks the wrist,
When officialdom demands,
Is there a doctor in the stands?
My soul in true thanksgiving speaks
For this modest of physiques.
“Athletes, I’ll drink to you
Or eat with you,
Or anything except compete with you,
Buy tickets worth their radium,
To watch you gambol in the stadium,
And reassure me anew
That you are not me and I’m not you
Why does the poet feel glad that he does not play any game?
The poet feels glad that he does not play any game as he doesn’t like to get injured by playing games.
Do you think the narrator is heroic? Why?
I don’t think the narrator/poet is heroic. A Hero is one who confronts any challenge and acts on it and fights to the end. The narrator is happy as a non-participant observer of heroic and rough games.
The poet is satisfied just watching the heroic deeds of others. What could be the reason?
He satisfies his desire of playing by watching the heroic deeds of others.
The poet does not wish to exchange position with the runners. Why?
The poet does not wish to break any world record in running. He knows that athletes have no feelings for their fellow players. So, the poet does not want to exchange positions with the runners.
Are the athletes conscious of the feelings of others? Why do you say so?
No, when they play with an enthusiasm to win they are conscious of their victory alone and not of the feelings of others.
Why would the referee ask whether there was a doctor in the stands? What stands is he referring to?
When boxing contests go on, one tries to crack the wrist or snap the knee of the other boxer. When such an event takes place, a referee asks for a doctor to provide First Aid to the fatally wounded wrestler/boxer. The stands refer to the boxing ring.
Why does the poet prefer to buy tickets worth their weight in radium? Bring out the significance of the metal referred to here.
As the athletes risk their life the poet prefers to buy tickets worth their weight in radium. The metal radium is more active and costly. The athletes are also very active in their playfield. So the poet is ready to buy tickets even if it is costly.
2. Read the poem again and complete the summary using the words given in the box.
(thanksgiving, exchange, glad, confesses, physiques, zealous, satisfied, aims, admires)
In the poem ‘Confessions of a Born Spectator,’ Ogden Nash talks about how people choose different sports in their lives or decide to become athletes. While admiring the talents of athletes and sportsmen, the poet (i) ________ that he is glad that he is neither a sportsman nor an athlete. Children have different (ii) ________ and wish to play various games. Each child has in mind something in particular, but the narrator is (iii) ________ he is not one of the players. Though the narrator (iv) ________ the talents of all athletes, he derives satisfaction from watching them,’ but does not wish to (v) ________ places with them. He also sometimes regrets that (vi) ________ athletes play rough games without caring for the feelings of their sporting rivals. He feels that good sense and caution win over ego. The narrator wholeheartedly offers (vii) ________ the modest (viii) ________ of athletes. Ultimately the narrator is (ix) ________ that he himself is not an athlete.
3. Read the poem and answer the following in a short paragraph of 8-10 sentences each.
Row does the poet establish the victory of common sense over ego?
The poet is sure of his limitations. He had only modest of physiques. He can’t imagine receiving blows in a boxer’s ring. He has seen zealous athletes playing so rough that they never consider the feelings of fellow players. They are insensitive to the cracking wrist and snapping knees of fellows players. When his ego and prudence clashed, ego told him to seek glory in sports, but his presence always ignored it. Thus common sense prevailed. He remained a cheerful lifetime fan. He was contented as a spectator of all kinds of games and sports and world-famous athletes.
The poet does not wish to exchange places with the athletes. How does he justify his view?
In the very first stanza, the poet admits that right from his boyhood days, he was glad to watch others play all kinds of games including boxing. He was glad that he was not one of them. His limp and bashful spirit feeds on the heroism of other players. He watches with a palpitating heart when ‘A’ runs ninety yards to bag a medal. He watches with obvious alarm when ‘B’ knocks another boxer down cracking his vertebrae and spines. The players maim each other. His ego would never be pleased to swap places with such popular players. He listens to the mention of prudence/common sense and refrains from hurting himself or others by not participating in any game whatsoever. Thus he justifies his view to continue as a spectator.
According to the poet, what contributes most to the injuries sustained by the athletes?
According to the poet, zealous athletes play so rough that they do not even consider one another’s feelings in their dealings with other players. The players are mostly goaded by prize money or glory from the media’s light on them. They maim each other as they romp. Cracking vertebrae and spines don’t stop the rough players. Most of the players don’t have sportsmanship. They don’t treat success and failure equally.
In order to get the light of fame on their face, they are ready to permanently disable a rival player too. The crazy desire for championship titles, the light of fame on them, leads them to ignore swollen eyes, snapping of knee joints or cracking of wrists. In short, the poet believes the apathy of zealous players and obvious indifference to the pain and debilitating injury contributes most to the injuries sustained by athletes.
4. Read the given lines and answer the questions that follow in a sentence or two.
(a) With all my heart I do admire
Athletes who sweat for fun or hire
Whom does the poet admire?
The poet admires athletes who play games.
For what reasons do the athletes sweat?
The athletes play and sweat for fun or money.
(b) Well, ego it might be pleased enough
But zealous athletes play so rough.
What pleases the ego?
When players outsmart their opponents and crack their vertebrae and spine, the ego is pleased.
Why are athletes often rough during play?
Enthusiastic athletes, in a bid to impress umpires and the spectators, play roughly. Besides, they have no feelings for their opponents in the ring/playground.
(c) When officialdom demands
Is there a doctor in the stands?
Why are doctors called from stands by the sponsors?
The doctors are called from the stands by the sponsors to attend to a badly hurt and bleeding athlete.
Why does the poet make such an observation?
The poet does not wish to swap places with either heroes or victims of brutal sports. So, he makes this remark. ,
(d) When snaps the knee and cracks the wrist.
Identify and explain the use of the literary device in this line.
Onomatopoeia is used here.
5. A. Explain the following with reference to the context in about 50-60 words each.
I am just glad as glad can be
That I am not them, that they are not me…
Reference: The poet Ogden Nash says these words in the poem “Confession of a Bom Spectator’
Context: While discussing the athletes he admires, the poet says these words. Explanation: The poet was a bom spectator. Right from his boyhood, he had seen boys aspire for sports championships. He had wondered at their ability to specialize in horse riding, to play hockey or basketball. He had seen young ones trying to play center in football or be a tackle or offender in a game like kabaddi. But he has been absolutely glad that he is not them and they are not him.
Comment: Ogden Nash shows his contentment to be a spectator.
They do not ever in their dealings
Consider one another’s feelings…
Reference: The poet Ogden Nash says these words in the poem “Confessions of a Bom Spectator”.
Context: The poet says these words while highlighting the callous indifference of players to the pain and injuries of fellow players.
Explanation: Every player considers the player in the opposite team as a deadly rival. He looks for an opportunity. We do find hockey players hitting good players on the ankle with the stick to prevent them from playing great shots. Bowlers try to hit the body of the batsman with the ball. They don’t seem to notice cracking wrists and snapping knees as their focus is only on victory and glory! In short, the players do not have feelings for the fellow players.
Comment: The poet brings out the attitude of zealous players.
Athletes, I’ll drink to you,
Or eat with you,
Or anything except competing with you…
Reference: These words are from the poem “Confessions of a Bom Spectator” written by Ogden Nash.
Context: The poet says these while contemplating the probability of swapping places with them.
Explanation: The poet has a limp and bashful spirit which feeds on other people’s heroic deeds. The zealous players maim one another to win laurels. The thrill and excitement of all kinds of sports and games please the poet but he is wise enough to stay out and be a spectator because he has modest physiques. He admits he would rather share a drink with them in a pub or dine with them in a restaurant. He is even ready to buy the most expensive tickets, as expensive as radium, to see them play the rough games but never compete with them.
Comment: The poet shows his happiness to treat them with a costly drink since he enjoys being a spectator.
B. Read the poem and complete the table with suitable rhyming words.
C. Underline the alliterated words in the following lines.
For this most modest physiques…
They do not ever in their dealings…
D. Find out the rhyme scheme of the given stanza.
One infant grows up and becomes a jockey
Another plays basketball or hockey
This one the prize ring hates to enter
That one becomes a tackle or center…
6. First, read the following statements. Then, listen to the passage read aloud by your teacher or played on the recorder and answer the questions that follow. You may listen to it again if required.
(For listening to the passage refer to our website www.fullcircleeducation.iri)
Tejaswini Sawant is an Indian shooter from the Maharashtrian city of Kolhapur. Her father Ravinder Sawant was an officer in the Indian Navy. Tejaswini represented India in 2004 at the 9th South Asian Sports Federation Games. She, in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, won one gold medal in Women’s 10m Air Rifle Singles and Women’s 10m Air Rifle pairs. In 2009, in the 50m Rifle 3 positions, she won a bronze and in 2010 she became a world champion in 50m Rifle Prone game held in Germany. In the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she won one bronze and two silver medals in the women’s 50m Rifle Prone Pairs, the Women’s 50m Rifle Prone Singles and the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 positions respectively. Tejaswini was the first Indian shooter to win a Gold medal at the world championship in 50m Rifle Prone Game.
Choose the most appropriate option and complete the sentences.
Tejaswini Sawant is an Indian _________
She represented India at the 9th Squth Asian Sports Federation Games in _________
In 2006, she won a Gold medal in the _________ Games.
(a) Commonwealth Games
(a) Commonwealth Games
She became a world champion in the 50 m Rifle Prone game held in _________
Tejaswini was the first Indian woman shooter to win a _________ medal at the World Championship in the 50m rifle prone game.
7. Work with your partner. Discuss and share your ideas with the class.
Tell the class about your ambition in life and the way you are working towards achieving your goal.
A respected teacher and my dear friends.
“If music is the food of love play on,” says Orsino in Shakespeare’s most famous play, “Twelfth Night”. I heard the melodious lullaby my mom used to sing when I was a baby in the cradle. I am told I had stayed awake long hours to listen to my mom’s charming voice. Most of my family members are passionately in love with music. They keep murmuring some classical song or Gajal even while mopping the floor or cutting vegetables. Unlike other parents, my parents never asked me if I wanted to become a doctor or engineer. They just let me be.
Just like thirsty people gravitating towards water cooler in summer, I just listened to songs and enjoyed them. I can never recall which point of time I decided to make a career in music. It just happened like falling in love. I started practicing music first with my family members. Then I wanted to learn from a master. My mom took me to my uncle Varadhacharya for my classical music lessons. He initiated me into the dream world of ragas and helped me identify the names of ragas. He took me to music concerts where the world’s best musicians sang and played both classical and western music. As music has no language, I listen to all kinds of songs. I’ve decided to become a musician by profession. I am now lemming to play keyboard
A.R. Rahman master’s music school for free. I love to pursue music because it would be nice to do what you love most and be paid fabulously for it. Dear friends, listen to the call of your heart and pursue your career. Please wish me good luck for my career. I wish you all great careers in your life after school.
I thank the Headmaster, Principal for giving me this opportunity to share my dream career with you all.
Your friend competes with you in academics and sports. Think of the situation wherein you would not be affected by his/her victory and the ways in which you would encourage your friend to succeed.
My friend Tharun and Kavin are in the same class from Std II. We have many things in common which naturally brought us together. He is good at Mathematics but I am good at languages. He is an all-rounder in cricket. But I can bat well and do some fielding too. My Mathematics teacher Mr. Selvaraj always remembers to compliment Tharun and snub me whenever test papers are distributed. But my English teacher Miss Sangeetha is a balanced person. She does appreciate creative writing but never snubs anyone. She has something nice to say to everyone. It was in one such class she gave me and Tharun a joint project.
We were asked to interview people living at the border struggling to eke out a living. This joint project eradicated the ego in us. We saw life afresh. We, for the first time, felt grateful to our parents for taking care of us and meeting our needs much above their capacity. Afterward, I derived pleasure in the centuries hit. He raved over the catches I had made in the field or the occasional sixes I had hit. Now we have become family friends. I go to his home to learn my math and he comes to my home when a difficult English assignment is there. As we celebrate one another’s success in both academics and sports, the occasional jealousy that used to crop between us is buried once for all. When you enjoy others’ success and share their joy and when you have a friend who is happy for you, there is a feeling that life is wonderful.
8. Answer the following questions in a short paragraph of about 100-150 words each. You may add your own ideas to support your point of view.
Why do accidents usually happen in the playground? Give your own examples and explain.
Accidents happen in the field. Once a pole vault champion was in the mid-air. The pole he was ‘ using to jump suddenly snapped. More than 3.5 million children in the age group .of 5-14 years get hurt annually playing sports or participating in some recreating activity. In rough games such as football, children even get brain injuries. Such accidents happen because athletes who involve in brave acts throw caution to the winds and do a dare-devil adventures like skiing in deadly valleys and mountain tops.
Fencing causes sword injury. In Tamil Nadu, a boy lost his eye sight, due to an accident in fencing. Boxing is the worst game which evinces the damages to chin, skull, jaws, etc. Muhammad Ali the legendary boxer, made holes in the skull of an opponent boxer with his technical hits. Jallikattu sports, causes fatal injuries. I have seen young men gored to death by charging bulls. Ankle gets sprained when a long jumper lands on sand in an awkward manner. Chronic injuries are caused when sportsman over stretch their muscles. Some athletes in my class went for 400 m dash without any practice. Just before the finish line, they had cramps and fell down with great pain. If one decides to become a sport person he must do regular practice to avoid or overcome sports injuries.
Everybody is special and everybody is a hero. Each one has a story to tell. In light of this observation, present your views.
God creates everyone to become ‘somebody’. Each scar can be turned into a star. Human beings are unique. Each has a talent that is unique. Like billions of snowflakes, we have children with diverse capacities and abilities. Anita was bom in a poor family. Her parents did not want her to continue her studies. She went on a fast for three days and made her parents agree to her high school education. She attended some training sessions on beekeeping. She found swarms of bees approaching litchi trees. She gave private tuition to village children and started her beekeeping business. Within a few years, there was a huge demand for honey from Anitha. She not only made money for her family, she taught girls of her village to learn to do beekeeping. Initially, it was not an easy job. She was stung many times. She went to school with swollen faces and was mocked at for doing a man’s job. But she did succeed. Later on, she became the Panchayat president and did many good things.
Now Anitha’s life story is in NCERT textbooks. Similarly, Sakshi Malik won the first medal in a wrestling match for medal-hungry India. It was Sindhu who brought laurels to India by winning the world title in badminton. Even Mary Kom who got five times gold medal for boxing was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened “Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation” in Imphal, Manipur. She did not even have enough money to attend her first international boxing contest in USA; Lai Bahadur Shastri, who was our former Prime Minister, had no money to travel by boat to his school. It cost one rupee those days. He used to keep all his school uniform and the books in a bag, keep it above his head and swim with one hand across Ganga every day to school. He was very short in appearance. When a foreign delegate asked him if he was not embarrassed as he was puny in size.
He laughed and said, “Why should I? Every other leader has to bow and talk to me. It is honoring me in fact.” People irrespective of their economic backgrounds do succeed. Stephen Hawkins after being declared that he suffered from a debilitating paralytic attack asked his doctors if his brain was okay. That feeling made him the most powerful scientist in the world. He was called the living Einstein. He wrote the book, “the brief history of time”. Contrary to the predictions of doctors, he lived upto 73 and died. He is a role model for all differently-abled persons in the world. When everything is lost hope remains. I agree that everybody is special and a hero. This applies to rickshaw pullers and the Prime Minister of the country, to the Pakora salesman and IT giants. All are humans and each one has a special skill. Let us respect everyone.
Would you like to exchange your place with someone else? Why / why not?
Yes, I would like to exchange my place with Donald Trump, the American President. After he won the presidency he has created a cold war between many ethnic minorities and Americans. His policies against emigrants have made him. very unpopular. His stand against Muslims seeking a visa for studies or even Short stay draw a lot of criticism among Americans who believe in liberty, equality, and justice. If I were permitted to swap places with Trump, I will liberate the laws that permit Indian citizens to enter America to pursue post-graduate studies or seek jobs corresponding to their skill sets. I could also liberalise the emigration policy without. hurting the harmonious co-existence of many races.
I would not exchange my position with the RBI Governor. His position now is the most worrisome. On the one hand, media is persuading the poorest of the poor to do all transactions through Rupay or BHIM App. Middle-class people pay their taxes very honestly. But Business magnets take loans to the tune of 5000 crores and just escape to foreign countries. If the centralized monitoring of nationalized banks is not done effectively, why should the large hardworking middle-class trust nationalized banks: we can’t trust RBI which has failed in restoring, the faith of the common man.
What sort of encouragement should an athlete in India be given? Give a few suggestions.
An athlete should get flexible schooling hours. He must be given free Boarding and lodging. The food he gets should be free but not free from quality. He must be given opportunities to attend meetings or listen to the videos of world’s best players in games and sports in which. he wishes to specialize. Those who hail from poor socio-economic background must be given sports shoes and uniforms and their travel expenses must be borne by either government or government approved sponsors.
Rural sports centre must be established at the district headquarters in every district. National level and international champions should interact with budding players once in six months. This would motivate young players to a great extent. A sports village could be designed in every district headquarter to nurture talents identified at a young age. “Many a flower is bom to blush unseen and waste its fragrance in the desert air”. To avoid such a thing, government must spend 2% of its GDP for developing sports culture among all children. Every school must have a playground and a skilled physical education teacher too.
You are the School Pupil Leader. Mention some qualities that can be drawn from the field of sports to improve your leadership skills.
A school pupil leader should be a role model. He should coach and lead his team. He should give appropriate counsel to the weak members. He should appreciate genuine efforts even if it doesn’t fetch results. He should encourage enjoyment of the work rather than success. Victory and failure should be treated with composure and equanimity mind.
He must nurture positive thoughts among young ones. He should inform the young ones, “No battle is lost until it is fought”. If one has courage, persistence and team spirit, one can definitely succeed. One has to fix realistic goals for the team and offer support for the team to achieve it.
Confessions of A Born Spectator About the Poet
Ogden Nash was an American poet well known for his Sight verse. He wrote 500 poems. His first collection of poems. Hard Lines was published in 1931 It was a tremendous success. Ogden Nash was a keen observer of American social life and mocked religious moralizing and conservative politicians. The unconventional rhyme schemes he employed in his poems earned him nation-wide reputation. His face was given a space in postage stamp. The humour interwoven in his poems has endeared him to the masses. ‘Confessions of a Bom Spectator’ is spiced with light humour
Confessions of A Born Spectator Summary
Different children have different aspirations. One becomes a jockey and trains race horses. Another becomes a football/liockey player. But the poet hates to enter the ring as a boxer. One can be defender or tackier or center. The poet is glad he is not one of the players and they are not him. Though he admires the pomp and show, he detests the brutality evident in the injuries inflicted on the players. The poet admires athletes who maim each other as they romp. Zealous admirers play rough and beat one another. In a bid to win laurels they are least bothered about others’ pain. When an athlete is badly hurt, the voice seeking a doctor is respected by the poet. The poet admits his readiness to share a drink with the players and buy tickets as expensive as radium just to ensure he is just a spectator and not players.
Confessions of A Born Spectator Glossary
bashful – shy and reluctant
drink to you. – drink to wish good luck or celebrate success
gaudy pomp – showy dress
gambol – run or jump happily
gnarled – rough and twisted
jockey -horse rider
lashes – beats with a whip
limp – weak
maim – injure
prize ring – enclosed area in which boxing matches are fought
prudence – wisdom
romp – play in a rough and noisy way
steed – a large, strong horse
swap – exchange
tackle – approach
zealous – enthusiastic
admire – praise
bashful – shy
demands – expects
ego – over estimate of one self
modest – humble
worth – value