A Legend of the Northland (Poem) |
Thinking about the Poem
Question 1. Which country or countries do you think “the Northland” refers to?
Answer Northland refers to chilly regions of the world, especially located on the Earth’s northern polar region. Countries in these regions include Norway, Canada, Greenland etc.
Question 2. What did Saint Peter ask the old lady for? What was the lady’s reaction?
Answer Saint Peter asked for a baked cake from the old lady to satisfy his hunger. The lady did not refuse and tried to bake a small cake for him.
Question 3. How did he punish her?
Answer The saint got angry when the lady presented him with a small cake. The lady was punished by being changed into a woodpecker that built “as birds do” and gathered scanty food by boring in the “hard, dry wood” all day long.
Question 4. How does the woodpecker get her food?
Answer By boring holes into the trees, the woodpecker gets her food.
Question 5. Do you think that the old lady would have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was? What would she have done then?
Answer No, the old lady would have been so ungenerous if she had known who Saint Peter really was. If she would have known he was a saint, she would have given generously to please him and get his blessing.
Question 6. Is this a true story? Which part of this poem do you feel is the most important?
Answer The poem is a legend and isn’t a true story. The part where the lady changes into a woodpecker is important since it teaches us the value of generosity and being caring and charitable. We shouldn’t judge a person based on their looks and give as much as possible
Question 7. What is a legend? Why is this poem called a legend?
Answer A legend is a story from ancient times about people and events. They don’t have a scientific explanation for the tales but are mythological. It has a message or moral. The poet starts by saying that he doesn’t believe in the tale but finds the message enriching. This legend teaches us generosity towards other fellow beings.
Question 8. Write the story of ‘A Legend of the Northland’ in about ten sentences.
Answer The poem is a story of an old women who baked cakes, was knocked by Saint Peter. He was hungry and weak after fasting for a day and wanted the lady to satisfy his hunger. He asked the lady to serve him one of the cakes in her store. The lady was selfish and didn’t want to give a bigger cake to the saint. She baked smaller cakes multiple times for her but every time they were big enough for her to give. At last, she finally baked a cake as thin as a wafer but her inner consciousness wasn’t ready to part with it either. The saint got infuriated with her behaviour and changed her into a woodpecker. She would have to bore into the rigid wood of the trees to build a nest to live in. The legend says that the bird still lives today in the woods.
Question 1. Let’s look at the words at the end of the second and fourth lines, viz., ‘snows’ and ‘clothes’, ‘true’ and ‘you’, ‘below’ and ‘know.’ We find that ‘snows’ rhymes with ‘clothes’, ‘true’ rhymes with ‘you’ and ‘below’ rhymes with ‘know’.
Find more such rhyming words.
Answer The few rhyming words are :
‘Few’ and ‘through’
‘Earth’ and ‘hearth’
‘Done’ and ‘one’
‘Lay’ and ‘away’
‘One’ and ‘done’
‘Flat’ and ‘that’
Myself and ‘shelf’
‘Faint’ and ‘saint’
‘Form’ and ‘warm’
‘Food’ and ‘wood’
‘Word’ and ‘bird’
‘Same’ and ‘flame’
‘Wood’ and ‘food’
Question 2. Go to the local library or talk to older persons in your locality and find legends in your own language. Tell the class these legends.
Answer There was a nymph called Echo that talked a lot. There was a great Juno and Echo because of her nature, she spoke rudely to him. Juno punished her and changed her to a mere parrot. She could only repeat what others would have said. Echo lost her nature and hid herself in the forest because she was ashamed of herself.
Once she was seen by Narcissus, a young gentleman with golden locks, who was searching for his friends in a forest. While following the voice he saw Echo, instead of his friends and walked away quickly. Since that day, Echo never came out of the forest again and became a mere voice. It always has the tone of a mourning individual and is only heard in lonely places and deep forests.