Friday 18 December 2020

True Growth


True Growth



It is not growing like a tree

In bulk, doth make man better be

Or standing long as an oak, three hundred years

To fall a log at last, dry, bald and sere.

A Lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,

Although it fall and die that night

It was the plant and flower of Light.

In small proportions we just beauty see

And in short measures life may perfect be.

– Ben Jonson




New Words / Phrases and their Use


1. bulk (large size or volume) – It is always cheaper to buy in bulk.


2. bald (leafless or hairless) – Men usually go bald in their old age.


3. at last (in the end, finally) – Thank God, we are home at last.


4. sere (dried up, decayed) – Who would care for a poor sere old man?


5. proportion (relative size or extent) – Water covers a large proportion of the earth’s surface.



Comprehension and Appreciation of the Poem

I. Below is given the central idea of the poem. Choose a suitable word from the box to fill in each blank:




















This poem deep has a meaning. In it the poet says that a                  

short life of beauty and perfection far better than a

 long but useless life. An oak lives for three hundred years.

At last it falls down as a leafless and useless log of wood.

 On the other hand, a lily lives only for a day. It has a very short life. But it lives a life of perfection. It gives joy to the beholder. The poet

says that the short life of a lily is far better than the

long life of an oak. Life can be perfect and beautiful

in short measures also.





II. Explain the meaning of the last two lines of the poem.


Ans. The last two lines mean that even a short life can be perfect and beautiful. Perfection does not lie in long life but a useful life.


III. Find in the poem all the rhyming pairs of words, as – tree and be.

Ans. a. years-sere

b. day-may

c. night-light

d. see-be



IV. Write true (T) or false (F) against each statement:


1. To be perfect, one must have a long life.  False


2. An oak tree lives for three hundred years.  True


3. Mere long life does not make a man great. True


4. Real beauty can’t be seen in small sized objects. False


5. It is the quality of life that matters, not the length of life. True