Strange Meeting By Emily Elizabeth Dickinson is a beautiful Poetry of AHSEC Class 12 Alternative English (Harmony: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry) Poetry Chapter 3. Here you will find Brief Summary of the poem and a detailed Question Answer of Strange Meeting Question Answer with additional And Important Questions for Upcoming 2024 Examination.
About the Poet :
Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) is regarded as one of the greatest war poets of World War I. Much of his early poems were influenced by the Romantic poetry of Shelley and Keats. Siegfried Sassoon, a contemporary poet of Wilfred Owe encouraged him to apply his own experiences as a soldier and helped him developing his own unique style and voice as a war poet. Some of the central themes in his poetry include death, suffering, psychological trauma and the futility of war. His first collection of poetry titled Poems was published in 1920 two years after his death. Some of his most popular include 'Dulce Decorum Est', 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', 'Futility' and 'Strange Meeting Wilfred Owen died in action during the World War I on November 4, at the age of 25.
It seemed out of battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel,long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands, as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall,-
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
'Strange friend,' I said, 'here is no cause to mourn.'
'None,' said that other, 'save the undone years,
The Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also, I went hunting wild After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress.
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery:
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels,
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend. I knew you in this dark: for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now....
Wilfred Owen's poem 'Strange Meeting' provides a powerful insight into the psychological and emotional impact of war. It depicts a conversation between two dead soldiers who meet in the afterlife, after fighting on opposite sides during the World War I. The two soldiers meet in a dark, gloomy place described as a 'profound dull tunnel' and express the experiences they had on e battlefield. They lament the fact that so many young men lost their lives for senseless action. nss
The two soldiers, who had been fighting as enemies, later come to realise they share a common humanity and understand the need for peace d reconciliation. The poem also challenges the idea of borders and the erences that exist between nations and strongly expresses the need for ing a new world in which differences are celebrated and respected. the poem suggests that nations and borders create an artificial barrier that sides people and turn them into enemies. In its pursuit of war, civilisation moving away from progress and development, and the poem argues that he destruction and the devastation caused by the ravages of war have left behind a legacy of pain and despair. The line "I am the enemy you killed, my friend' is a poignant expression that highlights the senselessness of war, which pits individuals against each other and underscores the view that the division created by war is ultimately illusory. The last line of the poem "Let us sleep now... raises fundamental questions about the human condition, and thus, can be interpreted as a metaphor for the idea of death and a desire for peace and rest in the afterlife, which is the only way that offers freedom from the pain and anguish of war.
AHSEC Class 12 Alternative English Poetry Chapter: 3 - Strange Meeting
A. Answer these questions in few words.
1. Who is the speaker in 'Strange Meeting'?
Ans:- The speaker in 'Strange Meeting' is a soldier who has died in World War I.
2. When did the speaker realise that he was in hell?
Ans:- The speaker realizes that he is in hell when the other soldier he encounters in the underworld smiles with a "dead smile," revealing the true nature of their surroundings.
3. What does the poet mean by 'chariot wheels'?
Ans:- The poet's reference to "chariot wheels" symbolizes the destructive force of war. It suggests the vehicles of war, such as tanks or artillery, which have become clogged with bloodshed.
4. What does the speaker discover in the underworld?
Ans:- In the underworld, the speaker discovers a fellow soldier, his former enemy, whom he had killed in battle. This encounter leads to a deeper understanding of the shared humanity and the futility of war.
B. Answer these questions in a few words each.
1. What do you mean by war poetry?
Ans:- 1. War poetry refers to poetry that focuses on the experiences, emotions, and consequences of war. It often reflects the realities of warfare, the psychological and emotional impact on soldiers, and critiques the futility and devastation of war.
2. What are the poetic devices often used by Wilfred Owen in his poems?
Ans:- Wilfred Owen frequently used poetic devices such as imagery, simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, and onomatopoeia in his poems. These devices enhance the vividness and emotional impact of his descriptions, allowing readers to engage with the horrors and experiences of war.
3. Why is the meeting between the two soldiers called a 'strange meeting'?
Ans:- The meeting between the two soldiers is called a 'strange meeting' because it takes place in the afterlife, where enemies become companions and realize their shared humanity. It is strange because in life they were on opposite sides, fighting each other, but in death, they find understanding, empathy, and the futility of their conflict.
4. What does the poet mean by "titanic wars'?
Ans:- "Titanic wars" refers to the immense and colossal scale of the wars fought during World War I. The word "titanic" suggests the magnitude and intensity of the battles, implying that they were of monumental proportions, involving massive destruction and loss of life.
5. Let us sleep now. What does sleep signify in the poem?
Ans:- In the poem, the line "Let us sleep now" signifies a desire for peace and rest in the afterlife. Sleep symbolizes an escape from the pain, suffering, and horrors of war. It implies a longing for an end to the anguish and a hope for eternal peace, where the soldiers can finally find respite from the traumatic experiences they endured.
C. Answer these questions briefly in your own words.
1. What is the significance of the title 'Strange Meeting'?
Ans:- 1. The title 'Strange Meeting' holds significance as it encapsulates the unexpected encounter between two soldiers who were once enemies on the battlefield. The meeting is described as strange because it takes place in the afterlife, where boundaries and enmity are transcended. It emphasizes the irony and futility of war, where soldiers who were once pitted against each other find common ground and understanding.
2. Write a brief note on Wilfred Owen's representation of the underworld to explore the horrors of war in 'Strange Meeting
Ans:- In 'Strange Meeting,' Wilfred Owen represents the underworld as a dark, desolate place that serves as a metaphor for the horrors of war. The "profound dull tunnel" and the soldiers' description of it as a "sullen hall" or "Hell" conveys the bleakness and despair resulting from the violence and suffering of war. The underworld symbolizes the psychological and emotional aftermath of battle, where soldiers are trapped in a perpetual state of trauma and remorse.
3. 1 parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now..." What is the significance of the last two lines in "Strange Meeting?
Ans:- The significance of the last two lines in 'Strange Meeting' lies in their exploration of rest, peace, and escape from the pain of war. The line "I parried; but my hands were loath and cold" suggests that despite the soldier's attempt to defend himself, he was unwilling and unable to inflict harm on the other soldier. The final line "Let us sleep now..." can be interpreted as a desire for peace, reconciliation, and release from the torments of war. It reflects a longing for rest and respite from the anguish experienced on the battlefield.
4. How does 'Strange Meeting' challenge the traditional view of as noble and heroic?
Ans:- 'Strange Meeting' challenges the traditional view of war as noble and heroic by exposing the true horrors and futility of armed conflict. Owen's portrayal of the soldiers as victims rather than heroes highlights the senselessness and waste of human life in war. The poem emphasizes the psychological and emotional toll war takes on individuals, undermining the romanticized notions of bravery and honor associated with warfare. Through the meeting of the two soldiers from opposing sides, the poem conveys a message of compassion, unity, and the shared suffering of humanity, ultimately challenging the glorification of war and advocating for peace.
Answer these questions in detail.
1. Bring out the central idea of 'Strange Meeting'.
Ans:- The central idea of 'Strange Meeting' is to depict the devastating psychological and emotional impact of war and to highlight the futility and senselessness of conflicts. Through the encounter between two dead soldiers who were enemies on the battlefield, the poem explores the shared humanity and the common experiences of soldiers from opposing sides. The meeting in the afterlife allows them to transcend the barriers created by war and reflect on the tragic consequences of their actions.
The poem suggests that war separates individuals and nations, leading to a cycle of violence and destruction. The soldiers' realization that they were both victims of the war emphasizes the point that war is ultimately futile and that the division and enmity it creates are artificial. They express a desire for peace and reconciliation, acknowledging that the pursuit of war only leads to suffering and loss.
2. ... Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also: went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world...' How does the poet portray the hopelessness of war in "Strange Meeting'? Illustrate your answer in the context of the above lines.
Ans:- In the lines "Whatever hope is yours, / Was my life also, I went hunting wild / After the wildest beauty in the world...," the poet portrays the hopelessness of war by contrasting it with the pursuit of beauty and the enjoyment of life. The speaker reflects on the lost opportunities and unfulfilled dreams that war has robbed from them.
The phrase "Whatever hope is yours" suggests that any hopes and aspirations the soldiers had before the war are now irrelevant and unattainable. The line "I went hunting wild / After the wildest beauty in the world" expresses a longing for a vibrant and fulfilling life, a pursuit of something extraordinary and awe-inspiring. However, war has deprived them of these possibilities, leaving behind only sorrow and despair.
By juxtaposing the idea of hunting for beauty with the realities of war, the poet highlights the stark contrast between the human desire for a meaningful and joyful existence and the harsh reality of warfare. The poem conveys a sense of profound loss, as the soldiers' lives have been overshadowed by the violence and destruction of war, extinguishing their hopes and aspirations. This portrayal emphasizes the hopelessness and tragic consequences of war, reinforcing the central theme of the poem.
Most Important Additional Question Answer
Short Question Answer
1. What does the speaker mean by "the undone years"?
Ans:- The speaker refers to the lost potential and unfulfilled lives of the soldiers who died in the war, the years they could have lived if not for the conflict.
2. What is the central theme of "Strange Meeting"?
Ans:- The central theme of the poem is the devastating impact of war on individuals and the futility of violence and conflict.
3. How does the poem challenge the glorification of war?
Ans:- The poem challenges the glorification of war by depicting its true horrors and highlighting the senselessness of the violence and destruction it causes.
4. What is the significance of the line, "Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were"?
Ans:- This line suggests that the psychological and emotional wounds inflicted by war are just as significant as physical wounds, emphasizing the lasting trauma experienced by soldiers.
5. What does the encounter between the two soldiers symbolize?
Ans:- The encounter symbolizes the recognition of shared humanity and the breaking down of barriers created by war, highlighting the need for empathy and understanding.
6. How does the poem convey the idea of wasted potential?
Ans:- The poem conveys the idea of wasted potential through the mention of the "undone years" and the loss of lives that could have contributed positively to the world.
7. What is the effect of the dark and gloomy setting in the poem?
Ans:- The dark and gloomy setting contributes to the somber and haunting atmosphere, emphasizing the despair and hopelessness experienced by the soldiers.
8. How does the poem explore the concept of forgiveness?
Ans:- The poem explores the concept of forgiveness by presenting the encounter between the two soldiers as a moment of reconciliation and understanding, transcending the enmity of war.
9. What is the significance of the line, "Let us sleep now..."?
Ans:- This line suggests a longing for peace and rest, both in the afterlife and metaphorically as a desire to escape the horrors of war and find solace.
10. How does the poem challenge the notion of enemies?
Ans:: The poem challenges the notion of enemies by showing that even in war, individuals on opposing sides share a common humanity and can recognize the tragedy and pointlessness of their conflict.
Short Question Answer for 2 Marks
1. What is the tone of the poem "Strange Meeting"?
Ans: The tone of the poem "Strange Meeting" is somber, introspective, and mournful.
2. How does the poem explore the theme of empathy?
Ans: The poem explores the theme of empathy by depicting the meeting of two soldiers who were once enemies but now understand and empathize with each other's suffering and the senselessness of war.
3. What is the significance of the line "I am the enemy you killed, my friend"?
Ans: The line "I am the enemy you killed, my friend" highlights the irony and tragedy of war, emphasizing that in the afterlife, the division and enmity created by war dissolve, revealing the shared humanity and interconnectedness of individuals.
4. How does the poem challenge the glorification of war?
Ans: The poem challenges the glorification of war by presenting the harsh realities and psychological toll of battle, questioning the purpose and justification of conflicts, and expressing the futility and devastation caused by war.
5. What is the effect of the imagery used in the poem?
Ans: The imagery used in the poem creates vivid and haunting images that evoke the horrors of war and the desolate afterlife. It enhances the emotional impact of the poem and allows readers to visualize the experiences and landscapes described.
6. How does "Strange Meeting" reflect Wilfred Owen's personal experiences as a soldier?
Ans: "Strange Meeting" reflects Wilfred Owen's personal experiences as a soldier by depicting the psychological trauma and disillusionment he faced during the war. It draws upon his firsthand knowledge of the battlefield and conveys the deep empathy he felt towards his fellow soldiers.
7. What is the significance of the title "Strange Meeting"?
Ans: The title "Strange Meeting" suggests the unexpected and unconventional nature of the encounter between the two soldiers. It emphasizes the strangeness of finding understanding and commonality in the midst of war and highlights the transformative power of human connection.
8. How does the poem convey the message of anti-war sentiment?
Ans: The poem conveys the message of anti-war sentiment by portraying the devastating consequences of war, questioning its purpose and value, and emphasizing the need for peace and reconciliation. It seeks to evoke empathy and encourage a critical examination of the human cost of conflict.
9. How does Wilfred Owen's use of language contribute to the overall impact of the poem?
Ans: Wilfred Owen's use of vivid and evocative language, including powerful imagery and poignant metaphors, intensifies the emotional impact of the poem. It engages the senses and allows readers to empathize with the soldiers' experiences, making the anti-war message more resonant.
10. What is the central message or theme of "Strange Meeting"?
Ans: The central message or theme of "Strange Meeting" is the futility and devastation of war, the shared humanity of individuals on opposing sides, and the need for understanding, empathy, and peace.
Long Question Answer for 5 marks
1. How does Wilfred Owen's background as a soldier influence his poetry?
Ans:- Wilfred Owen's experiences as a soldier greatly influenced his poetry. Being directly involved in the horrors of World War I, Owen witnessed the devastating effects of warfare, including death, suffering, and psychological trauma. His first-hand experiences allowed him to capture the brutal reality of war and convey its impact on the human condition. Owen's poetry reflects his deep empathy for the soldiers and his condemnation of the futility and senselessness of war.
2. What are some common themes in Wilfred Owen's poetry besides war?
Ans:- While war is a predominant theme in Wilfred Owen's poetry, he also explores other themes. These include the human condition, the nature of sacrifice, the disillusionment with traditional beliefs and institutions, and the psychological effects of trauma. Owen often delves into the concepts of pity, suffering, and the loss of innocence. His poems also touch upon the contrast between the harsh realities of war and the idealized notions of heroism and honor.
3. How does Wilfred Owen challenge the romanticized perception of war in his poetry?
Ans:- Wilfred Owen challenges the romanticized perception of war by presenting the raw and brutal realities of combat. He portrays war as a destructive force that dehumanizes individuals, inflicts immense suffering, and causes profound psychological damage. Owen's graphic imagery, vivid descriptions, and personal accounts strip away any notions of glory and heroism, revealing the true horror and futility of war. His poetry seeks to undermine the idealized narratives of warfare and expose the devastating consequences it has on humanity.
4. What impact did Wilfred Owen's poetry have on the perception of war?
Ans:- Wilfred Owen's poetry had a significant impact on the perception of war. His honest and poignant portrayal of the harsh realities of combat challenged the prevailing romanticized notions of war prevalent during his time. Owen's works exposed the horrors and psychological toll of warfare, influencing public opinion and challenging the glorification of war. His poetry contributed to a shift in understanding, emphasizing the need for empathy, compassion, and the pursuit of peace. Today, Owen is regarded as one of the most influential war poets, and his works continue to shape the perception of war.
5. How does Wilfred Owen use imagery in "Strange Meeting" to convey the psychological impact of war?
Ans:- In "Strange Meeting," Wilfred Owen employs vivid imagery to depict the psychological impact of war. For example, the description of the soldiers meeting in a "profound dull tunnel" and the reference to the place as a "sullen hall" or "Hell" creates a dark and oppressive atmosphere. The use of sensory details, such as the soldiers' "distressful hands" and the visual image of their "fixed eyes," helps to convey the depth of their trauma and suffering. Owen's skillful use of imagery allows readers to viscerally experience the psychological horrors of war.
6. How does the structure of "Strange Meeting" contribute to its overall meaning?
Ans:- The structure of "Strange Meeting" plays a significant role in conveying its meaning. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, a traditional poetic form, which gives it a rhythmic and lyrical quality. This formal structure contrasts with the chaotic and brutal subject matter of war, emphasizing the jarring juxtaposition between the beauty of language and the horrors being described. Additionally, the use of enjambment, where lines run into each other without punctuation, creates a sense of continuity and fluidity, mirroring the eternal nature of the soldiers' suffering and the ongoing consequences of war.
7. What is the significance of the dialogue between the two soldiers in "Strange Meeting"?
Ans:- The dialogue between the two soldiers in "Strange Meeting" serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it highlights the shared humanity and experiences of soldiers on opposing sides of the war, emphasizing the futility of their conflict. Through their conversation, the soldiers come to realize that they are victims of a greater tragedy and express a mutual desire for peace and understanding. The dialogue also allows Wilfred Owen to convey his anti-war message more directly, as the soldiers reflect on the senselessness and pity of war. Overall, the dialogue deepens the emotional impact of the poem and reinforces its themes of unity, compassion, and the devastating consequences of war.
8. How does "Strange Meeting" reflect Wilfred Owen's personal experiences in World War I?
Ans:- "Strange Meeting" reflects Wilfred Owen's personal experiences in World War I through its exploration of the psychological and emotional toll of war. Owen himself experienced the horrors of the battlefield and witnessed the suffering of his fellow soldiers. In the poem, Owen confronts the trauma of war and grapples with the moral complexities of conflict. The sense of disillusionment and the condemnation of war's futility in "Strange Meeting" resonate with Owen's own experiences and his desire to convey the truth about the devastating effects of war on individuals and society.
Very Long type Questions Answers
1. How does the poem "Strange Meeting" challenge the concept of national borders and divisions?
Ans:- In "Strange Meeting," the poem challenges the idea of borders and divisions between nations. It portrays the encounter between two soldiers who were fighting on opposite sides, emphasizing their shared humanity and the senselessness of war. The poem suggests that the divisions created by war are artificial and ultimately lead to destruction and suffering. By presenting the soldiers' realization of their commonality and their desire for peace and reconciliation, the poem critiques the notion of enmity based on national boundaries.
2. Discuss the significance of the line "I am the enemy you killed, my friend" in "Strange Meeting."
Ans:- The line "I am the enemy you killed, my friend" holds great significance in the poem. It underscores the tragic nature of war and the arbitrary division of individuals into enemies. The speaker acknowledges that despite being adversaries on the battlefield, they now recognize each other's shared humanity and the shared burden of the war's atrocities. This line challenges the dehumanization and demonization of the enemy, calling attention to the senselessness and futility of war.
3. How does "Strange Meeting" convey the psychological impact of war?
Ans:- "Strange Meeting" vividly portrays the psychological impact of war by depicting the meeting of two soldiers in the afterlife. The soldiers express distress, despair, and trauma through their dialogue. The poem explores the haunting memories and psychological wounds that war inflicts on the soldiers, illustrating the profound emotional toll that combat takes on individuals. The poem serves as a poignant reflection on the lasting psychological effects of war and the toll it exacts on the human psyche.
4. Analyze the significance of the final line, "Let us sleep now," in "Strange Meeting."
Ans:- The final line, "Let us sleep now," carries multiple layers of meaning. On a literal level, it suggests a desire for rest and respite from the pain and anguish caused by war. It reflects the soldiers' yearning for peace and an escape from the horrors they have experienced.
Metaphorically, the line can be interpreted as a plea for death as a release from the burdens of war. The speaker implies that in death, they may find the peace that eluded them in life.
Additionally, the line can be seen as a commentary on the cyclical nature of war. By suggesting sleep, it implies a temporary pause or lull, hinting at the possibility of future conflicts. This interpretation underscores the poem's message about the futility of war and the perpetuation of violence throughout history.
5. How does "Strange Meeting" explore the theme of empathy and understanding?
Ans:- "Strange Meeting" explores the theme of empathy and understanding through the encounter between the two soldiers. Initially enemies, they come to recognize each other's suffering and humanity, setting aside their differences. The poem emphasizes the shared experiences of soldiers on both sides, highlighting the universal impact of war. By portraying this moment of empathy and understanding, the poem encourages the reader to consider the consequences of conflict and the importance of compassion and reconciliation.