“A soldier, very young, lies open-mouthed,”— Where was the soldier found lying and how? How does the poet describe the soldier’s face? Why, according to you, was he lying open-mouthed?

The soldier was found lying in a small green valley under the open sky.

The young soldier was lying open-mouthed with his head placed on a pillow made of fern. His feet were covered with the flowers of the valley. He was sleeping peacefully in the warmth of the sun and one of his hands was upon his chest.

The soldier’s face was looking pale against the brightness of the sun. There was a gentle and innocent smile on his face like an infant’s smile. According to me, the soldier was lying

open-mouthed because he was dead and nothing could disturb his peaceful, eternal sleep.

“His feet among the flowers, he sleeps.”—Where does this line occur? Who is the person referred to here? Where is the person sleeping? Describe the nature of his sleep.

The above-mentioned line is extracted from the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ written by Arthur Rimbaud.

A young dead soldier is referred to here. The person is sleeping in a small green valley, where he is surrounded by nature.

The young soldier is sleeping with his mouth open. There is a pillow made of fern under his head and his feet are covered with flowers. He has an innocent and gentle smile on his face just like an infant. One of his hands is placed on his chest. The young soldier is taking an eternal rest and therefore nothing can disturb him and wake him up from his sleep, not even the constant humming of the insects around him.

“His smile… without guile.” -Mention the figure of speech used here. What does the poet want to mean here?

“His smile / Is like an infant’s”—Whose smile is referred to here? Why is his smile compared with that of an infant? How does nature treat him?

“Ah, Nature, keep him warm; he may catch cold.”—Who is ‘he’? Why may he catch cold? Why does the poet ask Nature to keep him warm?

“The humming insects don’t disturb his rest;”-Who rests and where? What put him to rest? Why can’t the insects disturb his rest?

“He sleeps in sunlight …”-Who is the person referred to here? Where does he sleep and how? What does the word sleep’ indicate in this poem?

“In his side there are two red holes.”-Who is the person referred to here? What do the ‘two red holes’ signify? What attitude of the poet to war is reflected here?

Give a description of the valley as found in Rimbaud’s poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

The word “sun’ is repeatedly used in the poem-explain the significance of it.

How does the poet express the futility of war through his poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’? What message does he want to convey?

How does the soldier lie in Asleep in the Valley’?

How does this picture of the soldier describe the tragedy of war? Explain.

Bring out the irony of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

Look at the word ‘asleep’. What do we normally associate with the word? When does the reader recognise that the soldier is asleep in a different sense?

Comment on Rimbaud’s treatment of symbol and imagery in the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.

Nature plays an important role in the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ by Arthur Rimbaud- Justify.

The poem ends a little abruptly but leaves the reader with utter surprise and shock Discuss.

The poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ rests on two contrasting pictures. Discuss the use of two contrasting pictures in the poem,

What is the occasion of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’? Give a simile used by the poet in the poem. Are there other comparisons in the poem?

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