The poem “A Nation’s Strength” is Poem 1 taken from Tulip Series English VIII for students of Class 8 from JKBOSE. The poem is written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Today, in this post I will discuss A Nation’s Strength Class 8 Summary and Questions. You will find Difficult words and their meanings, a summary of the poem A Nation’s Strength, and Question answers to the poem A Nation’s Strength. In my previous post, you read Question Answers of Chapter 7 Polythene: A Disaster. So, let’s not waste any more time and get started.
A Nation’s Strength Class 8 Summary and Questions
The poem “A Nation’s Strength” details the real strength of any nation. It does not lie in wealth, power, might and pride but the patriotic citizen of the nation. The modern world nation can only progress and prosper only by producing brave and loyal citizens and not by running after materialistic achievements.
Poem 1 A Nation’s Strength (By Ralph Waldo Emerson)
What makes a nation’s pillars high?
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty defy
The foes that round it throng?
It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.
Is it the sword? Ask the dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honour’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly…
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
A Nation’s Strength Class 8 Word Meanings
|Word||English Meaning||Hindi Meaning||Urdu Meaning|
|Resist||To resist boldly||विरोध करना||مزاحمت کرنا|
|Throng||To gather in a crowd||भीड़||بھیڑ|
|Shock||To feel disgusted, horror||झटका||جهٹکا|
|Shaft||The column of a building’s foundation||इमारत के खम्बे||عمارت کے کھمبے|
|Rust||To become or cause something to become covered with rust; decay (here)||जंग||زنگ|
|Passed away||Died||गुजर गए||وفات ہو جانا|
|Decay||To cause something to become gradually damaged, worse or less||सड़ना||سڑنا|
|Crown||Ornamental head-dress made of gold and jewels etc. worn by a king||ताज||تاج|
|Pride||Feeling of importance||घमंड||غرور|
|Struck||To hit or to give a blow||मारना||مارنا|
|A people||A nation||राष्ट्र||قوم|
|Stand fast||Stand firmly, do not run away||डटे रहना||اٹل رہنا|
|Lift||Raise to a higher level or position||उठाना||اوپر اٹهانا|
|Dare||To have the courage to do something difficult||साहस करना||ہمت کرنا|
|Fly||To run away in fear||उड़ना||اڑنا|
Central Idea of the Poem A Nation’s Strength
The poem ‘A Nation’s Strength’ is a piece of poetry written by Ralph Waldo Emerson about patriotism. It speaks about the values which are necessary for making a nation strong and prosperous. In this poem, the poet tells that wealth has nothing to do with the strength of a nation. It is the only man who alone can make a nation great and strong. In these lines, the poet says that wealth cannot make a nation strong. But only sincere men can make it strong. The modern world would benefit and prosper not by running after materialistic goals but by producing brave and loyal citizens.
Summary of the Poem A Nation’s Strength in English
The poem ‘A Nation’s Strength’ is written by American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. The poet asks some questions himself about what makes a nation strong and prosperous. The poet answers the same questions in his way. He says that gold cannot make the nation’s pillars strong. He said it is not wealth that makes a nation great. He said that a kingdom dependent on wealth collapsed because its foundations were in sinking sand that did not offer rock-solid support.
Then he spoke of arrogance and destroying this element with hatred. He said that nations that considered themselves (filled with pride in their glory) turned to ordinary dust and ashes when God’s wrath swept over them.
The poet says that it’s the people of a nation and not its wealth, gold, jewels etc that make it strong. He said brave people who dare to suffer for their nation stand firm and determined.
He said when people are slow to sleep, these brave people work and face opportunities while cowards run away. He says that it is brave men who work hard while others sleep and who stand fast while others fly away. These brave men make the nation great and built its deep and lift them to the height of the sky. These are the people who lay the deep and solid foundation on which a great nation can stand.
Summary of the Poem A Nation’s Strength in Hindi
कविता ‘ए नेशन्स स्ट्रेंथ’ अमेरिकी कवि राल्फ वाल्डो इमर्सन द्वारा लिखी गई है। कवि स्वयं से कुछ प्रश्न पूछता है कि कौन सी बात राष्ट्र को मजबूत और समृद्ध बनाती है। कवि उन्हीं प्रश्नों का उत्तर अपने ढंग से देता है। उनका कहना है कि सोना देश को मजबूत नहीं बना सकता। उन्होंने कहा कि यह धन नहीं है जो किसी राष्ट्र को महान बनाता है। उन्होंने कहा कि धन पर निर्भर एक राज्य ढह गया क्योंकि इसकी नींव डूबती रेत में थी जो चट्टान-ठोस समर्थन की पेशकश नहीं करती थी।
तब उन्होंने अहंकार और घृणा से इस तत्व को नष्ट करने की बात कही। उसने कहा कि जो राष्ट्र स्वयं को (अपनी महिमा पर गर्व से भरे हुए) समझते थे, वे साधारण धूल और राख में बदल गए जब परमेश्वर का क्रोध उन पर भड़क उठा।
कवि कहता है कि किसी राष्ट्र के लोग हैं, न कि उसका धन, सोना, जवाहरात आदि जो इसे मजबूत बनाते हैं। उन्होंने कहा कि बहादुर लोग जो अपने देश के लिए कष्ट उठाने का साहस करते हैं, वे दृढ़ हैं।
उन्होंने कहा कि जब लोग सोने में धीमे होते हैं, तो ये बहादुर लोग काम करते हैं और अवसरों का सामना करते हैं जबकि कायर भाग जाते हैं। वह कहता है कि यह बहादुर पुरुष हैं जो कड़ी मेहनत करते हैं जबकि अन्य सोते हैं और जो तेजी से खड़े होते हैं जबकि अन्य उड़ जाते हैं। ये वीर पुरुष राष्ट्र को महान बनाते हैं और इसकी गहराई का निर्माण करते हैं और उन्हें आकाश की ऊँचाई तक पहुँचाते हैं। ये वे लोग हैं जो एक गहरी और ठोस नींव रखते हैं जिस पर एक महान राष्ट्र खड़ा हो सकता है।
Thinking About the Poem.
1. In the first stanza, the poet wonders about certain things. What are they?
Ans. In the first stanza, the poet wonders about what makes a nation’s pillars high And its foundations strong, what makes it strong enough to defy the enemies that surround it from all sides.
2. What are the foundations of a strong kingdom built on?
Ans. The foundations of a strong kingdom are built on the toughness and determination of its people. The brave people work hard and stand fast for their nation and they can lay down their lives for the nation.
3. What happens to a nation that depends on an army to keep it strong?
Ans. The empire of a nation that depends on an army to keep it strong decays one day, and it became a thing of the past. The blood of its soldiers turns the stones to rust and the glory of the nation decays.
4. When a nation becomes proud, what does God do?
Ans. When a nation becomes proud, God brings about its downfall by diminishing the lustre of its crown and turning it into ashes with just one strike.
5. Do you think that wealth can make a nation great and strong? Why?
Ans. No, wealth cannot make a nation great and strong. It is only men who can make it great and strong. Brave men can stand fast for the sake of truth and honour. They can suffer hardships for their nation. The wealthy cannot do these things. Wealth can end but the spirit of men for their nation lasts forever.
6. What can the brave do?
Ans. Brave men work hard for the nation while others sleep. They face difficulties and never run away from them. They suffer for their nation and bring name and fame to their nation.
7. Explain the following lines:
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
Ans. In these lines, the poet wants to say that brave and courageous men make the foundation of a nation deep and strong and they help the nation to take to great heights of glory.
- In this poem, certain consonant sounds dominate e.g., m, n, f, s, r, d, p, h, b, g, l.
List the words beginning with these consonants.
Ans. List of words beginning with these consonants
M— make, men.
F— foundations, foes, fly.
S— strong, shocks, shafts, sand, sword.
R— rust, rock.
D— defy, down, dust, dare.
P— pillar, pride, passed, people.
H— high, honour.
B— brave, bright, battle.
G— glory, gold, grand.
L—lift, long, lustre, laid.
- The poem has a fixed rhyme scheme in each stanza i.e. abab. Pick out the rhyming words e.g. high…defy.
Ans. The rhyming words used in the poem are:
- Look at the following lines from the poem:
What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
In these lines, a wh-question has been used.
Now look at the following lines:
Is it the sword?
And is it pride?
In these lines, Yes/No questions have been used.
Now frame some wh-questions and Yes/No questions of your own.
- What is your name?
- Where do you live?
- What do you do for a living?
- Is it your pen?
- Are you a lawyer?
- Are you still working?
What are the things that make a nation strong in the present times? Sum up your idea in a brief paragraph.
Ans. In the present time, if we remain united, nobody can harm us. There are people of different religions and castes living in our nation. They speak different languages and belong to different races, castes, colours and creeds. However, no one can defeat a nation in which all citizens have equal respect for each other.
People should have love, truth, honesty and bravery. They must die for the sake of their nation’s respect. All the people of a nation should be made to realise what they are doing for their country and not what the country is doing for them.