KSEEB Solutions for Class 9 English Poem Chapter 2 Africa

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Karnataka State Board Class 9 English Poem Chapter 2 Africa

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Africa Questions and Answers, Summary, Notes

Warm-Up Activity:

The personalities shown in the pictures are :
Abraham Lincoln – President of America
Nelson Mandela – President of South Africa.
Both of them fought to end racial discrimination.

Comprehension:

C1. Answer the following questions:

KSEEB Solutions For Class 9 English Africa Question 1.
How does the poet come to know about the history of Africa?
Answer:
The poet comes to know about the history of Africa from his grandmother’s songs.

Africa Poem Questions And Answers Question 2.
The poet did not spend much of his life in Africa. Pick out the line/lines that express this feeling.
Answer:
“Africa of whom my grandmother sings/On the banks of the distant river/I have never known you” – these lines express the feeling that the poet didn’t spend much of his life in Africa.

Africa Lesson Notes Question 3.
Despite staying away from Africa, how is he able to describe Africa?
Answer:
The poet has heard his grandmother sing about Africa. In spite of staying away from his land, he knows that he belongs there. He knows that the blood that flows in his veins belongs to Africa. He feels the affinity to that land and the people. He describes it as a beautiful land of ‘ancestral savannahs’ and irrigated fields.

Africa Poem 9th Class Question 4.
‘Red scars’ – What does this phrase refer to?
Answer:
Red scars are caused by the whipping of the blacks by the whites in the scorching heat of the midday sun. Thus, the phrase ‘Red scars’ describes the wounds and injury the blacks suffer from in their state of slavery.

Africa Poem 9th Standard Question 5.
Pick out the lines that talk about the humiliation suffered by the Africans.
Answer:
“Is this you this back that is bent This back that breaks under the weight of humiliation. This back trembling with red scars. And saying yes to the whip under the midday sun talks about the humiliation suffered by the Africans.

KSEEB Solutions For Class 9th English Africa Question 6.
‘That tree there in splendid loneliness’. Explain this phrase with reference to the feelings of the poet about his country.
Answer:
The line shows the pride the poet has towards his country. He says that despite being repeatedly humiliated, the Africans try to stand and assert his independence proudly. He is proud of his country for its trying to assert its independence.

Africa Poem Question 7.
“That grows again patiently obstinately
And its fruit gradually acquires
The bitter taste of liberty”.

  1. What does ‘That’ refer to?
  2. How does it grow?
  3. What does ‘bitter taste of liberty’ refer to?

Answer:

  1. ‘That’ refers to the tree.
  2. It grows patiently without giving up. When the poet uses the word ‘obstinately’, which means stubbornly, he is positive in what he conveys. He wants to express the idea that the tree which symbolizes the nation, is determined and cannot be defeated.
  3. It refers to liberty which is not fully achieved. In this case it is the liberty of Africa. It can also be a pointer to the bloodshed that has made the fruit of liberty bitter.

C2. Complete the table listing the poetic devices (figures of speech) used by David Diop in the poem. Two examples are given to you.

Poetic Device Lines from the poem
Personification Your beautiful black blood that irrigates the field
Alliteration Your beautiful black blood
Metaphor
Simile
Oxymoron

Answer:

Poetic Device Lines from the poem
Personification Your beautiful black blood that irrigates the field.
The blood of your sweat.
The sweat of your work.
This back that is bent.
Alliteration Your beautiful black blood.
Metaphor That grows again patiently obstinately.
Simile There are no similes. In fact, the poet uses metaphors throughout the poem for comparison and to create mental pictures. Since the words ‘as’ and ‘like’ are not used, though there is a comparison, we don’t take it as the simile. For example, the poet says that the colonizers drained the Africans of their blood in the form of sweat and work.
Oxymoron The bitter taste of liberty, splendid loneliness.

C3. Complete the summary of the poem given below. Use the expressions given in the box.

KSEEB Solutions For Class 9 English Africa

The poet continues to say that he has ………….. Africa, but despite the …………… he cannot deny how much it is a ………….. The phrase ………….. which flows in his veins describes his African …………. and shows how much Africa is a part of him and how much he ………… and its people. The next verses are ……………. as he stresses that it is the …………… of his people which is irrigating the fields ………….. of other people. Here, he is pointing a finger at the …………… who the black people and used them …………… to profit from their hard labor.
Answer:
The poet continues to say that he has never known Africa, but despite the distance, he cannot deny how much it is a part of him. The phrase beautiful black blood which flows in his veins describes his African descent and shows how much Africa is a part of him and how much he loves his country and its people. The next verses are angry and accusatory as he stresses that it is the blood and sweat of his people which is irrigating the fields for the benefit of other people. Here, he is pointing a finger at the colonialists who exploited the black people and used them as slaves to profit from their hard labor.

Africa Poem 9th Standard Additional Questions:

Africa Poem Notes Question 1.
Whose back is bent, according to the poet?
Answer:
The back of Africa.

Africa 9th Notes Question 2.
Why does the back break, according to the poet?
Answer:
It breaks under the weight of humiliation (caused by the white man).

Africa KSEEB Solutions Question 3.
How do the people of Africa react to the whip under the midday sun?
Answer:
While their backs were trembling with red scars, they were saying ‘yes’ to the whip under the midday sun.

KSEEB Solutions For Class 9 English Poem Africa Question 4.
Who answers the poet?
Answer:
‘A grave voice’ answers the poet.

Africa Poem Class 9 Question 5.
What does that voice call the poet?
Answer:
The voice addresses him as ‘impetuous son’.

Africa Class 9 Question 6.
What does the tree refer to?
Answer:
The tree refers to ‘Africa’.

Africa Poem By David Diop Questions And Answers Question 7.
How does the tree appear?
Answer:
The tree stands in splendid loneliness amidst white and faded flowers.

Poem Africa Question 8.
How does the tree grow?
Answer:
The tree grows patiently and obstinately.

9th Standard Africa Poem Question 9.
How does the poet establish his link with Africa?
Answer:
The poet has heard his grandmother sing about Africa. He has heard about the proud warriors of Africa. Though he has never been there, he knows much about it. The beautiful black blood which irrigates the fields is the same as that which flows in the veins of the poet. By referring to all this, he establishes his link with Africa.

Africa Lesson 9th Standard Question 10.
What are the feelings of the speaker when he sees his suffering brothers? OR What is the question posed by the poet to his country? What is the reply given?
Answer:
The poet asks whether the ‘bent back under the weight of humiliation’ belongs to Africa. He says that the country is trembling with red scars. These scars are a mark of slavery. The people of Africa are treated and exploited as slaves by the whites.

So, he says that their backs are bent under the weight of humiliation. They are whipped mercilessly to get the hard work done and are treated worse than animals. They seem to accept their condition without any resistance. So, the poet wants to know if this is the condition of his country.

The voice which replies, says that times are changing. The tree of liberty is growing. Though it is young at this moment, it is strong. In its loneliness, it is growing patiently, while the ‘white’ flowers are fading. So, the white man is losing his grip, and Africa is moving towards liberty.

Africa Poem Line By Line Explanation Question 11.
What does the symbol ‘that tree young and strong’ suggest?
Answer:
The symbol of the young and strong tree refers to Africa. It suggests that after colonialism Africa will begin to grow up again just as a young tree.

Question 12.
Why do the fruits acquire a bitter taste of liberty? Why does liberty taste bitter?
Answer:
The fruits acquire a bitter taste because the liberation of the oppressed is not a simple thing. It needs sacrifice and determination. Some people lose their lives in the process. So, in such a case, liberty is never sweet but bitter.

Question 13.
Why does the poet say that ”black blood flows in his veins”?
Answer:
Black blood in this poem symbolizes African nature as there is no blood that is black in colour. So he shows that although he grew up in France he is still aware of his African identity.

Multiple Choice Questions:

Question 1.
The poet came to know about Africa through his
A) mother
B) grandmother’s songs
C) school books
D) teacher.
Answer:
B) grandmother’s songs

Question 2.
‘I have never known you’ says the poet because he was
A) bom and lived in a different country
B) not aware of its existence
C) never interested in knowing about his country
D) not told about it.
Answer:
A) bom and lived in a different country

Question 3.
In the line, ‘But your blood flows in my veins’, the poet
A) is unhappy about his ancestry
B) feels proud of his African descent
C) regrets it
D) resents being an African.
Answer:
B) feels proud of his African descent

Question 4.
The poet presents ………….. picture of Africa in the first seven
A) a realistic
B) an idealized
C) a struggling
D) a hopeless

Question 5.
In this Poem, an African is Portrayed as a ………… Person.
Answer:
A) timid
B) shy
C) tough
D) weak
Answer:
A) timid

Question 6.
The last eight lines of the poem present a
A) picture of hope in the future
B) picture of hopelessness
C) picture of exploitation
D) picture of humiliation.
Answer:
A) picture of hope in the future

Appreciation:

A1. Find the words or phrases in the poem that are used –
a) to describe the beauty and strength of Africa
b) to depict the ions suffered by the Africans.

Africa – Description Words and Phrases
a) beauty and strength e.g. – beautiful black blood
b) humiliations and sufferings e.g. – back that is bent

Answer:

Africa – Description Words and Phrases
a) beauty and strength Proud warriors, ancestral savannahs, young and strong, splendid loneliness, grows again.
b) humiliations and sufferings Back that breaks, weight of humiliation, back trembling with red scars, whip .under the midday sun, faded flowers.

A2. Read the lines of the poem given in Column A and fill in Column B to depict the mood of the poet.

Lines of the poem Mood/feeling
1) Africa my Africa
Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs
………………
2) I have never known you
But your blood flows in my veins
……………….
3) Is this you this back that is bent
This back that breaks under the weight of humiliation
…………………
4) But a grave voice answers me
Impetuous son that tree young and strong
…………………
5) In splendid loneliness amidst white and faded flowers
That is Africa, your Africa
………………….
6) And its fruit gradually acquires The bitter taste of liberty.  ………………….

Answer:

Lines of the poem Mood/feeling
1) Africa my Africa
Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs
Pride for the country, patriotism
2) I have never known you
But your blood flows in my veins
Belongingness, patriotism, nostalgia
3) Is this you this back that is bent This back that breaks under the weight of humiliation Anger, frustration, sorrow, empathy
4) But a grave voice answers me, Impetuous son, that tree young and strong Relief, hope
5) In splendid loneliness, amidst white and faded flowers That is Africa, your Africa Pride, hope, acceptance, reckoning
6) And its fruit gradually acquires The bitter taste of liberty. Hope, anticipation

Africa by David Diop About The Poet:

David Mandessi Diop (1927-1960) was a revolutionary African poet born in France. His parents were of West African descent. He visited Africa only in the 1950s. However, the poet expresses his love for Africa. He was a revolutionary poet and in his poems he gave the message to Africans to bring about change and freedom. He was involved in a movement started by Black writers and artists protesting against French colonialism and its effects on African culture and values. His views were published in Presence Africaine and in his book of poems Coups de pillon.

Africa Summary in English

David Diop’s poem ‘Africa’ reflects his hope for an independent African nation, and the problems brought to the continent by colonialism. Through this poem Diop attempts to give a message of hope and resistance to the people of Africa.

The poem starts by Diop reminiscing about Africa, a land he has not seen but only heard about from his grandmother’s songs. His choice of words like ‘distant’ symbolises how far he is from his country, a feeling based on his real-life as he lived in France throughout his childhood and only visited Africa in the 1950s.

Despite this, he paints a vivid scene of Africa and the proud warriors who walk on its ‘ancestral Savannahs’. You can sense how much he misses his homeland by his stress on the word ‘Africa’, and he continues to call it ‘My Africa’ to emphasize it is his land and his feelings of patriotism towards it.

He continues to say that he has never known Africa, but despite the distance he cannot deny how much it is a part of him. The ‘beautiful black blood’ which flows in his veins, describes his African descent and shows how much Africa is a part of him and his love for it and its people. The next few lines are angry and accusatory as he stresses that it is the blood and sweat of his people which is irrigating the fields for the benefit of other people.

The blood of their sweat, the sweat of their work, the work of their slavery and the slavery of their children has enriched the distant lands. By this he is pointing a finger at the colonialists who exploited Black people and used them as slaves to profit from their hard labour. Therefore, the poet wants to know what the real Africa is.

The poet urges the Black people to stand up to the pain and the humiliation that they are suffering in their own land. He reminds them of the strength and pride they have in them and to say no to the whip of the colonialist which makes them work under the hot midday sun and leaves scars on their backs. Despite this suffering, he urges them to be strong and remain unbent and not let this break them despite the weight of their suffering.

The poet’s earnest query is answered by a grave voice. The poet personifies the African continent as an angry elder. The wise voice of Africa chides him for thinking ‘impetuous’ thoughts, implying that the continent is aware of impending changes or revolution. It urges the Africans to be patient and not hasty like children as there is change on the horizon.

The voice talks about a tree which is found alone amidst white and faded flowers. The tree ‘young and strong’ represents the young people of Africa who are patiently but ‘obstinately’ waiting until they get the liberty they want.

At the moment the tree is alone, meaning the African struggle is a lonely battle but they will achieve the freedom and liberty they want no matter how bitter the taste in getting it. The tree is among the ‘white and faded’ flowers by which he means the white colonialists will fade in time while the youthful Africans will grow in strength and wait for their moment of freedom.

Glossary:

impetuous (adj): acting (or done) quickly and without thought, spontaneous
splendid (adj): grand, majestic
obstinately (adv): stubbornly

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