Important Questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem

Important Questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem – Refugee Blues

Poetry is a subject of study that consists of subtle messages about various themes stretching from daily affairs of surroundings and relationships to social issues. The poetry curriculum always aims to strike a chord with the sentiments and plight of people suffering immensely due to injustice and persecution. Chapter 9 of Class 11 English Woven Words is a heart-wrenching piece of ballad poetry written by Wystan Hugh Auden. The poem characterises mourning and persecution of German Jews who became homeless in their own country.

Extramarks is an e-learning website with academically distinguished sources of study materials to help students practice effectively for preparing for their yearly exams. Students will find it easy to approach the understanding of the complex messages of the poem by trying out the Extramarks set of Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem important questions.

The Extramarks important questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem will help students to practice writing brilliant and impressive answers in exams. Our poetry and literature experts have participated in selecting English Woven Words Class 11 Chapter 9 Poem important questions. The questions and solutions have been collected from the CBSE-prescribed NCERT textbooks, CBSE sample papers and CBSE past years’ question papers.

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Important Questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem – With Solutions

The skilful team of the subject experts at Extramarkshave meticulously chosen and compiled the important questions for the chapter. Explaining poetry is a tedious task. However, the Extramarks Chapter 9 Poem Class 11 English Woven Words important questions has made it easy for students to understand the poem’s message. After going through the Extramarks important questions and solutions, students will write accurate and riveting answers in exams.

Students can go through important questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem below: –

Question 1. The title, ‘Refugee Blues’ encapsulates the theme of the poem. Comment.

Answer    1. Blues are the ballad form of poems and songs of African – American origin. The blues set up a sad tone of poetry, music or a song. The poem “Refugee Blues” represents the persecution of German Jews during the regime of the Nazi party. The poem explains the bitter experience of a Jewish couple and many Jews like them who left Germany to live in other countries. The poem also touches upon how Jews were persecuted, put in camps, discriminated and killed during the Nazi rule. The grievances of Jewish people during the Nazi rule are the poem’s main theme. Therefore, “blues” is a sorrowful ballad enclosing the agonising life of Jews abandoned by their people under Nazi rule.

Question 2. What is the poetic technique used by the poet to convey the plaintive theme of the poem?

Answer    2. The sorrowful tone of the poem “Refugee Blues” is the significant feature that makes it a ballad form of poetry. Ballads originated in Britain and Ireland. Blues are sad songs that have African-American origins. In Refugee Blues, the poet has captured the sentiments of persecuted Jews and presented grief-stricken thoughts in the form of a ballad. Every poem’s third line starts with the phrase “my dear”. Refugee blues is direct and unpretentious in its use of words. The poem thus touches the hearts of people with its sorrowful message.

Question 3. What is the significance of “yew” in the poem? 

Answer    3. Yew is an old tree that blooms every year. The speaker knows about the tree but is now far away from where the tree grows. The significance of the yew tree lies in its comparison with an old passport. Like the blossoming of the yew tree, an old passport requires renewal. However, the speaker’s old passport is of no use anymore because they have been exiled from their home country.

Question 4. What do the references to the birds and animals made in the poem suggest?

Answer    4. The Jews suffered gruesome forms of discriminatory and unjust acts during the Nazi regime. The Jews were persecuted and put into concentration camps. The majority of Jews lost their lives, their families and their homes. The poem describes the plight of a Jewish couple who moved to America to escape Nazi-ruled Germany. The speaker observes the animals around him. The fish freely swam in the sea, the birds fearlessly singing. The cat and poodle freely go to places they want to go. The unjust laws do not lock down the birds because there are no limitations imposed on them by the politicians. The speaker yearns for his lost free life.

Question 5. What does the phrase “steal our daily bread” mean?

Answer    5. The speaker states the turmoil refugees suffer in new places. Refugees are not accepted with warmth and respect because of the discriminatory attitude of the people that arise from people’s stereotypical thoughts against them. People think that once refugees enter their country, they will steal their bread and butter and replace them completely. The speaker, the poet, mentions that when they were desperate to seek refuge in another country, most people in that country were apprehensive about Jewish immigration. The citizens irrationally feared that Jewish refugees would take over their country. Hence, Jews were not welcomed in the new country of refuge.

Question 6. How does the poet juxtapose the human condition with the behaviour of the political class?

Answer    6. Most Germans opposed the Jews under the Nazi influence since members of the Nazi party enabled feelings of hatred and discrimination against the Jews. The horrendous consequences of such widely publicised persecutory nationalism are still recalled in horror. The Nazi politicians successfully turned Germans against Jews who were citizens of their country. Due to the influence of politicians, the Germans turned against Jews who lived in their neighbourhood. The speaker was ripped off from his rights, freedom, and home. The speaker is still fearful about the death threats given to his community of people by Hitler. Lost and defeated, the speaker is directionless with no resources to survive. The people of the country where he searches for refugees refuse to accept his people.

Therefore, the poet is expounding on the difficult things common people suffer because of the arrogant decisions of politicians.

Question 7. How does the poet paint the German city during Nazi rule?

Answer    7. The poet describes the city of Germany through the eyes of the speaker in the poem. The Jewish speaker states that the German city has people living in huge mansions and leading comfortable lives. At the same time, some people live in holes or slum areas. However, the city is no longer a place where German Jews can live peacefully. The German city has become an alien residence for the Jews who have become homeless in their home country.

Question 8. How is the essence of the poem captured in the lines ‘two tickets to Happiness’?

Answer    8. The speaker of the poem has no home, no prospects and no future. Everything that belonged to him was forcefully taken away by the Nazi politicians. The speaker and his wife are pitiful. They have less amount to survive, and happiness has become a long-lost idea. The speaker takes the train to a faraway city away from the death and destruction in his city. The speaker wishes to escape the disaster of persecution by the Nazis. According to the speaker, even if there is a chance for a little happiness, he will take it. Therefore, the speaker does not give up and tries to have tickets to a different land to save his wife’s and his lives.

Question 9. Who was considered dead?

  • People who supported Nazis
  • People without passports
  • Nazi politicians
  • None of the above

Answer  9. Option (2) People without passports

Explanation: –

  • Option (2) is correct. The speaker in the poem lost his home, credentials and everything else that belonged to him. He did not even have a passport or anything to identify himself and his wife officially. The consul firmly and ruthlessly declared that people without passports would be considered dead. The poet sadly states that now they are dead in the eyes of society even though they are alive. Lack of identification has led them to lose their existence in the eyes of society.

Question 10. Here is a list of devices used in poetry. Elaborate on their use in this poem 





Answer   10.

  • Refrain: Refrain is a repeated phrase at equal intervals in a poem. The poet has used the refrain “my dear” at intervals in the poem “Refugee Blues”.
  • Pathos: Pathos is a Greek origin word which means sorrow or sadness. The poem “Refugee Blues” describes the sadness, hopelessness and sorrowful state of Jews persecuted by the Nazi regime.
  • Irony: Irony displays the relation and contrast between what is expected and what happens. In the poem, Jews are killed and locked in jails, but animals have the right to roam freely. It happens because animals don’t have unjust politicians to decide for them.
  • Sarcasm: Sarcasm is used in satires to mock the unjust and stupid nature of humans and institutions. The poet uses sarcasm when he writes that people have mansions and small places to live, yet there are no places for homeless Jews to survive.

Question 11. What, according to the speaker, can be found in an atlas?

Answer    11. The speaker insists that they were citizens of a country and lived there peacefully. The country – Germany was their home. They were forcefully thrown out of the same country they once considered home. The speaker and his wife cannot go to Germany, for they would be captured and killed by Nazi politicians.

Question 12. What would happen to the speaker and his wife in the falling snow?

  • The speaker and his wife would escape Germany.
  • Nazi soldiers would catch the speaker and his wife.
  • The speaker and his wife would find a new abode soon.
  • None of the above

Answer   12. Option (2) Nazi soldiers would catch the speaker and his wife


  • Option (2) is correct. The speaker and his wife have no place to hide. They could die without a home, and Nazi soldiers searched for them everywhere. Once the speaker and his wife are caught, they cannot escape. Both of them would be separated and jailed, and then killed.

Benefits of Solving Important Questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem

The poetry approach is not limited to day-to-day affairs, and many poetical works are based on detailed descriptions of historically significant issues. Such complicated and factual themes sometimes become difficult for students and prevent complete comprehension of the poem. Therefore, we advise students to use Extramarks’ important questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem to become well aware of the poem’s motif. Students will also become acquainted with the formal way of writing answers in exams by going through important questions and solutions.

The benefits of solving Extramarks’ important questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem are as follows: –

  • Solving important questions will help students to understand the message and meaning of each stanza of the poem.
  • The solutions for important questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem are informative and accurately answer the questions asked.
  • Extramarks’ set of important questions and solutions are available in the long answer, short answer and multiple-choice questions.
  • Students will learn to document their poem understanding through creatively well-written answers.

Students can use the Extramarks study materials for an engaging learning experience. Registered students can browse and access Extramarks complete NCERT book solutions, CBSE sample papers, CBSE past years’ question papers, NCERT key revision notes, etc. from the links given below: –

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Important questions can help students to identify various kinds of exam-based questions. Extramarks’ set of important questions always follows the CBSE syllabus guidelines for formatting questions. Therefore, the Extramarks set of important questions is available in short answer, long answer, and multiple-choice questions to provide the best learning experience for students.

2. How can students benefit from the solutions provided in important questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem?

Students can write comprehensible answers in exams once they understand the meaning of the questions. The solutions of Extramarks important questions Class 11 English Woven Words Chapter 9 Poem precisely answer the questions. The solutions have been prepared by subject matter experts who prioritise the understanding and learning of lessons through important questions. Therefore, after going through the solutions to important questions, students will be able to infer the concepts of topics within the poem. Students will also grab the method of writing complete answers consisting of all the key points asked in the questions.