SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-7| The Ball Poem

SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-7| The Ball PoemNCERT/SCERT Class 10 English Question Answer to each chapter is provided in the list of SEBA ইংৰাজী Class 10 Question Answer so that you can easily browse through different chapters and select needs one. SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-7| The Ball Poem Question Answer can be of great value to excel in the examination.


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SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-7| The Ball Poem

SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer|Chapter-7| The Ball Poem Notes covers all the exercise questions in Assam Board SEBA Textbooks. The SEBA Class 10 English Question Answer provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every chapter and score well in the board exams.

About the poet – John Berryman

John Berryman was an American poet and scholar, born in Mc Alester, Oklahoma. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century and is considered a key figure in the confessional school of poetry. He is best-known for ‘The Dream songs, an intensely personal sequence of 385 poems which brought him the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. The poet’s lifelong struggles with alcoholism and depression ended in 1972, when he jumped off a minneapolis bridge in the dead of winter.


The poem, ‘The Ball Poem’ is about losing something that you love, and learning to grow up without it.

It is about a little boy who was playing with his most prized possession which was his ball. Unintentionally, the ball skipped from his hand and fell into the nearby water body. The little boy ran after it but found find that it was not within his reach. He became so sad that he began trembling with fear. In a fraction of few seconds, he lost his favourite belonging that he loved the most. He knew there would be other balls, but he had some special attachment and memories with this particular ball which was irreplaceable. He becomes grief-stricken, and with the loss of his ball, the memories of his young days also get drowned.

The poet here says that he wished he could have intervened the boy’s thoughts, and made him feel better by offering him some money to buy another ball. But the boy would have not felt better even with a new ball because he was profoundly attached to the old ball of his.

The poet suggests that from the loss of the ball, the boy is learning how to stand up in a world of possessions. He realises that there may be occasions when his belongings may be snatched from him or he might lose them forever and he must learn to move on without them.

This small incident made the boy understand about his responsibility as the loss was immaterial for him. Money is external as it cannot buy memories that gets lost, nor can it replace the things that we love. He will gradually learn how to stand up and put up a brave, leaving the losses behind as he would have understood the true meaning of loss.

1. Why does the poet say, “I would not intrude on him”? Why doesn’t he offer him money to buy another ball?

Ans. The poet wants the little boy to experience the meaning of loss in life. He knows that his loss cannot be compensated by another ball since the ball he lost had many childhood memories attached to it. The poet does not offer him money to buy another ball because he wants to make him understand the epistemology of loss-the knowledge and nature of loss. He wants the boy to realise that nothing is eternal in this world and one has to move forward forgetting everything about the losses he has suffered in the past.

2.”……staring down/All his young days into the harbour where/ His ball went…”. Do you think the boy has had the ball for a long time? Is it linked to the memories of days when he played with it?

Ans. Yes, it seems like the boy has had the ball for a long time, because he was struck with a sudden grief at its loss. Since it has been a part of his life for very long it is obvious that he had played with it quite often and there were many memories associ sted with it. When it bounced into the water, all the memories of the days of his childhood flashed in front of him. He realised that just like the hall, the memories and moments would not come back to him.

3.  What does “in the world of possessions” mean?

Ans. The phrase “in the world of possessions” means that people in this world like to possess more and more of materialistic goods. Money is the medium that helps them to buy these materialistic possessions. Money is external and has its own limitations. The poet contemplates that though money has the power to buy many things, it cannot compensate emotional losse such as the loss of one’s childhood days.

4. Do you think the boy has lost anything earlier? Pick out the words that suggest the answer.

Ans. It seems that the boy has not lost anything earlier as the poet says that he senses his first responsibility in a world of possessions.

5.   What does the poet say the boy is learning from the loss of the ball? Try to explain this in your own words.

Ans. From the loss of the ball, the boy is learning to cope with the losses be will be facing in life abead. He is learning to grow up in this world of possessions This little grief that he experienced from the loss of a ball will prepare him that there are so many things in life that are to be lost and cannot be brought back. He learns about the transitory nature of the world and all the things in it.


1. How did the boy lose his ball? What was his immediate reaction upon losing it?

Ans. The boy was playing with his favourite ball in the open when it bounced and took a turn towards the drain which was full of water. His immediate reaction upon losing it was that of grief and disappointment. He felt as though he had lost a part of his childhood along with the ball.

2. What is the central theme of the poem? 

Ans. The theme of the poem is that in this world, sometimes we lose thing which we love and are attached to. We must not feel disheartened, dejected and desperate but try to stand up and bear the loss through self understanding. It also suggests that, wealth, though important to live in this materialistic world, cannot compensate emotional losses, nor buy us intangible things like love, attachment and memories.

3.  Explain the line, “And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.” 

Ans. This line means that no one can buy something that is lost forever. No one can buy the boy that very ball which he has lost or the memories which were attached to it. Money is an external thing as it is a medium of possessing things. It can never compensate for the sense of loss suffered by a person.

4. Why does the poet say, “Balls will be lost always”?

Ans. Here, balls are the symbol of man’s possessions. Nothing is permanent in life, and we tend to lose things which are very dear to us. Then we suffer from a sense of loss. This is experienced by everyone in life. That is why, the poet says, “Balls will be lost always.”

5. How is the boy learning the ‘epistemology of loss’ from the loss of his ball? What he has to learn?

Ans. The boy has to understand the epistemology of loss or the nature of loss with the incident of losing his ball. He has to understand what it means to lose something. Gain and loss are the two sides of the same coin. The boy has to learn how to move forward, forgetting everything about the losses he has suffered in the past.

Reference to the Context:

1. “What is the boy now, who has lost his ball, what is he to do? I saw it go merrily bouncing, down the street, and then merrily over-there it is in the water! no use to say- ‘o there are other balls.” 

(i) What was the state of the boy when he lost his ball? 

Ans. The boy became overcome with grief, shock and sadress when he lost his ball.

(ii) Where d. the ball go?

Ans. The ball Junced on the street several times and went towards the drain which was full of water.

(iii) Why does the poet say ‘no use to say-‘o there are other balls’? 

Ans. The poet wanted to console the boy by saying that he should not feel bad as there were other balls he could possess but he knew it would be of no use as there were many memories attached with the lost ball and hence it was irreplaceable.

2. He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes. The epistemology of loss, how to stand up knowing what every man must one day know. And most know many days, how to stand up.

(a) What is the boy learning?

Ans. The boy is learning to cope up with the losses that he will be facing in the days to come. 

(b) Why are the boy’s eyes desperate? 

Ans. The boy’s eyes look desperate as he is extremely sad and dejected to see his ball gone forever. 

(c) What do you understand by ‘epistemology of loss’? 

Ans. ‘Epistemology of loss’ means to understand the nature of loss.

(d) What does every man one day need to know? 

Ans. Every man one day needs to understand that losses may occur to him, but it is uselers to weep over it. Life has to be lived only by moving ahead in it.

1A letter To God
2Nelson Mandela (A Long
Walk To Freedom)
3Glimpses of India
IITea From Assam
4Madam Rides the Bus
5A Tiger in the Zoo
7The Ball Poem
8The Tale of Custard the Dragon
1The Midnight Visitor
2A Question of Trust
3Footprint without Feet
4The Hack Driver

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