The Ball Poem Class 10: Important Questions and Answers

Preparing for your Class 10 English exam? Look no further! This guide provides important questions and answers on the poem "The Ball Poem" by John Berryman to help you ace your test. Dive into the analysis and understanding of this poem to ensure success in your exam.

the ball poem class 10 question answer

SubjectEnglish Language & Literature
Chapter NameThe Ball Poem
PoetJohn Berryman
TypeImportant Questions and Answers
Book NameFirst Flight

"Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change."

- Jim Rohn

The Ball Poem Class 10 English Extra Questions Answers

Q. No. 1) Choose the option that CORRECTLY identifies what the narrator is feeling in the line given below.

As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down

  1. guilt
  2. shock
  3. shame
  4. fearlessness
  5. hopelessness

a. (1) and (3)

b. (2) and (5)

c. (2), (3), and (5)

d. (2), (4), and (5)

Ans. Option (b)

Q. No. 2) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract

What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over- there it is in the water!

i. The extract suggests that the poet is

a. an onlooker observing

b. a parent recounting the incident

c. the boy talking about himself

d. imagining the incident

Ans. Option (a)

ii. The poet seems to have indicated the merry bouncing of the ball to

a. create a sense of rhythm in these lines.

b. support the happiness of the experience of playing.

c. contrast with the dejected feeling of the boy.

d. indicate the cheerful mood of the boy.

Ans. Option (c)

iii. Choose the situation that corresponds to the emotion behind the exclamation mark in the poem.

1. Hey! Hey! That's no way to dispose of the garbage. Have you no community sense? Please put it in the bin.2. I knew it! I knew he'll fare well in his auditions for 'Young Chef'. Now, we prepare for the semi-finals.3. I don't know where I've placed my ID card. Let me check the bag once more. Ah, finally!4. I've been trying to call mom for the past 20 minutes and can't get through. I don't know how.... Aarrgh! Again!

a. option 1

b. option 2

c. option 3

d. option 4

Ans. Option (d)

iv. The poem begins with a question. Based on your reading of the poem, the speaker

a. wants the boy to answer the question.

b. expects the passers-by to respond.

c. is looking for answers in a self-help book.

d. is thinking to himself.

Ans. Option (d)

v. Alliteration is a literary device that occurs with the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.

Pick the option that showcases an example of alliteration from the extract.

a. What is the boy now

b. who has lost his ball

c. I saw it go

d. and then/ Merrily over

Ans. Option (b)

Q. No. 3) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract

An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him;

i. The poet uses the word ‘ultimate’ to describe the boy’s reaction.

Pick the meaning that DOES NOT display what, ‘ultimate’ means in the context given.

a. consequent

b. final

c. conclusive

d. fateful

Ans. Option (a)

ii. The boy is very young in this poem. As a mature, balanced grown-up, he might look back and think that his reaction of ‘ultimate shaking grief’ was

  1. disproportionate to the loss.
  2. pretension to procure a new toy.
  3. according to his exposure and experience then.
  4. a reaction to the failure of retrieving the toy.
  5. justified and similar to what it would be currently.

a. 5 & 2

b. 1 & 3

c. 2 & 4

d. 3 & 5

Ans. Option (b)

iii. Pick the option that lists the boy’s thoughts, matching with the line -

As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down.

the ball poem class 10 extra questions answers

a. Option 1

b. Option 2

c. Option 3

d. Option 4

Ans. Option (d)

iv. Why does the speaker choose not to intrude?

This is so because the poet

a. knows that it would embarrass the boy in his moment of grief.

b. feels that it’s important that the boy learn an important life lesson, undisturbed.

c. realizes that he doesn’t have sufficient funds to purchase a new ball for the boy.

d. Experiences a sense of distress himself, by looking at the boy’s condition.

Ans. Option (b)

v. Choose the option that lists the meaning of ‘harbour’ as used in the extract.


1. a place on the coast where ships may moor in shelter.
2. a place of refuge.


3. keep (a thought or feeling, typically a negative one) in one's mind, especially secretly.
4. shelter or hide (a criminal or wanted person).

a. Option 1

b. Option 2

c. Option 3

d. Option 4

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 4) Read the extracts given below and attempt by answering the questions that follow.

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’:
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went

i. The poet uses the ball as a symbol of the boy’s

a. sense of adventure.

b. carefree childhood days.

c. ability to bounce back.

d. extended family.

Ans. Option (b)

ii. The poet feels that there is no point in consoling the boy as

a. it would give him false hope.

b. he might demand a new ball.

c. it might distress him further.

d. whatever he has lost is irretrievable.

Ans. Option (d)

iii. The word ‘harbour’ DOES NOT have a meaning similar to

a. port.

b. pier.

c. dock.

d. cargo.

Ans. Option (d)

iv. ‘Merrily over — there it is in the water!’ The dash here is meant to convey

a. some familiar experience.

b. a feeling of excitement.

c. a sense of unexpected interruption.

d. some thoughtful moments.

Ans. Option (c)

v. The word that DOES NOT indicate a physical manifestation of sorrow in the boy, is

a. worthless.

b. shaking.

c. trembling.

d. rigid.

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 5) Read the given extract to attempt the questions that follow:

Money is external.
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

(The Ball Poem)

i. The poet says money is external. What does it mean in this extract?

a. Money helps us purchase materials that make life worth living.

b. Money promotes materialism and hunger for power among youngsters.

c. Money only impacts a person’s external environment.

d. Money buys materialistic things and can be earned again when lost.

Ans. Option (d)

ii. What does the boy learn by losing the ball, according to the extract?

  1. Loss is the unavoidable truth of life.
  2. Material objects can be replaced.
  3. Money buys happiness.
  4. Losses in life can be prevented with care.
  5. Life continues despite losses.

a. (1), (2), and (5)

b. (2) and (4)

c. Only (1)

d. (3) and (5)

Ans. Option (a)

iii. The boy is learning how to stand up…

This means that he is learning to be _____ in the face of difficulties.

a. patient

b. resilient

c. defensive

d. judgemental

Ans. Option (b)

iv. Which option lists who is speaking these lines?

a. An observer.

b. The boy’s parent.

c. The ball salesman.

d. A friend.

Ans. Option (a)

v. According to the poet, from whom do we mostly learn about loss?

a. Elders.

b. Experiences.

c. Books.

d. Teachers.

Ans. Option (b)

Q. No. 6) Do you think the ‘I’ in the poem is the poet or an observer? Give a reason for your choice of response.

Ans. The "I" in the poem is most likely the poet. Here's why:

  • Witnessing the Event: The poem starts with "I saw it go," indicating the "I" observes the ball bouncing and eventually landing in the water. This suggests a firsthand account of the situation.
  • Emotional Connection: The "I" expresses understanding of the boy's grief. Lines like "An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy" and "I would not intrude on him" show empathy, which a casual observer might not possess.
  • Universal Message: The poem conveys a broader message about loss and resilience. This is a quality poets often use in their work to connect with readers on a deeper level.

Q. No. 7) If you were the poet, which toy would you use, instead of a ball? Give a reason for your response.

Ans. If I were the poet, I might use a kite instead of a ball. A kite, like a ball, symbolizes freedom and joy. A lost kite signifies a dream or aspiration that has flown away. It emphasizes the potential for disappointment and the impermanence of things we desire.

Q. No. 8) Explain how, “Out of sight, out of mind” might apply to the boy, towards the end of the poem.

Ans. Towards the end of the poem, "Out of sight, out of mind" may apply to the boy as he gradually moves on from the loss of his ball. The phrase suggests that when something is no longer visible or present, people tend to forget about it. As the boy accepts the loss and focuses on other things, the memory of the lost ball may fade, and he may find new sources of joy and interest.

Q. No. 9) A popular quote states: Responsibility is self-taught. How does the poem address this thought?

Ans. The poem addresses the quote "Responsibility is self-taught" by portraying the boy's experience of loss and grief over his ball. The boy learns to deal with his emotions and take responsibility for his feelings on his own, without any external intervention. The poem suggests that facing life's challenges independently can teach valuable lessons about responsibility and resilience.

Q. No. 10) Suggest a suitable by-line for ‘The Ball Poem” with a reason for your choice.

Ans. By-line: "Lost and Found: Lessons of Loss and Resilience"

Reason: The suggested by-line captures the central theme of the poem, which revolves around the boy's experience of losing his ball and the subsequent emotions he goes through. It emphasizes the journey of loss and the valuable lessons of resilience that can be learned from such experiences.

Q. No. 11) Recount your reaction to the loss of a favorite object as a very young child. Would you have behaved the same way now? Explain with reason.

Ans. As a very young child, I distinctly remember feeling distraught and crying when I lost a favorite toy. Back then, I lacked the emotional maturity to cope with loss effectively. However, as an adult, I would likely handle the situation differently. With greater emotional resilience and understanding, I would accept the loss more calmly, recognizing that objects can be replaced and cherishing memories associated with the toy instead.

Q. No. 12) What feelings do you think, might be experienced, at the loss of a mobile phone, for a youngster today? Explain how these would be different from those felt by the boy in the poem.

Ans. At the loss of a mobile phone, a youngster today might experience feelings of anxiety, frustration, and disconnection. Unlike the boy in the poem who lost a simple ball, the loss of a mobile phone is more significant for today's youth as it holds not only a means of communication but also serves as a portal to their social life, entertainment, and digital identity. The mobile phone's multifunctionality intensifies the emotional impact of its loss, making it a much more distressing experience compared to losing a simple toy.

Q. No. 13) When we think of losses, we generally think of people or possessions. Time is considered a very precious commodity.

Explain why time can probably be one of the things people bitterly regret losing/wasting.

Ans. Time is a precious commodity because it is finite and irreplaceable. People may bitterly regret losing or wasting time because once it's gone, it can never be recovered. Unlike possessions that can be replaced, time spent unwisely or on unimportant matters cannot be reclaimed, leading to feelings of remorse and missed opportunities in life.

Q. No. 14) Imagine you are the boy’s elder sibling. He tells you about the loss of the ball on reaching home.

How would you assure him?

You may begin your reply like this:

I don’t think you should take this to heart. You see…

Ans. I don't think you should take this to heart. You see, losing things happens to everyone, and it's just a part of life. The important thing is that you're safe, and we can always get you another ball. Plus, think of all the fun memories we had playing with it! It's okay to feel sad but don't let it bring you down. We'll find a way to make new memories together.

Q. No. 15) The poem deals with a child understanding loss for the first time.

Matches and championships too, deal with a different sense of loss.

Explain how games and sports are a good way to train children to take losses in their stride.

Ans. Games and sports are excellent ways to train children to take losses in their stride for several reasons. Firstly, participating in games exposes children to the concept of competition and the possibility of winning or losing. It teaches them that success and failure are part of any endeavor. Secondly, sports provide a controlled environment for experiencing defeat, which helps children build resilience and emotional strength. They learn to cope with disappointment and bounce back stronger. Additionally, team sports foster teamwork and a sense of camaraderie, emphasizing that the journey and the effort put in are equally important as the outcome. Overall, games and sports instill valuable life lessons, teaching children to handle losses gracefully, learn from their mistakes, and develop a positive attitude toward challenges in the future.

Q. No. 16) If the Buddha were to summarize the life lesson of “The Ball Poem’, what would that sermon be?

Think and create this address for people of your age.

Ans. Dear friends,

In the poem "The Ball Poem," the Buddha would likely share a valuable life lesson with us. He would say, "Life is like a ball, and loss is a natural part of it. Just as the boy lost his ball, we too will encounter losses and challenges on our journey. The key is to embrace impermanence and learn from these experiences. Do not cling to material possessions or get disheartened by setbacks. Instead, focus on the present moment and cherish the joy of living. Embrace the lessons of loss, for they teach us resilience and inner strength. Remember, life is a beautiful dance of highs and lows, and by accepting it gracefully, we can find peace and happiness within ourselves."

With love and compassion,
The Buddha

Q. No. 17) “Not from weeping nor from grieving will anyone obtain peace of mind’.

If you had to use the message of the given quote from the Buddha’s sermon (The Sermon at Benares) to help the boy cope with the loss of his ball and what it signifies (The Ball Poem), what would you include in your advice?

Also, evaluate why it might be difficult for him to understand the notion.

Ans. The learning from the referenced quote of Buddha

the loss of irreplaceable things brings grief and sorrow.

learning to stay calm and understanding the perishable/mortal nature of things helps in living life normally and forgetting the loss

To help the boy cope with the loss --- that loss is an important part of life  –important to learn from experience –adapt and move on.

Difficult for the boy to understand the notion---

The boy is too young to understand the depth of these words-- is alone in his loss ---has no one to explain and must learn from his experience painstakingly--requires time to cope ---easy to feel disheartened at that age.

Must Read:
Class 10 Revision Notes
Class 10 Important Questions

Hope you liked these Important Questions & Answers on Class 10 English First Flight Book The Ball Poem by John Berryman. Please share this with your friends and do comment if you have any doubts/suggestions to share.

Spread the love
WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Follow Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *