Poem On the Water Poem

On The Water

In our little boat to glide

On the water blue and wide,

While the sky is smooth and bright,

What could give us more delight?

                                      See the ripples, how they run,

                                      Twinkling brightly in the sun;

                                      While reflected we can see

                                      Shadows of each hill and tree.

                   See the lilies, round and large,

                   Floating near the reedy marge,

                   Where the bulrushes has its place

                   And the heavy water-mace.

See the great green dragonfly,

And the swallow skimming by,

See the fishes spring and gleam,

Ere they splash into the stream,

                                      See the bright kingfisher too

                                      Dart gleam of great and blue.

                                      These are all around our boat

                                      On the water whilst we float.

For the detailed explanation:


Meanings of difficult words:

glide: move smoothly

delight: happiness

ripples: a number of waves formed on the surface of te water due to the breeze or when an objest is dropped in it.

reeds, bulushes, water-mace : grass like plants growing near the edge of water bodies.

marge: edge

swallow: name of a bird

skimming: searching

spring: leap or jump

gleam: shine

ere: before

dart: move suddenly and quickly

whilst: while

Central Idea of the poem:

The poem gives us the message to observe every part of nature.


1st Stanza:

The poet begins by telling us that he is in a boat and the boat is gliding away on the river that is wide and its water is blue. And the sky is clear and bright. In other words the poet wants to tell us that it is a beautiful day. The poet further puts forth a rhetorical question that what else could give us more happiness than this beautiful day and the clear blue waters of the river.

2nd Stanza:

The poet is pointing to the ripples and telling us to watch how they are shining brightly in the sun rays as they move on the surface of the water. The clear water of the river is reflecting the images of all the hills and trees.

3rd Stanza:

Here the poet is telling us to see the large round lilies that are floating near the edge of the river that is full of reeds. And the poet tells us that we can also find the other water plants like the bulrushes and water-mace.

4th Stanza:

The poet is now pointing at the dragonfly and the swallow that are skimming the waters of the river. The poet is also advising us to quickly watch the fishes that are shining as they jump about before they dive back into the water and disappear.

5th Stanza:

In the last stanza the poet is telling us to see the kingfisher bird as it darts about in search of fishes.

The poet ends the poem by saying that these insects, birds, fishes, plants, trees and hills are all around him as they move in their boat.

Thinks to do:

1. Answer the following questions:

            (1) List the insects, birds, trees and plants mentioned in the poem.

Ans. Insects: dragonfly

        Birds: swallow and kingfisher

        Trees and Plants: lilies, reeds, bulrushes, water-mace

            (2) List the rhyming words in the poem.

Ans.  glide-wide; bright-delight; run-sun; see-tree; large-marge; place-mace; dragonfly – by; gleam-stream; too-blue; boat-float.

            (3) Write what the following do with the help of the poem.

                        ripples              lilies                 swallow           fishes               kingfisher

Ans. ripples- run;         lilies-float;       swallow-skim;             fishes-spring;               kingfisher-darts

            (4) Write what the poet is doing.

Does the poet like the experience?

Write the line which tells us about it.

Ans.     The poet is taking a boat ride.

Yes, the poet likes the experience very much.

The line “What could give us more delight?” tells us the poet likes the experience.

2. Activities

            (1) Write a short essay on your journey in a boat.

            Everyone loves a boat ride. I too always wanted to experience it but never had a chance. Last vacation I finally got an opportunity to enjoy my first boat ride. After my final exams, my father planned a trip to our native village in Ratnagiri to my grandparent’s house. It was great fun, as all my uncles, aunts and cousins had also come.

            Within 2-3 days all the kids in the family had finished exploring the house and the village. We were now getting bored as there was no TV or internet connection. So my uncle decided to take us on a boat ride.

            At 11 a.m. we collected at the river’s edge. The boatman was already there. We all got into the boat one by one. I was very scared to hop onto the boat as it was shaking in the waters. So my uncle picked me up and put me on the boat.

Our boat ride began. All the kids started shouting with excitement as soon as the boat left the waters. But I was sitting still with my eyes closed; thinking that the boat may overturn and we may fall into the water. Suddenly my uncle splashed some water on me, and I looked up. I was enchanted with the beauty all around. We were passing the villages. The children at the banks were waving at us. We too waved back at them.

The boat was gliding in the smooth waters of the river. We could feel the cool breeze blowing. There were dragonflies and other insects hovering around us. I could see little fishes swimming along our boat. The birds were darting about.

Soon the sun was over-head and it was time to take a turn and return back. It was very calm and peaceful all around. I was fascinated to observe the different flowers, birds, fishes, insects, plants and trees. I surely would want to have more such boat rides and experience the beauty of God’s creation.

            (2) Prepare and present a speech on ‘My Favourite Place’

                        Use the following points.

  • Name the place
  • Its special features
  • The reason why you like it.

My Favourite Place

I have visited many places during the vacations, but my favourite place is my grandparents’ house in Virar. Whenever I get an opportunity I visit there as it just 2 hours drive from my house in Mumbai.

My grandparents live in a big house near the sea. It is a two storey building with many rooms. The rooms are airy and bright with large windows and tall ceilings. The best part is, I have a room of my own.  My grandmother has a big kitchen too where she still cooks on firewood. I love all the dishes she prepares. They have a different taste altogether.

There is a front yard and a back yard. In the front yard there are many potted plants with beautiful flowers. There is a bench as well as a big wooden swing for us to relax. At the back yard there are many fruit bearing trees like the mango, chickoo, coconut pineapple and bananas.

Last year, my grandfather encouraged me to plant an avocado sapling. Whenever I go there I water it daily. It is very fascinating to see it grow. My grandfather says that it will take 8-10 years for it to grow into a tree and bear fruits. I feel, that’s a long time. But my grandfather has assured me that time will just fly and soon we will be enjoying ripe avocados. I also help grandfather in taking care of all the other plants and trees.

In the evenings my grandparents and I go to the beach and enjoy short walks on the soft sand with the waves lapping at our feet. Occasionally I pick up unique sea-shells. I have a huge collection of them.

During summer vacations, my uncle, aunt and my cousins visit too. We have great fun together.

I simply love the calm and quietness of the place and have lots of happy memories. Therefore my grandparents’ home is always going to be my favourite place.

 (3) Make a painting or a collage to show the different things described in the poem.

Extra Questions:

Q1. What is the rhyming scheme of the poem?

The rhyming scheme is aabb.

Q2. Give the antonyms of the following words:

wide – narrow, smooth – rough, bright – dull, large – tiny or small, float – sink, heavy – light.

Passage 1:

Stanza 1: In our little boat…………………  give us more delight?

Q1. Where is the poet and what is he doing?

The poet is in a boat and he is enjoying a ride.

Q2. Describe the water and the sky.

The water is blue and wide and the sky is smooth and bright.

Q3. What is the poet wondering while he is taking a boat ride?

As the poet is enjoying the boat ride, he wonders what could give him more delight than the present moment.

Passage 2:

Stanza 2: See the ripples ……….. each hill and tree.

Q1. What is twinkling in the sun?

The ripples that seem to run are twinkling in the sun.

Q2. Why are the ripples said to be running?

As the boat moves in the water, it creates ripples and are constantly moving. So it seems to the poet that they are running.

Q3 According to the poet what are the ripples doing?

According to the poet the ripples are running in the water.

Q4. What is reflected in the water?

The shadows of each hill and tree are reflected in the water.

Q5. Where are the shadows of each hill and tree reflected?

The shadows of each hill and tree are reflected in the water.

Passage 3:

Stanza 3: See the lilies …………………….. heavy water mace.

Q1. Describe the lilies.

The lilies are round and large.

Q2. Where are the lilies floating?

The lilies are floating at the water’s edge where near the reedy marge.

Q3. Where does the poet see the bulrushes and water-mace?

The poet sees the bulrushes and the water-mace neat the reedy marge.

Q4. What is floating near the reedy marge?

The lilies that are round and large are floating near the reedy marge.

Q5. What does the poet see near the reedy marge?

The poet sees the lilies floating, he also sees the bulrushes and the water-mace.

Passage 4:

Stanza 4 & 5: See the great green …………………….. whilst we float.

Q1. What are the dragon fly and the swallow doing?

The dragon fly and the swallow are skimming the water to find insects.

Q2. What are the fishes doing?

The fishes are spinging and flashing into the stream.

Q3. Who is skimming by?

The dragon fly and the swallow are skimming by.

Q4. What is the kingfisher doing?

The kingfisher is darting about as the poet is taking a boat ride.

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