NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Poem 5 - The Ball Poem

Get free access to specially curated NCERT Solutions for English at Aasoka, the best online learning platform. The solutions are beneficial for students to broaden their understanding of the chapter and get a good grasp of the concepts. Once students have understood the chapter properly, they can easily clear their exams with good grades. For this reason, Aasoka presents NCERT Solutions for Class 10th for better exam preparation.

Written by John Berryman, “The Ball Poem” teaches a very important lesson to everyone that life continues to move on even if someone loses a thing that is precious to them. In this poem, a young boy loses his ball and becomes upset as that was precious to him. But soon he learns that losing is an important part of life.

Question 1:

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


Why does the poet not offer the boy money to buy another ball ?


The poet wants that the boy should realise himself that gains and losses are part and parcel of life. Therefore, he neither interferes with boy’s ruminations nor offers him money to buy another ball.

Question 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 ?


Yes, the ball had been with the boy since his childhood. It is linked with the memories of days when he played with it.

Question 3:

What does ‘in the world of possessions’ mean ?


It means that this world is full of material objects. But these are not eternal.

Question 4:

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


No, the boy hasn’t lost anything earlier. The words ‘He senses first responsibility’ suggest the answer.

Question 5:

Why does the poet say the boy is learning from the loss of the ball ?


The poet says the boy is learning a very important lesson from the loss of the ball. He is learning his first lesson of how to put up with a material loss. He has learnt that things once lost are lost for ever. It is futile to grieve over them.

Question 6:

Have you ever lost something you liked very much ? Write a paragraph describing how you felt then and saying whether – and how – you got over your loss.


My uncle, younger brother of my father, loved me very much. I must have been about 15 when my uncle chose USA as his permanent residence. He moved to that distant country leaving us to miss him dearly. While in USA, he kept writing to me regularly. On my 18th birthday, he sent me a beautiful Tissot wristwatch. I was both happy and proud to receive this token of love from him. But as ill luck would have it, I lost the watch while watching a football match. All my efforts to find the watch proved futile. But I did not lose heart and got over my grief by constant prayers to God. And would you believe, I won a Tissot watch as the first prize in the state lottery ! I took it as a blessing from God and the blessing of my uncle.