(a) (i) Poem- Survivors and Poet-Siegfried Sassoon.
(ii) The Poet is referring the dreams of the shell- shocked soldiers (who have survived in the war) whose dreams are filled with nightmares of the ghosts of friends who died in the battle and scenes of killing in the battlefield.
(iii) The war has shattered their pride in terms of losing the lives of their loved ones. Soldiers are fighting for their country to protect from enemies but in return they have shattered their individual selves about being young and brave by losing their friends in the battlefield.
(iv) Grim means sad and glad means happy, the soldiers were grim because they were determined to fight their enemies knowing that they would be killed in the battlefield and at the same time they were glad that they were going to fight for their country and make it proud and protected.
(v) The men are referred to as children in the last line as they are feeling helpless and their pride has been shattered in the war. Now like children they are having nightmares of ghosts from which they are being scared.
(i) The potato diggers who are laborers in the potato field are the people described in these lines.
(ii) ‘black mother’ refers to the black earth or the black soil of the potato fields in which these diggers are searching potatoes.
(iii)The poet describes the ‘work’ as a ‘ritual’ because the sight and dedication of the working of the potato diggers give a glimpse of performing any ritual like when they move in groups, bending towards the field at the same time and then standing up and move.
(iv) The fear of the potato diggers is famine i.e. fear of scarcity of food. From centuries this shortage of food has stricken their ancestors and now they are scared for themselves.
(v) The poet uses religious references in these lines he sees that because of the fear of famine the laborers have started worshipping famine as god and begin to please it in the hope that they will never become its victims.
(i) ”Them” is being referred to spring season here. The poet asks the spring season to show its sights and sounds as he wants to compare them with autumn.
(ii) The figure of speech used in line 2 is Metaphor as the poet describes the sunset as a soft or gentle death of the day.
(iii) “stubble plains” are those fields which have been harvested in the autumn season and are now left as flat or bared.
(iv) The small gnats by the riverside are singing in the wailful choir. They are appearing to wail or mourn as the sun has been going down and the day has come to an end.
(v) The choir sound is the collective buzzing of the tiny little wings of these insects. During the daytime, the small gnats show up by the riverside and appear to be coordinated with the light by raising their movement of wings. Later during sunset, when the light gets dimmer, the gnats also go down by slowing moving their wings and making the lower voice which appears as mourning due to fading of the day.
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