The Ball Poem by John Berryman NCERT Solutions for Class 10 First Flight

Q1. Why does the poet say, “I would not intrude on him”? Why doesn’t he offer him money to buy another ball?
Answer
The poet wants the boy to experience the loss. He should learn that it is part of life. That’s why the poet doesn’t want to interfere with the boy and doesn’t want to offer him money to buy another ball.

Q2. “… staring down/All his young days into the harbor where/His ball went…” Do you think the boy has had the ball for a long time? Is it linked to memories of days when he played with it?
Answer

Yes, it seems like the boy has had the ball for a long time. When it bounced into the water, all his memories of the days of childhood flashed in front of him. This led to a realisation that those moments would not come back, just like the ball. He can buy new balls and can similarly create new moments, but those that are gone would not return.

Q3. What does “in the world of possessions” mean?
Answer

In the world of possessions’ means, people like to possess all sorts of things in the world. Money is external because it can buy only material objects; it cannot buy everything that one loses.

Q4. Do you think the boy has lost anything earlier? Pick out the words that suggest the answer.
Answer

No, it seems that the boy had not lost anything earlier. The words that suggest so are ‘senses first responsibility in a world of possessions’.

Q5. What does the poet say the boy is learning from the loss of the ball? Try to explain this in your own words.
Answer

The poet says that the boy is learning to cope up with the loss of the ball. He is experiencing grief and learning to grow up in this world of possessions. He learns that there are so many things in life that are to be lost and cannot be brought back. It is useless to feel sorrow for it.