The Frog And The Nightingale

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The Frog And The Nightingale:

The Frog And The Nightingale MADE BY:-

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ABOUT THE POET The famous Indian poet, novelist, travel writer and biographer, Vikram Seth was born in Kolkata on June 20, 1952. He lived with his family in a number of cities including Batanagar , near Kolkata, Patna and London. His father worked with Bata India Limited. He has lived in London for many years now.He studied at The Doon School in Dehradun, before going on to study in the United Kingdom. He moved on to Stanford University but did not complete his PhD.

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He received enormous advances for his books. Along with being a novelist, Seth is also a good poet. Five volumes of his poetry have been published, the first of which, Mappings was privately published in 1980. His other poetry collections include The Humble Administrator's Garden in 1985, All You Who Sleep Tonight in 1990, Beastly Tales in 1991 and Three Chinese Poets in 1992. He has also indulged in travel writing. He is known for his book Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet, published in 1983. The Golden Gate was his first novel, published in 1986. He published his second novel, A Suitable Boy in 1993. His third novel, An Equal Music was published in 1999. His latest book Two Lives was published in October 2005. He has won a number of prizes including the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 1983, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia)in 1985, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize in 1993 and the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1994.

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Poem Other creatures loathed his voice, But, alas, they had no choice, And the crass cacophony Blared out from the sumac tree At whose foot the frog each night Minstrelled on till morning night Once upon a time a frog Croaked away in Bingle Bog Every night from dusk to dawn He croaked awn and awn and awn Neither stones nor prayers nor sticks. Insults or complaints or bricks Stilled the frogs determination To display his heart's elation.

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But one night a nightingale In the moonlight cold and pale Perched upon the sumac tree Casting forth her melody Dumbstruck sat the gaping frog And the whole admiring bog Stared towards the sumac, rapt, And, when she had ended, clapped, Ducks had swum and herons waded To her as she serenaded And a solitary loon Wept, beneath the summer moon. Toads and teals and tiddlers, captured By her voice, cheered on, enraptured: “Bravo!” “Too divine!” “Encore!”

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So the nightingale once more, Quite unused to such applause, Sang till dawn without a pause. Next night when the Nightingale Shook her head and twitched her tail, Closed an eye and fluffed a wing And had cleared her throat to sing She was startled by a croak. “Sorry – was that you who spoke?” She enquired when the frog Hopped towards her from the bog. “Yes,” the frog replied. “You see, I'm the frog who owns this tree In this bog I've long been known For my splendid baritone

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And, of course, I wield my pen For Bog Trumpet now and then” “Did you… did you like my song?” “Not too bad – but far too long. The technique was fine of course, But it lacked a certain force”. “Oh!” the nightingale confessed. Greatly flattered and impressed That a critic of such note Had discussed her art and throat: “I don't think the song's divine. But – oh, well – at least it's mine”. “That's not much to boast about”. Said the heartless frog. “Without Proper training such as I - And few others can supply. You'll remain a mere beginner. But with me you'll be a winner”

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“Dearest frog”, the nightingale Breathed: “This is a fairy tale – And you are Mozart in disguise Come to earth before my eyes”. “Well I charge a modest fee.” “Oh!” “But it won't hurt, you'll see” Now the nightingale inspired, Flushed with confidence, and fired With both art and adoration, Sang – and was a huge sensation. Animals for miles around Flocked towards the magic sound, And the frog with great precision Counted heads and charged admission. Though next morning it was raining, He began her vocal training. “But I can't sing in this weather” “Come my dear – we'll sing together

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Just put on your scarf and sash, Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash!” So the frog and nightingale Journeyed up and down the scale For six hours, till she was shivering and her voice was hoarse and quivering. Though subdued and sleep deprived, In the night her throat revived, And the sumac tree was bowed, With a breathless, titled crowd: Owl of Sandwich, Duck of Kent, Mallard and Milady Trent, Martin Cardinal Mephisto , And the Coot of Monte Cristo,

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Ladies with tiaras glittering In the interval sat twittering – And the frog observed them glitter With a joy both sweet and bitter. Every day the frog who'd sold her Songs for silver tried to scold her: “You must practice even longer Till your voice, like mine grows stronger. In the second song last night You got nervous in mid-flight. And, my dear, lay on more trills: Audiences enjoy such frills. You must make your public happier: Give them something sharper snappier. We must aim for better billings. You still owe me sixty shillings.”

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Day by day the nightingale Grew more sorrowful and pale. Night on night her tired song Zipped and trilled and bounced along, Till the birds and beasts grew tired At a voice so uninspired And the ticket office gross Crashed, and she grew more morose - For her ears were now addicted To applause quite unrestricted, And to sing into the night All alone gave no delight.

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Now the frog puffed up with rage. “Brainless bird – you're on the stage – Use your wits and follow fashion. Puff your lungs out with your passion.” Trembling, terrified to fail, Blind with tears, the nightingale Heard him out in silence, tried, Puffed up, burst a vein, and died. Said the frog: “I tried to teach her, But she was a stupid creature – Far too nervous, far too tense. Far too prone to influence. Well, poor bird – she should have known That your song must be your own. That's why I sing with panache: “Koo-oh-ah! ko-ash! ko-ash!” And the foghorn of the frog Blared unrivalled through the bog.

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Summary Once upon a time a frog croaked in Bingle Bog all the night beginning from dusk to dawn. All the creatures hated his loud and unpleasant voice but still they did not have any other option. The voice came out from the sumac tree where every night the frog sang till morning. He was so determined and also shameless that neither stones, prayers or sticks nor the insults or complaints could divert him from singing. One night, a nightingale started casting her melody in the moonlight to which both the frog and the other creatures were left dumbstruck. The whole bog remained, rapt and admired her voice and applauded her when she ended. The frog was obviously jealous of his rival and had finally decided to eliminate her. So, the next night when the nightingale was again preparing to sing, the frog’s croak disturbed her. On being asked about himself by the nightingale he answered that he owned the sumac tree and he had been known for his splendid voice. Also he said that he had written a number of songs for the Bog Trumpet.

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The nightingale asked him whether he liked her song or not. The frog said that the song wasn’t bad but too long and it lacked some force. The nightingale was greatly impressed that such a critic had discussed her song. She said that she was happy that the song was her own creation. To this the frog said that she needed a proper training to obtain a strong voice otherwise she would remain a beginner only. He also said that he would train her but would charge some fee. Now, the nightingale was flushed with confidence and was a huge sensation, attracting animals from miles away and the frog with a great accuracy charged all of them admission fee. The frog began her vocal training despite of the bad and rainy weather where even the nightingale had first refused to sing. But the frog forced her to sing for six hours continuously till she was shivering and her voice had become rough and unclear. But, somehow her neck got clear the next day and she was able to sing again collecting a breathless crowd including rich ladies kings queens etc. To all this, the frog had both sweet and bitter feelings. Sweet because he was earning lots of money and bitter because of jealously as his rival was earning name and fame.

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Everyday, the frog scolded her to practice even longer finding out her little mistakes like nervousness not laying more trills and frills etc. He reminded her that she still owed him sixty shillings and that s why the crowd should increase. But the condition of nightingale was getting worsened. Her tired and uninspired song could no longer attract the crowd. She could not resist this as she had become used to applause and thus had become miserable too. The heartless frog scolded her even then calling her a brainless bird. She trembled, puffed up, burst a vein and died. The frog said that he had tried to teach her but she was foolish, nervous and tensed and moreover much prone to influence. Then, once again the frog’s fog horn started blearing unrivalled in the bog.

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Moral The moral of the poem is that being inspired and influenced by someone much unknown and strange is indeed a foolish work. The nightingale could have very well judged that how could the frog with such a harsh voice be music maestro and she had to suffer for her misjudgment . Many people in the human society also try to take advantage of the innocence or ignorance of the people.

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