Summary of ‘The Brook’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as “Break, Break, Break”, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, “Tears, Idle Tears” and “Crossing the Bar”. Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and student at Trinity College, Cambridge, after he died of a stroke aged just 22.

The brook is a poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. In this poem, the brook plays the role of the narrator as it tells the reader about its journey. Here is the summary of the poem.

The brook starts out from the dwelling place of birds such as the coot (a water bird) and the hern (archaic word for heron). It makes a sudden rush as it flows out. The presence of sunlight causes the brook’s water to sparkle as it flows among the fern. It then continues its journey by flowing down a valley. While doing so, the sound of the flowing brook resembles that of people quarrelling. Hence the phrase, ‘bicker down a valley’.

The brook flows down along  hills. Sometimes, it also glides between long and narrow hill ranges, called ridges. Thorpes refer to  small villages or hamlets. Between two small towns, the brook passes several thorpes and a large number of bridges. The numbers used in this line such as ‘thirty’, ‘twenty’, ‘half a hundred’ should not be taken in the literal sense. These numbers are used to give the impression of  ‘several’ or ‘many’ and to maintain the rhythm of the poem.

Finally, the brook passes Philip’s farm and flows into the overflowing river.

The brook further states that men are transient. They come and go over time. But it outlives men and continues forever.

The lines ‘For men may come and men may go, /But I go on for ever.’, are repeated several times in the entire poem.

As the brook flows over stony paths, its water makes a chattering sound. This sound is high pitched, hence the phrase ‘sharps and trebles’ (both, high pitched notes in music).

As water flows past an obstacle, a reverse motion is created that leads to swirling. These are known as eddies. A lot of bubbles are also formed.

As the brook flows over pebbles, the sound it makes is similar to that made while talking rapidly. Hence the phrase, ‘babble on the pebbles’.

The brook does not flow in a straight line. It makes a lot of turns and etches out a path full of curves. ‘Fret’ means ‘fuss’ or ‘worry’. The brook forms so many curves, that it seems as if it is constantly troubling its banks to change shape. The brook continues beside many fields as well as fallow lands. ‘Fairy forelands’ refer to promontories. These are masses of land that overlook the brook. These promontories are home to plants such as willow weed and mallow. The brook passes them on its journey.

Brooks

As the brook flows, on its way to the overflowing river, it makes a continuous sound. The sound is like that of people talking. Hence, the line ‘I chatter, chatter, as I flow”.

The brook repeats that although men are transient, it goes on forever.

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51 Comments

  1. dharya

    September 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

    this is pretty good but a few lines like the netted sunbeams is wrong

    • Niharika

      May 16, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      I understand it clearly now thanks

  2. Shaima

    May 21, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Easier language will be preferable.( as this would be needed mostly by young students )

    • dhruv

      August 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      i definitely agree to dis remark

    • yashas

      September 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      You said correct

  3. Vedant

    September 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Lines are not to the point.Extra information is given and not what is required 🙂

  4. aanmary

    September 22, 2014 at 6:09 am

    some more easy language is good

  5. sathees

    November 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    it s nice

  6. priya

    January 19, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Its useful but its not to the point but giving meaning for new words are really good

  7. Doyel

    February 14, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    The summary is well written and understandable. And this has proved helpful for the purpose.

  8. Ashwini Raghu

    May 26, 2015 at 6:01 am

    I don’t it necessary for the summary to be too long. But all the same it is pretty good because it proved useful for me.

  9. pavithra

    June 3, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Its very useful for my summary and summer projects

  10. janu

    June 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    it is good and in easy language which I understood very well. Thanks

  11. varsha

    June 22, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Its too much long..I needed a short but perfect summary.. Meanings of some line a were far beyond my imagination.. Overall..it was helpful…
    Thank you

    • tuhina

      June 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      This is quite useful.

    • tuhina

      June 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      This is quite useful.I am benifited.

  12. sudeep

    July 1, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    i found it very useful

  13. Anush

    July 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    It is very good and helpful but long Thankyou

  14. Aryan Singh

    July 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    This is very godd as it is all know. There is also good explanation by beaming notes. By read this explanation you can enjoy examination without any fear.

  15. Aryan Singh

    July 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Give a some short summary.
    This too much big

  16. Ritam

    July 12, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Excellent summary but a little lengthy. It is very useful for summary projects also. Great work.

  17. kiranthara

    July 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    thanks .this summary helps me to complete my project

  18. Aniket Patel

    July 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    It helped me its really nice

  19. harisankar

    July 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    excellent summary it help me a lot but very lengthy!!!!

  20. Pally.

    July 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    This summary was very helpful for my courses.And s lot of thanks for that

  21. Naman Khandelwal

    August 16, 2015 at 10:06 am

    this poem is amazing and true.this language is proportional to 9th std

  22. Naman Khandelwal

    August 16, 2015 at 10:08 am

    this poem is amazing and true.this language is proportional for class9th

  23. ashfaque mazumder

    August 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Helped me passing

  24. priyadarshinipattanaikmail.com

    August 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    It is very simple and nice poem for school children

  25. gaurav jangra

    September 16, 2015 at 6:55 am

    very helpfull.if anybody wats to ask question from me related to this chapter so my contact no. is7876942406

  26. Chirag

    September 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Thnx..aa looottt…

  27. Amulya

    October 4, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Helpfulllllllll!!!!!!!

  28. birju

    October 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Its simple and easy to understand.i like it

  29. savio

    October 14, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Good jobe easy lagauged thanks

  30. Kakoli Biswas

    November 2, 2015 at 10:54 am

    A perfect analysis of the poem. However, I always felt the sunbeam was netted because it filtered in through the branches of trees growing by the brook.

  31. mahdy

    November 6, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    thank you so . It really helped

  32. mahdy

    December 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    It’s a very good comment thank you for your efforts .I really appreciate your work.

  33. Amassuo

    December 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    It Helps me to cheat well hàhà Thankies

  34. Edwin masih

    March 23, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Comment: I have been teaching this poem for three years.

  35. priya

    April 5, 2016 at 11:32 am

    IT WAS REALLY USEFUL TO ME

  36. Suprov

    April 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

    It’s a big summary but it’s good to have more details.

  37. eleena

    April 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Hence Tennyson uses the word ‘loiter’ is used. “is used” should be omitted

  38. pagal singh

    April 24, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Bahut bekar poemvka summary hai

  39. sakshi

    April 25, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    it is good but it must be in easy language because it is mainly important for youngesters and also because all students not know english very well.although it is nice and easy to read.

  40. sakshi

    April 25, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    this is not right at all

  41. ghydf

    April 26, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    good but it really fucked up my project and my teacher

  42. Ishita

    April 27, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    There no second page here it is not the complete summary otherwise it is excellentbbut it should be complete

    • Abhishek

      May 1, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Ishita, Please check the link to second page after the ad ends. Thank you!

  43. vrinda khanna

    May 1, 2016 at 7:27 am

    ya it is quiet understandable but too long.

  44. m

    May 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    very nice

  45. DEBABRATA MOHAPATRA

    May 25, 2016 at 1:18 am

    NICE ONE…..THANKS FOR UPLOADING.

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