Editor choice

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’.

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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.


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.

Go to Page 2, to continue reading!

Editor choice

  1. Reply
    dharya September 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

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

    • Reply
      richa jayanti class 7 January 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      no i think that’s only an imagination or quite true reality!!!!!

    • Reply
      Sowjanya June 13, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      I understood it very clearly now

    • Reply
      Niharika May 16, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      I understand it clearly now thanks

      • Reply
        Manav T June 9, 2016 at 1:38 pm

        Your from which School

  2. Reply
    Shaima May 21, 2014 at 11:23 am

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

    • Reply
      mrittika June 19, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      thank you abhishek..its quite helpful

    • Reply
      nishant June 2, 2016 at 3:41 am

      I am with shaima

    • Reply
      yashas September 18, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      You said correct

    • Reply
      dhruv August 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      i definitely agree to dis remark

  3. Reply
    Vedant September 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

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

  4. Reply
    aanmary September 22, 2014 at 6:09 am

    some more easy language is good

  5. Reply
    sathees November 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    it s nice

  6. Reply
    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. Reply
    Doyel February 14, 2015 at 8:12 pm

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

  8. Reply
    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. Reply
    pavithra June 3, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Its very useful for my summary and summer projects

  10. Reply
    janu June 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

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

  11. Reply
    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

    • Reply
      tuhina June 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      This is quite useful.I am benifited.

    • Reply
      tuhina June 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      This is quite useful.

  12. Reply
    sudeep July 1, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    i found it very useful

  13. Reply
    Anush July 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    It is very good and helpful but long Thankyou

  14. Reply
    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. Reply
    Aryan Singh July 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Give a some short summary.
    This too much big

  16. Reply
    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. Reply
    kiranthara July 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    thanks .this summary helps me to complete my project

  18. Reply
    Aniket Patel July 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    It helped me its really nice

  19. Reply
    harisankar July 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm

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

  20. Reply
    Pally. July 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

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

  21. Reply
    Naman Khandelwal August 16, 2015 at 10:06 am

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

  22. Reply
    Naman Khandelwal August 16, 2015 at 10:08 am

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

  23. Reply
    ashfaque mazumder August 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Helped me passing

  24. Reply
    priyadarshinipattanaikmail.com August 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    It is very simple and nice poem for school children

  25. Reply
    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. Reply
    Chirag September 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Thnx..aa looottt…

  27. Reply
    Amulya October 4, 2015 at 7:06 am


  28. Reply
    birju October 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Its simple and easy to understand.i like it

  29. Reply
    savio October 14, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Good jobe easy lagauged thanks

  30. Reply
    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. Reply
    mahdy November 6, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    thank you so . It really helped

  32. Reply
    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. Reply
    Amassuo December 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    It Helps me to cheat well hàhà Thankies

  34. Reply
    Edwin masih March 23, 2016 at 6:56 am

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

  35. Reply
    priya April 5, 2016 at 11:32 am


  36. Reply
    Suprov April 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

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

  37. Reply
    eleena April 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm

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

  38. Reply
    pagal singh April 24, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Bahut bekar poemvka summary hai

    • Reply
      aysha July 17, 2016 at 11:49 pm

      Its a beautiful poem by Tennyson as it shows the lives of human beings how it is lived

  39. Reply
    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. Reply
    sakshi April 25, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    this is not right at all

  41. Reply
    ghydf April 26, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    good but it really fucked up my project and my teacher

  42. Reply
    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

    • Reply
      Abhishek May 1, 2016 at 1:16 am

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

      • Reply
        Sama September 21, 2016 at 1:14 am

        Hai this was a nice cute summery

  43. Reply
    vrinda khanna May 1, 2016 at 7:27 am

    ya it is quiet understandable but too long.

  44. Reply
    m May 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    very nice

  45. Reply
    DEBABRATA MOHAPATRA May 25, 2016 at 1:18 am


  46. Reply
    Hemant kumar June 5, 2016 at 7:15 am

    It’s helpful for me and others also

  47. Reply
    arinrajsingh June 5, 2016 at 7:41 am

    its easy to understand “but to loooooong”

    • Reply
      Rameese July 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm


  48. Reply
    keerthu June 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    nice but it can be short and crisp then it will be easy

  49. Reply
    mrittika June 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    thank you for this one.. quite helpful

  50. Reply
    Akash July 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Awesome . Understood the poem better . Thanx to the people who uploaded this. ????

  51. Reply
    kaushal July 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Iam understanding this Summary but too large……… Thanxx….

  52. Reply
    Charu July 14, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    It’s too good and quit easy to understand ??

  53. Reply
    Rameese July 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm


  54. Reply
    bapan som July 29, 2016 at 11:46 am

    good it is very useful but too big, anyways I like it it is nice

  55. Reply
    Sam August 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I clearly understood the poem. Really it is a marvelous website

    • Reply
      mohan August 25, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      but i cant understand the values

      • Reply
        Swineetha Weeratunge August 29, 2016 at 5:27 am

        what do you mean by ‘value’. why cant’ you understand the value of the nature? I am confused

  56. Reply
    Kenisha August 19, 2016 at 2:15 am

    I read it in my book, it was the same,but it was truly heart touching

  57. Reply
    Swineetha Weeratunge August 23, 2016 at 6:10 am

    It’s marvelous and one can forget any sorrow to feel happy. I enjoyed reading this poem several times. I wandered the nature is so strong to feel free in our day to day life,

  58. Reply
    sneha November 22, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Thank u fr this one………. quite hlpfull..?

  59. Reply
    Zach Herman March 6, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Could be better

  60. Reply
    rashmi April 14, 2017 at 4:34 am

    The life of a brook can be collated to human life. We start as tiny toddlers we grow , face many hurdles live within society and submerge with the river and ocean of eternity. He is immortal but the water of brook in river can’t flow back and it represents human life and men may come and men may go but eternity time d nature for ever

  61. Reply
    FEMEENA April 26, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    its quite long i need a short summary ………….but useful

  62. Reply
    Tenny Walker April 30, 2017 at 11:19 am

    it will help me in exams but english is quite difficult as we are not native speakers of english

  63. Reply
    NanDini May 2, 2017 at 8:37 am

    It could be better…its a summary so it should be short and it should use a easy language for better understanding…

  64. Reply
    Raj June 22, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    It could be better when it is short. But this is very useful for my exam point of view and summer project

  65. Reply
    Revanth September 7, 2017 at 5:52 am

    It is very helpful but the entire poem’s summary or translation is not given like about the netted Sunbeam

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