Chapter 4.5 If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking …


Chapter 4.5 If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking …

Textbook Questions and Answers

1. What does the poet want to do?

Question 1.
What does the poet want to do?
The poet wants to stop a heart from breaking, i.e., help a person from becoming sad and help a fainting robin back into his nest again.

Question 2.
Does the poet expect anything in return? What is the poet’s reward?
No, the poet does not expect anything in return. The poet believes that through these acts, he can add meaning to his life and therein lies his reward.

Question 3.
List the phrases that indicate sorrow or pain.
a. stop one heart from breaking;
b. ease one life the aching

Question 4.
Form groups of five and discuss. There are many things that seem small, minor or insignificant to some people but the same may be the cause of great pain, suffering for others.
Can you list such things? What can you do to provide help on these occasions? What do we do?

  1. Some people may not give a lot of importance to money while there are others who are dying due to hunger and starvation. They are so poor that they cannot afford their basic needs,
  2. We should help organize food for the poor and the needy. We can request NGOs to help them.
  3. Some people leave the taps open and wastewater while there are thousands who are deprived of drinking water. We should create awareness about the need to save water and ensure that we do all we can to help people overcome water scarcity.
  4. Many people visit restaurants and waste food. They do it at home too, At the same time, there are so many people who sometimes starve to death.
  5. We can request hotels and restaurants to donate a part of whatever they prepare each day to those in need. (Students may add their ideas to the list)

Additional Important Questions and Answers

Answer in one sentence.

Question 1.
What is the message conveyed through this poem?
The message conveyed through this poem is that we should do all we can to reduce the pain and suffering of human beings and other creatures of nature.

Reading and Poetic Device.

Question 1.
Complete the web diagram.

Question 2.
What is the central idea of the poem?
The central idea of the poem is that by showing kindness to man and other creatures of nature like a bird, we will be making our life purposeful and meaningful.

Question 3.
Name two values highlighted in the poem.
The two values highlighted in the poem are compassion and kindness.

Question 4.
Explain the lines: ‘If I can ease one life the aching, I shall not live in vain’.
Through the above lines, the poetess is conveying the message that if she can reduce the pain and suffering of anyone in this world, her life will acquire meaning. It will be a purposeful life, well-lived.

Question 5.
Pick out proof to show that the poetess doesn’t want to reserve her care and compassion to human beings alone.
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain

Question 6.
Complete the following:
If I can stop one heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain.

Question 7.
Pick out two pairs of rhyming words from the poem.
a. breaking – aching;
b. pain – again

Question 8.
Name the rhyme scheme used in the first four lines of the poem.

Question 9.
Pick out an archaic (old usage) word from the poem.

Question 10.
How will you make your life worthwhile?
I believe: ‘It is blessed to give than to receive’. I will make my life worthwhile by caring for my fellow beings. I will also strive towards conservation, preservation and protection of the environment.

Language Study.

Question 1.
Pick out naming words from the poem, (any 4)

Question 2.
Pick out action words from the poem (any 4)
Maharashtra Board Class 6 English Solutions Chapter 4.5 If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking … 3

Question 3.
Write one word with the same sound.
(a) one – won (b) pain – pane.

Writing Skills.

Question 1.
Write an essay on: ‘Service to Humanity is Service to God’
Woodrow Wilson has rightly said, “There is no higher religion than human service.” To work for the common good is the greatest creed.”

Our life acquires meaning only when we commit it towards the service of others. Love, care, compassion, kindness, empathy, sympathy, etc., are some of the vital values which will help us to reach out to those in need or to those in distress. There are several social workers who have committed their life in service of others. Whether it is Mother Teresa, Baba Amte, or Sant Cadge Maharaj, one thing they had in common was the unconditional love they had for their fellow beings.

We can make a world of difference by joining NGOs or participating in our school’s initiatives towards social work. Visiting home for the aged and spending time with the elderly, distributing gifts to the children in orphanages on our birthday, etc., are little acts of kindness which can make a big difference.

Let us remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. With a heart filled with generosity, with words that are kind and through acts of selflessness, let us build a world where love and happiness reign supreme.

Quote of the Day.

Use your voice for kindness

  1. your care for compassion
  2. your hands for charity
  3. your mind for truth
  4. your heart for love

Summary in English

Emily Dickinson in her poem conveys the message that we should do whatever we can to make the life of those around us happier.
Little acts of care, compassion, concern and love can make a world of difference. Paraphrase:
The poet also advises us to be compassionate not only to human beings but also to the animals. We should do all we can to reduce pain and suffering.


A beautiful poem which highlights the importance of reaching out to humans and other creatures of nature thus making a world of difference to them.


  1. stop heart from breaking – to help a person
  2. live in vain – live without purpose
  3. ease one life the aching – reduce sorrow in someone’s life
  4. cool one pain – reduce the pain, give relief from becoming sad
  5. unto – to (archaic use)