Q. 1. What do you learn about the poetess’ mother from ‘A Photograph’?
Ans. The poetess’s mother was a big girl at the age of twelve. She had a sweet face and enjoyed swimming as well as wading in sea water with her cousins. Years later she would have laughed at the clothes they had put on for the sea holiday.
Q. 2. When was the photo taken? Whom does it show?
Ans. The photo was taken when the poet’s mother was simply a girl and was unmarried. She, with her cousins, went for a sea holiday. They stood together smiling at uncle when he took their photograph.
Q. 3. How did the three girls face the camera?
Ans. They were in their beach clothes. The wind had blown their hair across their faces. They were grinning through their hair.
Q. 4. How did the poet’s mother look then ? How did the sea look?
Ans. The poet’s mother looked like a big girl then. She looked beautiful with a sweet face. It was before the poet’s was born. The sea seemed to be washing their feet which are subject to death. However, the sea appears not to have changed.
Q. 5. ‘And of the circumstance’ thus nothing to say at all. Its silence silences’ says the poetess’s in ‘A Photograph. ’ What is she referring to?
Ans. ‘The circumstance, refers to the situation that was captured in the photo years before when the poet’s mother stood for a photograph.
Q. 6. Why do you think, does the poet’s say nothing about her mother’s death?
Ans. The poet’s has no words to express her reaction to this solemn and painful incident. Death silences everyone. The extensive quietness and prevailing gloom silences her.
Q. 7. Explain ‘Terribly transient feet’.
Ans. The sea has not changed much with the passage of time. It is in sharp contrast to short, transient and temporary life and existence of human beings.
Q. 1. What does the word ‘cardboard’ denote in the poem? Why has this word been used?
Ans. The word cardboard denotes the photo frame of the photograph of the poet’s mother with her two cousins. It has been used to denote that it was very old.
Q. 2. What has the camera captured?
Ans. The camera had captured the natural smile and the sweet face of the poet’s mother with her two cousins each one holding her hand.
Q. 3. What has not changed over the years? Does that suggest something to you?
Ans. The sea has not changed over the years. It suggests that nature and its objects do not undergo a change. They remain the same over the years. It also suggests that with the passing of time man dies, but nature remains unchanged.
Q. 4. The poet’s mother laughed at the snapshot. What did her laugh indicate?
Ans. Poet’s mother laughed at the snapshot of her when she was a child. This ‘laugh’ indicates her joy and youthfulness. It also indicated her innocent youthful spirit.
Q. 5. What is the meaning of the line “Both wry with the laboured ease of loss”?
Ans. The sea holiday became the past of the poet’s mother. And her laughter became the poet’s past. Both the posts are sad but the pain has been accepted with a lot of effort as life has to go on.
Q. 6. What does ‘this circumstance’ refer to?
Ans. The circumstance refers to the situation and the lapse of time since the poet’s mother died.
Q. 7. The three stanzas depict three different phases. What are they?
Ans. The first stanza depicts the childhood of poet’s mother when she was enjoying a holiday on the sea side. The second stanza depicts the period when the poet’s mother has grown older and laughs at her own photograph. The third stanza depicts the time when she has died and the poet’s misses her.