Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1: How does the poet describe the sky before the rain falls?
Answer: There were dark clouds hovering around in the sky. They hid the stars with darkness all around. The poet compares the darkness with sadness, as these humid shadows gently weep which pours down rainy tears.
Question 2: Do you think that the poem, Rain on the Roof, is lauding the healing power of nature’s rain?
Answer: The poet is appreciating the rain, especially when he hears it from a cozy bed in a lovely “cottage. This rain and its sound have resurrected the fondest memory of the poet’s mother in his mind. As the rain continues, the poet tries to recollect all that caused him pain, yet at the same time lifted his spirits.
Question 3: What does each sound of shingle create?
Answer: Every raindrop on the tiles of the roof creates a rhythm with the poet’s heartbeat. This evokes thousands of dreams making his thoughts busy. While he focuses on the listening to the pitter-patter on the roof, his mind starts weaving recollections of fond memories of yesteryears.
Question 4: Who all does the poet remember while listening to the rain?
Answer: The poet remembers his mother who used to put him to bed every night and then used to look at him lovingly while he slept. He also remembers his angelic sister who died early. He also remembers the young girl whom the poet had admired at some point of time in his life.
Question 5: Is the poet, Coates Kinney, able to enjoy the rain or he reminisces at the lost time?
Answer: The general atmosphere of the poem is very somber. There is darkness around but rain compensates it with the spirit of peace for the lonely night at hand. The poet realizes how much joy and pleasure of sleep he can attain when his head presses against his pillow to conclude the long day into a good nights rest.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1: What happens when the poet listens to the patter of rain? Do you think that rain is a narrative tool in the poet’s life?
Answer: The raindrops play music on the roof and create a sound of pitter-patter. To the poet this music is blissful. At die beginning of the poem, there is a certain tinge of sadness around which starts to weep away with the coming of raindrops. Every raindrop on the tiles of the roof creates a rhythm with the poet’s heartbeat. The poet tries to focus on listening to the pitter-patter on the roof whereas his mind weaves the recollections of fond memories of yesteryears.
Rain bears a subtle link with all aspects of life. It serves as a powerful narrative tool in the poet’s life. It has added a layer of depth and fullness to the situation where the poet is concerned. It delivers an effective voice which communicates the apt moment of time and space as well as the emotions of the protagonist in a more poignant manner than mere words would do.
Question 2: There is an image of the past in the poem, ‘Rain on the Roof’. Is this imagery similar to ones used in the poem, ‘The Road not Taken’? Explain.
Answer: In the poem, ‘Rain on the Roof’, the past is being spoken about but not in terms of regret or sadness whereas in the poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’, there is sadness and regret as imagery. Rain lulls the poet into dreams which bring back the memory of his family and loved ones.
In the poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’, the poet is regretting his decision that he took years back. There is an imagery of past in both the poem but in the poem by Coates Kinney, this past imagery is the wonderful thought of a loving mother whereas, in a poem by Robert Frost, the poem is about regret. The road not taken symbolizes the choice to enter the uncharted land. It suggests that in making this choice he is trying to distinguish himself from the rest of the world by taking the less travelled, less worn road. Both the poems have the imagery of past. One creates a sense of love and want and create a somber mood. The other poem delves into the decision making power of the poet which took him places but could not satisfy him.
Question 3: Dreams hold importance in the poet’s life. Is it true? Explain.
Answer: This poem is depicting the overall mood on a rainy night. During the night the humid clouds full of water creates dark shadows over the star-studded sky. The poet dreams about his mother and the way she used to tuck him in bed. The poet’s dream of his mother reminds him of his childhood days. His mother used to tell stories to lull him into sleep full of dreams. The music being played on the rooftop is like the affectionate look by which his mother used to see him, while he was a kid. So dreams make him realize the importance of past and the things that he now misses.