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Short Answer Questions (with Solutions) - Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After My Teeth Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

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Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow :

1. I wish I’d been more willin’
 When I had more teeth there than fillin’
 To pass up gobstoppers.
 From respect to me choppers,
 And to buy something else with my shillin’.
 [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]

(a) Name the poem and the poet :

Ans. These lines have been taken from the poem ‘Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After My Teeth’ composed by Pam Ayres.

(b) What is the poet’s wish?

Ans. The poetess wishes that she should have looked after her teeth in her childhood.

(c) What is the rhyme scheme of these lines?

Ans. The rhyming scheme is aa bb.

2. So I lay in the old dentist’s chair,
 And I gaze up his nose in despair,
 And his drill it do whine
 In these molars of mine
 “Two amalgum”, hell say “for in there”.
 [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]

(a) What made the poet feel upset?

Ans. She was upset because she was sitting in a dentist’s chair and had to undergo the drilling of her teeth.

(b) What did the dentist do to the poet’s teeth?

Ans. The dentist drilled the poet’s teeth and filled her cavities with a mixture of mercury and silver.

(c) What does ‘two amalgam’ mean?

Ans. It means the mixture of mercury and silver.

3. “When I had more tooth there than fillin’
 To pass the gobstoppers”

(a) Explain the first line :

Ans. The first line refers to the time when the poet had teeth and no cavities to be filled or otherwise. These were strong good teeth.

(b) What does ‘gobstopper’ mean?

Ans.Gobstopper means a large, hard sweet.

(c) Why did the poet eat it?

Ans. The poet in her youth had been very fond of sweets. She was not far-sighted or strong-willed to forego the temptation of eating them. She did not visualise the dangers of cavities and painful teeth and gums.

1. “When I had more tooth there than fillin’
 To pass the gobstoppers”
 (i) Explain the first line.
 (ii) What does ‘gobstopper’ mean?
 (iii) Why did the poet eat it?

Ans. (i) The first line refers to the time when the poet had teeth and no cavities to be filled or otherwise. These were strong good teeth.
(ii) Gobstopper means a large, hard sweet.
(iii) The poet in her youth had been very fond of sweets. She was not far-sighted or strong-willed to forego the temptation of eating them: She did not visualise the dangers of cavities and painful teeth and gums.

Q2. “All that hard peanut brittle My conscience gets horribly pricked.”
 (i) Why did the poet feel guilty?
 (ii) What damage was caused by hard peanut?

Ans. “The poet feels guilty when she thinks of all the sweets she had sucked and enjoyed specially peanut brittle which is a hard sweet made from nuts and sugar, which did a lot of damage to her teeth. The hard peanut brittle damaged her teeth. Constant eating of this hard brittle sweet was not good for her teeth which became weak with time.

Q3. Why did the poet laugh at her mother’s teeth?

Ans. The poet laughed at her mother's false teeth which used to be kept in water. She was young irresponsible and quite ignorant of the importance of a good denture in one’s life. To her, it looked funny. But now finding herself in the same situation she realises their importance.

Q4. What is ‘reckoning' time for the poet? Can it be helped now?

Ans. Reckoning means making amends for one’s mistakes. The poet neglected her teeth. Now when she faced with the danger of losing them and a number of painful cavities to deal with, she feels as if the time to give accountability for her negligence had come.

Q5. Give an appropriate proverb that conveys the message that this poem gives. Relate the proverbs to the poem.
 Or
‘Prevention is better than cure’. Explain with reference to the poem, ‘Oh, I wish I’d looked after my teeth’. [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]

Ans. No use crying over spilt milk — means you can achieve nothing by lamenting over the loss of something which cannot be retrieved. The poet is now lamenting that she should have taken good care of her teeth at the right time and not succumbed to the temptation of eating too many sticky sweets. She is forgetting that she cannot get her beautiful strong teeth back by regretting her mistakes. The message is that when the opportunity is there, we must take it; once it is lost it cannot be retrieved. This holds good in all situations.

Q6. What caused cavities in the teeth of the poetess? [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]
 Or
 How is the poetess responsible for spoiling her teeth ? [CBSE 2010 (Term II)]

Ans. The poet was very stubborn and negligent of dental hygiene during childhood. She was careless and never listened to the instructions of her mother. She was too tempted by lollies, candies, sherbets and other sticky sweets. Her mother cautioned her time and again that a tooth is like a friend, and it should be looked after well. But the poet could not resist sweets and thus spoiled her teeth.

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