1. What do the following phrases mean to you? Discuss in class.
- humid shadows
- starry spheres
- what a bliss
- a thousand dreamy fancies into busy being start
- a thousand recollections weave their air-threads into woof
- Humid shadows– The dark clouds in the sky that bring rain. The humid shadows could metaphorically mean the dark memories of the past which causes the sky to weep.
- Starry spheres– The sky at night with the stars, planets other heavenly bodies all shining. It could also be a personification of the poet who finds himself clouded by memories of his past.
- What bliss- The phrase is an expression of the poet’s happiness as he listens to the sound of the rain.
- A thousand dreamy fancies into busy being start– The many dreams and fantasies that are awakened in the poet’s mind.
- A thousand recollections weave their air-threads into woof– Just as in weaving, threads mesh together to form a pattern, thousand memories join together to form a beautiful picture.
2. What does the poet like to do when it rains?
When it rains, the poet is delighted to lie in bed with his pillow pressed to his face and to listen to the patter of the raindrops falling upon the roof of his cottage.
3. What is the single major memory that comes to the poet? Who are the “darling dreamers” he refers to?
The single major memory that comes to the poet is that of his mother as she used to be in. She used to look fondly at her children as they fell asleep in their beds. The ‘darling dreamers’ are her children -the poet and his siblings.
4. Is the poet now a child? Is his mother still alive?
No the poet is no longer a child but an adult. As the poet listens to the raindrops, memories of his mother, as she used to be years ago, come to him and he still feels her fond look on him. These lines signify her absence.
Though the poem does not hint at the death of the poet’s mother, it does tell us that she is no longer with him.
II. 1. When you were a young child, did your mother tuck you in, as the poet’s did?
This is a model answer just for reference. Students are recommended to answer this question based on their experiences.
- Yes, my mother used to tuck me in bed.
- Yes, my mother not only tucked me into bed but also read me a story before I fell asleep.
- No, my mother was busy clearing up the dinner and keeping the things ready for our next day at school so my father used to tuck us into bed.
2. Do you like rain? What do you do when it rains steadily or heavily as described in the poem?
This answer can also differ from student to student. Students are expected to write their own point of view.
Some hints:Yes, I love the rain.
- I love to sit at home and listen to the pitter- patter of the raindrops.
- I love the smell of the wet earth. I like to read a book in my bed.
- I like to go out and play and feel the refreshing rain on my face.
- The rain cools the atmosphere and this makes it easier for me to study and concentrate on my homework.
- I love to spend time with the family playing some indoor games like scrabble, cards etc.
No, I don’t like the rain;
- The rain makes me feel miserable me.
- I am an outdoor person, so I cannot go out and play with my friends in the rain.
3. Does everybody have a cosy bed to lie in when it rains? Look around you and describe how different kinds of people or animals spend time, seek shelter etc. during rain.
No, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a cosy bed to lie in when it rains.Bike riders, men pushing hand carts get caught in the sudden showers. They take shelter under buildings and roofs of houses and wait patiently till the rain subsides.
The slum dwellers, the beggars and the homeless find it very difficult to find a dry spot to rest their heads. They cover their tiny homes with plastic sheets; they look for shelter in different places like bus stops, steps of buildings or bridges.
Birds try to find shelter on the parapets and windows of buildings. In small towns and villages, stray dogs and other animals like cattle look for shelter under the trees and the roofs of houses.