Telangana SCERT 8th Class English Guide Telangana State Unit 1B My Mother (Poem) Textbook Questions and Answers.
TS 8th Class English Guide Unit 1B My Mother (Poem)
I cannot remember my mother,
only sometime in the midst of my play
a tune seems to hover over my playthings,
the tune of some song that she used
to hum while rocking my cradle.
I cannot remember my mother,
but when in the early autumn morning
the smell of the shiuli flowers floats in the air,
the scent of the morning service in the temple
comes to me as the scent of my mother.
I cannot remember my mother,
only when from my bedroom window I send my
eyes into the blue of the distant sky,
I feel that the stillness of my mother’s gaze
on my face has spread all over the sky.
– Rabindranath Tagore
Questions and Answers:
How does the poet feel the presence of his mother?
The poet Rabindranath Tagore feels the presence of his mother as if she were still staying with him showing her great love and care. He says that he feels the presence of his mother when he is playing and listening to a tune hovering over his play things. He remembers the humming of his mother while she was rocking the cradle.
He also says that in the early autumn morning as the smell of shiuli flowers floats in the air, he remembers his mother’s presence in the scent of the morning service in the temple. He feels the presence of his mother while peeping through the window into the distant sky. He feels his mother’s gaze on his face has spread all over the sky. He depicts his mother’s existence through beautiful imageries which he experienced in his childhood days.
What do you understand from the statement – ‘I cannot remember my mother’?
Tagore’s mother died when he was young. Here he expresses his inability to actually recall the face or the features of his mother. He could only imagine her presence in a tune, fragrance etc.
Does the poem convey sadness? If yes, pick out the suggestive expressions.
Yes, the poem conveys sadness. Expressions suggesting sadness are :
- I cannot remember my mother
- Stillness of my mother’s gaze has spread all over the sky
- I send my eyes into the blue of the distant sky
What imagery do you find in each stanza? To which sense does it appeal to you?
Sense it appeals to
|Mother rocking the cradle and singing a song
|The smell of shiuli flowers
The scent of morning service in the temple
The scent of his mother
|Stillness of his mother’s gaze, spreading all over the sky
Read the poem ‘My Mother’ again and complete the table.
|Stanza – 1
|Stanza – 2
Stanza – 3
|Who are the persons involved?
|mother and child
|mother and a son
|mother and a man (the grown up child)
|Where does the action take place?
|What is the mother associated with?
|What is the theme?
|mother’s care and love
We all love our mother, don’t we? We love her because of certain qualities. Think and write about her qualities.
Mother is everything to a child. She is such a great person who shows her care and love towards her children forever. Even God is next to mother. There is a saying which means, “As God is unable to attend to all the needs of man, he has created mother”. Mother sacrifices her life for the prosperity of her children. She always loves and takes care of her children till her last breath.
A mother has the qualities of patience, love, affection, and care.
How would you choreograph the first stanza? (Group work)
a) What settings do you arrange?
Mother humming a song rocking the cradle.
b) What are the characters and their actions?
Mother – singing at the cradle.
Baby – lying in the cradle.
Children – playing in the ground.
c) What is the sequence of actions?
1. Play ground and cradle scene 2. Temple scene 3. Bed room in the house and sky.
|Action of the main character
|Action of the supporting characters
|Mother – rocking the cradle
|The supporting team/characters sing a tune rocking the cradle.
|Mother – visiting temple
|The supporting team/characters offer the shiuli flowers to God.
|The poet stands at the window of his bed room and looks into the blue of the distant sky.
|The mother character appears as she is looking down at him lovingly.
Each group may choreograph different stanzas of the poem.
My Mother (Poem) Summary in English
Through the poem ‘My Mother’ the poet Rabindranath Tagore explains the mother’s love and the poet remembering his mother.
He remembers his mother forever.
He says that he remembers his mother when he is playing and listening to a tune hovering over his play things. He remembers humming of his mother while she was rocking the cradle.
He remembers his mother’s existence in the scent of shiuli flowers in the morning service in the temple. He remembers his mother peeping through the window into the distant sky. He feels his mother’s gazing on his face spreading all over the sky. He depicts his mother’s existence through beautiful imageries from his childhood days in association with his mother.
About the Author:
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is popularly known as Vishwa Kavi and Gurudev. He was the founder of Shantiniketan, an experimental school. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for his ‘Gitanjali’, the Song of Offerings. Each of his poems reflects Indian vision and love towards his Mother Land. He is considered the Voice of Indian Heritage and Spiritualism.
1. hover (v) : remain in the air
2. shiuli (n) : small, white or orange flowers that bloom in autumn
3. scent (n) : perfume/good smell
Additional Meanings :
4. midst : in the middle-centre
5. humming : singing without opening mouth
6. floating : moving easily through air
7. gaze : look at something or some one for a long time
8. autumn : season of the year when trees shed leaves
9. rocking : swinging
10. service : (here) prayer