Multiple Choice Questions
1. Why did the flowers seem to be "made of light" ?
(a) They were beautiful but delicate
(b) They were white but light
(d) They were shining in reflection
(c) They were of different colours
Answer: (a) They were beautiful but delicate
2. What is a laburnum?
(a) A tree with red flowers
(b) A tree with clusters of white flowers
(c) A tree with clusters of yellow flowers
(d) A shrub with pink flowers
Answer: (c) A tree with clusters of yellow flowers
3. The tree is still living.
(a) and the poet's life is easy
(b) and the poet likes trees
(c) but the beauty of the poet's childhood is gone
(d) but the poet dislikes trees.
Answer: (c) but the beauty of the poet's childhood is gone
4. The poet's spirit was when he was a child and now it is
(a) heavy, light
(c) heavy, heavy
(b) light, light
(d) light, heavy
Answer: (d) light, heavy
5. What is the mood of the poem?
Answer: (c) Nostalgic
6. What contrast does the poet draw by talking about the swing and the pools?
(a) The innocence of childhood and the worry ridden life of an adult
(b) The careless attitude of a child and the cautious attitude of an adult
(c) The healthy life of a child and the woeful life of an adult
(d) There is no contrast.
Answer: (a) The innocence of childhood and the worry ridden life of an adult
7. What shows that the poet was ignorant as a child?
(a) He thought that all trees were same.
(b) He did not look at the trees.
(c) He thought that the trees could grow beyond the sky.
(d) He thought that the tree tops were close to heaven.
Answer: (d) He thought that the tree tops were close to heaven.
8. The poet talks about
(a) his childhood days and innocence
(b) how he enjoys being an adult
(c) his childhood friends
(d) his childhood home
Answer: (a) his childhood days and innocence
9. The poet thought that he was closer to heaven as a child because
(a) he used to pray a lot
(b) he was innocent and did not know the harsh realities of life
(c) he was able to climb a huge tree
(d) he was a responsible child
Answer: (b) he was innocent and did not know the harsh realities of life
10. What is the significance of "summer pools could hardly cool the fever on my brow"?
(a) The pool is warm and could not cool him.
(b) The poet does not like to swim
(c) The things that relieved him can barely calm him now
(d) The poet was unwell
Answer: (c) The things that relieved him can barely calm him now
11. The poet's spirit flew in feathers when he was a child as
(a) he was innocent
(b) he was reckless
(c) he was joyful
(d) he was silent
Answer: (c) he was joyful
12. The poet wishes to go back to his childhood days because
(a) his present is painful
(b) he was happy when he was a child
(c) he did not worry when he was a child
(d) All of the above
Answer: (d) All of the above
13. Why did the poet wish that his life had ended when he was a child?
(a) It was a difficult life as a child.
(b) Because his blissful childhood days would have continued.
(c) He did not wish to become an adult.
(d) He did not want to live now.
Answer: (b) Because his blissful childhood days would have continued.
14. The poet felt the need to make a contrast between the childhood days and adult life because:
(a) childhood was a perfect time.
(c) he disliked his childhood days.
(b) he is happier as an adult.
(d) he was forced to do so.
Answer: (a) childhood was a perfect time.
15. Why is there a repetition of the words I Remember, I Remember'?
(a) To create a musical quality
(b) To emphasise his childhood memories
(c) To show poet's memory was short lived
(d) for no reason
Answer: (b) To emphasise his childhood memories
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow
I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!
(i) When did the sun come "peeping"? Why?
Answer: The sun came "peeping" in at morn through the little window of the house where the poet was born. It signifies the poet's fond memory of the predictability and comfort of his childhood days.
(ii) What do the lines "never came a wink too soon" imply? What is the poet trying to indicate?
Answer: The lines imply that the sun was always punctual and never too early or too late. The poet is trying to indicate the regularity and perfection of his childhood days, contrasting it with the unpredictability of adulthood.
(iii) Why does the poet wish "the night had borne his breath away"?
Answer: The poet wishes that he had died during his childhood, implying that his childhood was a time of happiness and innocence, and he doesn't want to face the challenges and uncertainties of adulthood.
(iv) Describe in your own words the imagery portrayed in this extract.
Answer: The imagery in this extract paints a picture of a cherished childhood home with a window that welcomed the morning sun. The sun's timely appearance is contrasted with the poet's current wish for eternal rest, symbolizing the juxtaposition of carefree childhood and burdened adulthood.
(v) Give the significance of the first line of this extract in the poem.
Answer: The first line "I remember, I remember" serves as a refrain and sets the tone of nostalgia throughout the poem. It emphasizes the poet's longing for the past and his yearning to relive those moments.
I remember, I remember,The roses, red and white,The vi'lets, and the lily-cups,Those flowers made of light!The lilacs where the robin built,And where my brother setThe laburnum on his birthday,The tree is living yet!
I remember, I remember,Where I was used to swing,And thought the air must rush as freshTo swallows on the wing;My spirit flew in feathers then,That is so heavy now,And summer pools could hardly coolThe fever on my brow!
I remember, I remember,The fir trees dark and high;I used to think their slender topsWere close against the sky:It was a childish ignorance,But now 'tis little joyTo know I'm farther off from heav'nThan when I was a boy.
1. Do you think the poet misses his childhood and wants to go back to that time? Elaborate.
Absolutely. Throughout the poem "I Remember, I Remember", the poet, Thomas Hood, is awash with nostalgia. His fond memories of childhood are presented in stark contrast to his present state. The recurring refrain "I remember, I remember" underscores this deep yearning for the past. The vivid descriptions of the house he grew up in, the flowers, the swing, and the tall fir trees all paint a picture of a time filled with wonder, innocence, and happiness. In contrast, his adult life seems filled with regrets and sorrows. The lines, "But now, I often wish the night had borne my breath away!" reveal his wish to have stayed in those childhood moments forever. This powerful sentiment showcases the depth of his longing for the blissful days of his youth.
2. What is the mood of the poem 'I Remember I Remember"?
The mood of the poem is deeply nostalgic and melancholic. Hood's reminiscences about his childhood are filled with warmth and fondness, evoking an era of innocence and wonder. However, this is contrasted sharply with his present feelings of sorrow and longing. The constant juxtaposition of the blissful past and the regretful present creates a mood of yearning. His descriptions are both vivid and emotional, making readers feel his deep sense of loss and his longing to go back to those simpler times.
3. Is the poet wiser now? Give references to support your answer.
Yes, the poet is wiser now, but this wisdom comes with a sense of loss. This is evident in the lines, "It was a childish ignorance, But now 'tis little joy To know I'm farther off from heav'n than when I was a boy." As a child, he believed that the tops of the tall fir trees touched the sky, symbolizing his innocence and the simplistic worldview of childhood. But as an adult, he has come to know the realities of the world. This newfound wisdom or realization has robbed him of the innocent joys and the sense of closeness to heaven he felt as a child.
4. When we are young, we are in a hurry to grow up; and when we grow up, we remember the childhood days and memories. Comment.
This statement rings true for many. Childhood is often a time of innocence, wonder, and a lack of responsibilities. However, as children, many long for the freedoms and autonomy associated with adulthood. Yet, once grown, the weight of responsibilities, the complexities of life, and the loss of innocence often make adults yearn for the simplicity and joy of their childhood days. Thomas Hood's "I Remember, I Remember" encapsulates this sentiment perfectly. The poet's vivid recollections of his youth, juxtaposed against his current feelings of longing, highlight the universal human tendency to idealize the past and yearn for times gone by.
5. What does the poem show about the poet's present? Compare the poet's childhood days with his present.
The poem paints a picture of the poet's present as one filled with regrets, sorrows, and a deep yearning for the past. The references to his current state, such as "But now, I often wish the night had borne my breath away!" and "That is so heavy now," highlight his feelings of desolation and the burdens of adulthood. In contrast, his childhood is portrayed as a time of innocence, wonder, and pure joy. The house, the garden, the swing, and the tall fir trees all symbolize different aspects of a blissful childhood. The stark differences between the then and now emphasize the transient nature of time and the inevitable loss of innocence that comes with growing up.
6. Comment on the main theme of the poem.
The main theme of "I Remember, I Remember" is the nostalgia for childhood and the inevitable passage of time. The poem delves deep into the human psyche's tendency to look back on the past, especially childhood, with a mix of fondness, regret, and yearning. Thomas Hood contrasts the innocence, simplicity, and joy of childhood with the complexities, burdens, and regrets of adulthood. The recurring refrain "I remember, I remember" underscores the deep-seated human desire to hold onto cherished memories and the longing to relive moments from the past. The poem is a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of time and the universal sentiment of longing for days gone by.