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RAIN ON THE ROOF
By- Coates Kinney
Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow.
STANZAS FOR COMPREHENSION
Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow in one or two lines.
When the humid shadows hover
Overall the starry spheres
And the melancholy darkness
Gently weeps in rainy tears,
What a bliss to press the pillow
Of a cottage-chamber bed
And like listening to the patter
Of the soft rain overhead!
In this stanza, the poet describes his experience of rain one day as he lies in a comfortable, leisurely mood in his cottage and listens to the soothing music made by the showers of rain falling overhead on the roof. The poet states that when the star-studded sky is thickly overcast with clouds, it leads to gloomy darkness all around. The vapours condense to form clouds that produce gentle rain. According to the imagination of the poet, the raindrops are the tears shed by the dense and sad darkness. The poet considers it to be a heavenly, delightful experience to lie in the comfortable bed pressing the head against a soft pillow and listening to the pattering sound of the showers of rain falling on the roof.
(a) What does the poet imply by “humid shadow?
Ans: By “humid shadows”, the poet implies the clouds full of rain.
(b) What does the phrase “starry spheres” refer to?
Ans: The phrase “starry spheres” refers to the sky filled with numerous stars shining at night.
(c) What does the poet consider to be a ‘bliss’ in the rainy season?
Ans: In the rainy season when the showers are falling on the roof, the poet considers it bliss to lie comfortably in the bed pressing his head against the pillow.
(d) Which poetic device has been used in “lie listening”?
Ans: In “lie listening”, the poetic device used is alliteration as ‘I’ sound is repeated.
(e) Which poetic device has been used in the third and fourth lines?
Ans: The third line employs ‘transferred epithet’ by the words “melancholy darkness”. Here darkness is not sad or melancholy but some man who is sad in the darkness. The fourth line uses ‘personification’ by presenting the sadness as weeping gently by shedding tears in the form of rain.
Every tinkle on the shingles
Has an echo in the heart;
And a thousand dreamy fancies
Into busy being start,
And a thousand recollections
Weave their air-threads into woof,
As I listen to the patter
Of the rain upon the roof.
In this stanza, the poet describes the impact of the music made by rain on his heart and mind. He remarks that the tinkling sound produced by the raindrops falling on the roof tiles cause a resonance in his heart. His heart beats respond sensitively to every sound of the falling rain. In his much-occupied mind, a large number of fanciful and imaginative ideas spring up. Innumerable memories of the past are revived and get entwined as if woven like a patchwork as he lies listening to the pattering sound of the raindrops.
(a) What finds an echo in the heart of the poet?
Ans: The tinkling sound of the raindrops falling on the roof overhead finds an echo in the heart of the poet.
(b) How does this sound of the rain affect the busy mind of the poet?
Ans: The sound of the rain triggers a large number of imaginative and fanciful ideas in the busy mind of the poet.
(c) Explain the metaphor used in And a thousand recollection/Weave their air-threads into woof.”
Ans: Here the recollections are compared to the weavers and the memories to a fabric. The entwined memories create a unique fabric of memories.
(d) Which poetic device has been used in the last line of the stanza?
Ans: The poetic device used in the last line is alliteration as ‘r’ sound is repeated in ‘Of the rain upon the roof’.
Now in memory comes my mother,
As she used in years agone,
To regard the darling dreamers
Ere she left them till the dawn:
0! I feel her fond look on me
As I list to this refrain
Which is played upon the shingles
By the patter of the rain.
As the poet lies in his bed listening to the soft pattering sound of the gentle rain falling on the roof, among many other memories, there emerges in his mind the memory of his mother. He vividly remembers how she used to look affectionately at her children before she went to her bed leaving them for the night to meet again in the early morning. As he listens to the music of the rain, he can still experience the loving look of his mother. In fact, the rainy night reminds the poet of similar nights during his childhood when his mother was alive and showered love on him and his siblings.
(a) Who comes in the memory of the poet and when?
Ans: The poet’s mother comes in his memory as he sleeps in his bedchamber on a rainy night when rain lashes the tiles of the roof of his house.
(b) What does the poet remember about his mother?
Ans: The poet remembers the affectionate look of his mother as she was about to leave her children in their bedchamber for the night when she herself went to sleep in her own room.
(c) What does the poet imply by “the darling dreamers”?
Ans: By “the darling dreamers”, the poet implies the children in the family – the poet himself and his siblings – who were about to go to sleep. They would often have pleasant dreams in their sleep.
(d) What refrain is the poet talking about?
Ans: By ‘refrain’ the poet here means a song or recurring melody and in this stanza, it refers to the musical sound of the rain.