A Photograph A Photograph

The cardboard shows me how it was When the two girl cousins went paddling, Each one holding one of my mother's hands, And she the big girl-some twelve years or so. a. Who is the speaker? What is he doing at the moment? b. Who is shown there? What are they doing? c. Why are the two girls holding the hand of the big girl? d. How old are the girls shown in the photograph? e. What is the relation of the poet with the girls? f. Give the meaning of 'paddling'.
a. The speaker of the above lines is Shirley Toulson. At that moment the poetess was looking at the snapshot. b. In the snapshot the poetess can see her mother along with her two cousins. They are all walking barefoot along the shallow path of the sea. c. The two girls are holding the hand of the bigger girl as they have entrusted themselves in the safer custody of their elder cousin. d. The eldest of the three girls is twelve years old and is walking in the middle whereas the other two are younger to her. e. The eldest girl is the poet’s mother in her younger days whereas the girls are her aunts. f. Paddling means walking barefoot in shallow path.
All three stood still to smile through their hair. At the uncle with the camera. A sweet face, My mother's, that was before I was born. And the sea, which appears to have changed less, washed their terribly transient feet. a. What do 'all three' stand for here? b. What does 'I' stand for here? c. Who is the uncle in these lines? d. What does the sea appear to do to them? e. Explain 'smile through their hair'.
Some twenty - thirty - years later She'd laugh at the snapshot. "See Betty And Dolly," she'd say, "and look how they Dressed us for the beach." The sea holiday Was her past, mine is her laughter. Both wry With the laboured ease of loss. a. Who is 'She’ in these lines? b. Why would she laugh at the snapshot? c. Who did dress them for the beach? d. What were they doing at the beach? e. Give the meaning of the word 'wry'.
Now she's been dead nearly as many years As that girl lived. And of this circumstance There is nothing to say at all. Its silence silences. a. Who is 'that girl' referred to in these lines? b. What has happened to the girl? c. What does the poet mean to say 'of this circumstance there is nothing to say at all’? d. Explain 'Its silence silences'. e. Write the nouns of 'die' and 'live'.
A sweet face, My mother's, that was before I was born. And the sea, which appears to have changed less, Washed their terribly transient feet. a. What is the context of the stanza? b. Who is 'I' in these lines? c. What was the age and position of the mother described here?
What does the word ‘cardboard’ denote in the poem? Why has this word been used?
What has the camera captured?
What has not changed over the years? Does this suggest something to you?
The poet’s mother laughed at the snapshot. What did this laugh indicate?
What is the meaning of the line “Both wry with the laboured ease of loss”?
What does “this circumstances” refer to?
The three stanzas depict three different phases. What are they?
Quote two instances from the poem to show that the poet loved and liked her mother very much and misses her?
What moment does the photograph depict?
How does the poet’s past differ from her mother’s?
Briefly comment on the title ‘A Photograph?

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