Summary and Question Answers of I Can Not Remember My Mother
Central Idea of The Poem: This poem “I Cannot Remember My Mother” is about a child who does not remember his dead mother. But the child perhaps carries some unforgettable attachment of the mother’s image in his mind.
SUMMARY OF I CANNOT REMEMBER MY MOTHER
This poem is written by an Indian prolific writer Rabindranath Tagore. The poem is an emotional expression of a child’s memory of his mother who is dead. It is about the sensitive and intense feelings of a child and the attachments that he has with the mother. In this poem, the child remembers all the things that his mother used to do. His mother left this world when he was still young.
In this poem, he expresses his inability to basically recall the face or the features of his beloved mother. But often a fragrance or a tune triggered off in him happy moments that he shared with his mother. When he looks at his playthings a tune seems to hover over his knick-knacks that is perhaps the same song which his mother often sang as she rocked him to sleep in the cradle. He remembers this tune as he touches his previous toys.
In autumn, the Shiuli tree in Bengal blooms into odoriferous small flowers that are used for worship. His mother would garland the flowers for the morning service at the temple. So, the sacred fragrance of the Shiuli flowers would kindle happy reminiscences of his mother.
He will recall the quiet serene gaze of his mother once he glances at the immense expanse of the clear sky.
The simple lines of the poem eloquently reveal the deep-rooted emotional bonding that the poet had with his mother. It makes us realise the profound impact her quiet dignity had on the poet even at that tender age, for the poet recalls sweet experiences of his infancy and pre-school days.
Question Answers of I Can Not Remember My Mother
Question No.1 What is the poet doing when he remembers his mother?
Answer:The poet is playing with his playthings when he remembers his mother.
Question No.2 In what ways does the poet feel the presence of his mother?
Answer: The poet senses a tune when he is playing with playthings. The fragrance of Shiuli flowers reminds him of his mother. Moreover, whenever he looks out side through his bedroom window, he feels her mother’s presence in the heaven. OR
Answer:The poet remembers his mother in many ways. When he is playing with his toys, he feels a tune hovering over them. It is the same tune that his mother used to sing (lullaby). When the smell of the Shuili flowers floats in the air, he recalls how his mother used to take these flowers and visit the temple. When during bedtime he looks outside the window he feels the gaze of his mother is on his face from the sky.He remembers his mother when he is playing and when he is about to sleep
Question No.3 What does the poet hear when he is at play?
Answer: When the poet is at play, a tune seems to hover over his playthings. It is the same tune that his mother used to hum when she was alive. In this way the poet remembers how his mother used to rock the cradle and sing a Lullaby for him.
Question No.4 What word do we use for the cradle song?
Answer: The word “lullaby” is used for the cradle song in English but In our language (Hindi or Urdu) the word “lori” is used for it.
Question No.5 Is the poet”s mother dead or alive? How do you come to know about it?
Answer: The poet’s mother is dead. We came to know about this as the poet does not remember anything about his dead mother. But he perhaps carries some associations of the mother’s image in his mind. This indicates that his mother died when he was a small child.
Question No.6 What sights and smells remind the poet of his mother?
Answer: The sights of the sky reminds the poet of his mother. As he looks outside the window he feels the silent gaze of his mother spreading across the entire sky which means that she is up in heaven and has become an integral part of this universe.
The sweet smell of the Shuili flowers also reminds the poet of his mother that how her mother used to offer the flowers in the temple during the Autumn season and which now pomades the air
Question No.7 What are the feelings that this poem arouses in you?
Answer: The poem arouses in us the feelings of pity for the poet.The poet does not remembers anything of his mother as when she died he was a small child but still he feels her presence everywhere.This shows and emotional and unbreakable association of a child with the mother.This poem strengthens the love for our mothers.
LITERARY DEVICES OF I CAN’T REMEMBER MY MOTHER
IMAGERY: Imagery gives sensory impression and lends clarity to a poem. In this poem, the poet creates beautiful images that relate to the sight , sound and smell.
Question: Pick out the visual and aural images related to smell which appeal to our sense directly.
Answer: i) The visual images are as:
~Shiuli flowers floating in the air
~The blue of the distant sky
~Morning service in the temple.
ii)The aural(sound) image is :
~the poet hears a tune hovering over his playthings.
Question: The poem does not have a rhyme scheme or a fixed length for each line. Did you enjoy the poem? If yes , why?
Answer: There is no rhyme scheme in the poem. The length of the lines in the poem is also not uniform. We still enjoy the poem as the poet has used some special techniques to bestow the style to the poem .For instance, he has used the tool of refrain in the poem.You can see the verse ” I can not remember my mother” is repeated several times in the poem.It is quite imaginative and arouses the feelings of pity in us.The poet has also used some beautiful images that make the poem quite enjoyable.
Question: How does the poet bring out the tender feelings of the child towards his mother who is now no more?
Answer: “I cannot remember my mother” in a sentimental pouring of a child’s memory of his mother who is dead. The child misses his mother and starts remembering about her as he play with his playthings. He remembers the unique tune she used to sung when she used to rock his cradle. The pleasant smell of the Shiuli flowers which she used to offer in the temple during the Autumn season and which now pomades the air also returns tender feelings and thoughts of his mother. When he stares in the sky, he feels his mother’s gaze spreading across the entire sky which means that she is up in heaven and has become an integral part of this universe.
Thus, when the child watches the things, his heart is filled with tenderness at the reminiscence of his mother.