Short Questions [2 Marks]

Question 1 : What does ‘melancholy darkness’ (in the poem ‘Rain on the Roof’) mean and what does it do?

Answer : Darkness have always been associated with sadness by poets . It is due to the rain clouds and it causes rain to fall, just like melancholy causes weeping or crying. It becomes quite gloomy when it rains as there is not sunshine.

Question 2 : What does the poet consider ‘a bliss’?

Answer : When it rains, the poet lies in his cosy bed in a cottage, listening to the melody of nature. He listens to the pleasant pattering sound of the rain on the roof of the cottage, which is a bliss for him.

Question 3 : What do the ‘thousand dreamy fancies’ begin in the poet’s heart?

Answer : The ‘thousand dreamy fancies’ begin in the poet’s heart when the sound of rain falling on the shingles has an echo in his heart and he responds dreaming fanciful dreams. He is flooded with memories of his childhood and his mother.

Question 4 : When does the poet remember his mother? What does it show about him?

Answer : The poet remembers his mother when his listens to the patter of the rain on the roof. He feels her fond look on him. It shows that he was very fond of his mother. He remembers how she used to see them all whether they are properly tucked or not.

Question 5 : What does the poet want to convey when he says ‘when the humid shadows hover over all the starry spheres’?

Answer : The poet wants to convey that when the dark rain clouds (‘humid shadows’) cover the whole sky so that the stars (‘starry spheres’) are not visible, it is a sign that rain is going to start. The poet compares darkness with sadness or these humid clouds resulting in rain.

Question 6 : What kind of refrain is the poet referring to when he says, ‘As I list to this refrain’?

Answer : The refrain the poet is referring to is the repeated pattering sound of the rain on the tilted roof of the cottage in which he is lying in his cosy bed. The falling showers create a music or raindrops fall rhythmically.

Question  7 : What does the poet dram of?

Answer : When it rains, the poet feels an echo in his heart. He experiences many dreamy fancies in his heart and memories of the past come rushing to his mind. He finally dreams about his dead mother and memories of childhood.

Question 8 : What is ‘bliss’ for the poet in the poem ‘Rain on the Roof’?

Answer : The poet loves rain, as it brings back his childhood memories. Listening to he sound of rain pattering on the roof is the ultimate happiness for him. When it comes, he lies in his cosy bed and enjoys nature’s melodies. This is bliss for him.

Question 9 : What thoughts appear in poet’s mind when it rains?

Answer : The rain has an echo in the poet’s heart. He experiences many dreamy fancies in his heart. His heart is filled with a thousand memories, both sweet and sad.

Question 10 : How does the poet describe the movement before rain?

Answer : The dark wet shadows of clouds hover the sky. The stars becomes sphere. They are covered by these clouds. There is darkness all around and atmosphere becomes very gloomy.

Long Questions [8 Marks]

Question 1 : What is the message conveyed by the poem ‘Rain on the Roof’?

Answer : The poet wants to convey the message that nature too exhibits its grief and pleasure. First he says that the dark rain clouds float in the air and cover the starry sky. The sky has been shining with stars, but is now covered and appears dark. It shows the anxiety or unhappiness of the sky.

Then the raindrops fall like tears due to sadness. But the pattering of the rain gives pleasure to the poet who has been lying in a room. The poet becomes lost in old memories while listening to the musical pattering of the rain. It creates echoes in his heart. He remembers his mother in his dreams. Even when the rain stops, he feels the benevolent look of his mother.

Question 2 : How can you say that the poet loved his mother very much?

Answer : When it rains, the poet lies in his bed in the cottage and old memories come rushing back to him. He remembers his mother and recalls how his mother used to tell him stories while putting him to bed as a child. The poet has very fond memories of his mother looking after him and his siblings while they were asleep. She was very particular to tuck her children in their beds and visit them after they had fallen asleep, to check that they were sleeping comfortably. The author admired this habit of his mother. This shows that he loved his mother very much.

Question 3 : Hoe can yo say that the poet was a home loving, family loving and nature loving person? Hoe does he display these values in the poem?

Answer : In the first stanza the poet says that it was the ultimate happiness (‘bliss’) for him to hear the rain pattering on the roof. He says that he is lying on his bed in a room in a cottage.

Cottages are made in rural areas, i.e. areas which are close to nature, showing that he was nature loving. In the second stanza he starts dreaming memories of the past at home as the rain falls, showing that he is a home loving person. In the third stanza, he remembers his mother with fondness, showing that he is a family loving person.

Question 4 : Do you think that rain is a narrative tool in the poet’s life? What happens when the poet listens to the patter of the rain?

Answer : When raindrops fall on the tiles of the roof, a certain kind of music is created in the form of pitter-patter. For the poet, this music is blissful. Every rain drop creates a rhythm with the poet’s heartbeat. The poet loves to listen to this sound and also indulge in the recollection of fond memories of childhood.

Rain serves as a powerful narrative tool in the poet’s life as rain bears a subtle link with all aspects of life. It has added  a layer of depth and fullness to the situation where the poet is concerned. It delivers an effective voice which communicates the right moments of time and space as well as the emotions of the protagonist in a very touching manner than mere words could do.