A Photograph Poem Question Answers Class 11 English

‘A Photograph’ poem question answers: This poem is part of CBSE class 11 English Core course. All the answers to textbook questions are as per CBSE exam standards. Students should their own answers also. They can take our help also.

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Intext Question

Infer the meanings of the following words from the context

Now look up the dictionary to see if your inference is right.


Paddling’ means ‘wading’ or ‘rowing’ a boat.

‘Transient’ means temporary.

Dictionary meanings:

‘Paddling’ means ‘walking or standing with bare feet in shallow water’.

‘Went paddling’ means ‘swam with short movements of hands or feet up and down’.

‘Transient’ means ‘staying in a place for only short time’.

THINK IT OUT (Page -12)

  1. What does the word ‘cardboard’ denote in the poem? Why has this word been used?
  2. What has the camera captured?
  3. What has not changed over the years? Does this suggest something to you?
  4. The poet’s mother laughed at the snapshot. What did this laugh indicate?
  5. What is the meaning of the line “Both wry with the laboured ease of loss.”
  6. What does “this circumstance” refer to?
  7. The three stanzas depict three different phases. What are they?


  1. The word ‘cardboard’ denotes the photograph pasted on a hard thick paper. This word has been used to refer to a practice in the past when photographs were pasted on cardboard and framed with glass front to preserve them.
  2. The camera has captured the three girls—the poet’s mother and her two cousins, Betty and Dolly, in their swimming dresses with the poet’s mother in the middle and the two cousins on either side holding her hands and walking with bare feet in sea water.
  3. The sea has not changed over the years. Its waves are as fresh, shining and tireless as they were years ago. The changelessness of sea reminds us of the changes in human face with advancing age. It also suggests that with the passing of time man dies or perishes, but nature remains unchanged.
  4. ‘This laugh’ indicated her joy at remembering an incident connected with her past life, when she was quite young and free from the tensions and worries of life.
  5. The sea holiday and the laughter of the poet’s mother are incidents of the past. There is a sense of loss associated with them. Both are amusing yet disappointing as the state of feeling comfortable or relaxed is unnatural or forced one. This sense of loss is quite painful to bear.
  6. The circumstance refers to the situation and the lapse of time since the poet’s mother died.
  7. (i) The girlhood of the poet’s mother—the period before the birth of the poet.
    (ii) Her middle age—the period during the childhood of the poet.
    (iii) Period after the death of the poet’s mother.

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