Missed by PG Wodehouse Poem Summary Questions Answers and Meanings

‘Missed’ is beautiful poem written by PG Wodehouse (1881-1975), an English author and one of the most widely read humourists of the 20th century. This poem also contains humour that has been created out of a cricket match and the catch that the speaker misses.

Poem: ‘Missed’ by PG Wodehouse


The sun in the heavens was beaming,
    The breeze bore an odour of hay,
My flannels were spotless and gleaming,
    My heart was unclouded and gay;
The ladies, all gaily apparelled,
    Sat round looking on at the match,
In the tree-tops the dicky-birds carolled,
    All was peace -- till I bungled that catch.
My attention the magic of summer
    Had lured from the game -- which was wrong.
The bee (that inveterate hummer)
    Was droning its favourite song.
I was tenderly dreaming of Clara
    (On her not a girl is a patch),
When, ah, horror! there soared through the air a
    Decidedly possible catch.
I heard in a stupor the bowler
    Emit a self-satisfied 'Ah!'
The small boys who sat on the roller
    Set up an expectant 'Hurrah!'
The batsman with grief from the wicket
    Himself had begun to detach --
And I uttered a groan and turned sick. It
    Was over. I'd buttered the catch.
O, ne'er, if I live to a million,
    Shall I feel such a terrible pang.
From the seats on the far-off pavilion
    A loud yell of ecstasy rang.
By the handful my hair (which is auburn)
    I tore with a wrench from my thatch,
And my heart was seared deep with a raw burn
    At the thought that I'd foozled that catch.
Ah, the bowler's low, querulous mutter
    Points loud, unforgettable scoff!
Oh, give me my driver and putter!
    Henceforward my game shall be golf.
If I'm asked to play cricket hereafter,
    I am wholly determined to scratch.
Life's void of all pleasure and laughter;
    I bungled the easiest catch.


heavens – up in the sky
 – to produce stream of light and heat – चमकना, मुसकुराना
breeze -a gentle and light wind – मंद पवन (हल्की बहती हवा)
bear – carried or produced – बहाव में साथ ले जाना, धारण करना,
odour – a smell – गंध, महक
hay – dried grass used as food – सुखी घास, पैरा या पुआल
flannels – a type of cloth, white dress worn by cricket players
spotless – perfectly clean, immaculate – बेदाग
gleam – shine, flash bright in light – चमकना, जगमगाना
unclouded – not worried – मन में कोई चिंता नहीं थी
gaily – merrily, showily with bright colours and trimmings – प्रसन्न, आनंदित, चमकीले रंग में
apparelled – clothes, dress, worn mostly as a group and on formal occasions – पहने हुए वस्त्र
carolled – sang cheerfully – गीत गा रहे थे
bungle – end up doing badly, ruin or mismanage showing incompetence or clumsiness – गड़बड़ या घपला करना
magic of summer – warmth of summer, climatic effect – ग्रीष्म ऋतु का मनभावन असर
lure – entice, tempt or attract – लुभाना, ललचाना
inveterate – continuation by habit, incurable and persistent – निरंतर बने रहना, अभ्यस्त
drone – singing, buzzing – मधुमक्खी की आवाज
tenderly – loving in a kind and gentle manner – प्यार से
patch – match (as compared to Clara) – मुकाबला, मेल
horror – feeling great shock or fear – डर, भयानक
soar – rise and fly high – ऊपर उड़ान भरना
decidedly – definitely, without any doubt – निश्चित, पक्का
stupor – state of being half-conscious – अर्धचेतन अवस्था, कहीं मन ही मन खोया हुआ
emit – utter, shout or express – मुंह से आवाज निकालना
self-satisfied – pleased and complacent at achievements – अपनी दशा पर आत्म संतुष्ट
Ah! – exclamation of cheer and happiness – खुशी का भाव दिखाना
set-up – produced, established, made – उत्पन्न किया
expectant – hoping – आशा, उम्मीद
grief – very sad feeling, regret – दुख, दर्द, तकलीफ
groan – a sound of deep pain and grief – दुख से कराह या आह की आवाज
detach – leave, remove, unfasten – चले जाना
turn-sick – feel giddy – चकरा जाना
buttered – missed, slipped- फिसल गया
Pang – a sudden sharp pain – अचानक उठा हुआ दर्द
yell – shout, scream – चिल्लाना
ecstasy – great joy and delight – परम आनंद
 – reddish-brown in colour (of hair)
wrench – a violent pull or twist- खींचना, ऐंठना, मरोड़ना
thatch – thick hair on head – सिर बालों का छाजन
seared – burned, feel sudden and great pain – जल कर झुलस जाना
raw burn – red and painful damaging of skin – जलन से त्वचा का लाल हो जाना
foozled – messed up, missed, dropped – गड़बड़ा दिया
low – a low level of sound, – हल्की आवाज
querulous – complaining – शिकायत या झगड़े के मूड में
mutter – speak to oneself in low tone, grumble – बड़बड़ाना, बुदबुदाना
scoff – ridicule – मजाक या माखौल या हंसी उड़ाना
driver and putter – type of golf clubs
henceforward – from now on – अब से आगे
hereafter – from this to rest of the part – यहाँ से या इस समय से आगे
scratch – reject or withdraw, decide not to take part in – खेलने से मन कर देना
void – lacking, without, devoid – खाली, शून्य

Summary of the Poem: Missed

On a sunny day during harvest season, the poet, who was also a cricketer, donned spotless white flannels and reveled in the perfect weather and atmosphere near the stadium. The air was fragrant with the scent of hay, and the sound of dicky-birds filled the air as ladies in the gallery watched the game progress. It was a magical summer day that the poet was thoroughly enjoying with the least bit of worry about the match. However, his focus was disrupted by a bee’s humming and thoughts of Clara, which caused him to miss an easy catch. The distraction left him feeling sick and his heart burned with pain as he endured the scoffing of his teammates for his error.

Despite his love for cricket, the poet eventually gave up the game and turned to golf instead. The missed catch left him feeling empty and devoid of joy, believing that life had nothing left to offer him.

Poem: Missed, Book Exercises



Column AColumn B
1. forceful twistd. tore with a wrench
2. building beside sports field for players and spectatorsc. pavilion
3. sudden sharp paina. pang
4. driver and puttere. types of golf clubs
5. determined to scratchb. say away
  1. Sat round looking on at the match,
    In the tree-tops the dicky-birds carolled,
    All was peace…

    a. Who ‘sat round looking at the match’?
    b. How were they dressed?
    c. Which match is being referred to here?
    d. What ruined the peace?
  2. A loud yell of ecstasy rang.
    By the handful my hair (which is auburn)
    I tore with a wrench from my thatch,

    a. From where did ‘a loud yell of ecstasy ring’?
    b. Who were responsible for this ‘loud yell’?
    c. Who reacted in the opposite way? What did he do?
    d. Why did he do so?
  3. The batsman with grief from the wicket
    Himself had begun to detach—
    And I uttered a groan and turned sick. It
    Was over.

    a. Why was the batsman in grief?
    b. Who does ‘I’ refer to?
    c. Why did the person groan?
    d. What does ‘it was over’ mean here?


1. a. The ladies ‘sat around looking at the match.’
b. They were all gaily apparelled according to the speaker.
c. A cricket match is being referred to here.
d. The peace was ruined when the narrator bungled or missed a catch.

2. a. A loud yell of ecstasy rang from the far-off pavilion.
b. The people sitting in the pavilion enjoying the match were responsible for the loud yell.
c. The batsman reacted in the opposite way. He was ready to leave the pitch.
d. He thought that it was a catch.

3. a. He was in grief because he thought that it was a catch.
b. ‘I’ is the narrator.
c. The person groaned because he knew he had missed the catch.
d. The batsman’s frustration and the bowler’s exhilaration found opposing culmination. Bowler’s exhilaration gave way to disappointment and the batsman’s bitterness changed to excitement. The match had come to an end as the bowler had missed a catch.

  1. At what time of the day was the match being played?
  2. What was the narrator wearing?
  3. How does the narrator describe the peace that prevailed?
  4. What does the narrator mean by ‘the magic of summer’?
  5. What did the small boys and the batsman expect?
  6. What made the narrator miserable?
  7. What decision did the narrator take at the end of the cricket match?
  8. What reasons does the poet give for having bungled the catch?


  1. Possibly, the match was being played in the morning, .
  2. Spotless flannels were worn by the narrator.
  3. The narrator described the fine, sunny morning with a pleasant odor of hay in the breeze, feeling happy and excited for the match. The ladies were watching gaily apparelled, and dicky-birds were singing on tree-tops, making everything peaceful and perfect for the match.
  4. The narrator referred to the “magic of summer,” indicating the prevailing peace on the match day, with the sun shining and a hay odor in the breeze. The perfect day lured him with the magical presence of the summer, warming him and the surrounding world.
  5. The small boys and batsman believed it was a catch, with the boys feeling elated and the batsman grief-stricken until it became clear that the narrator had missed the catch.
  6. The narrator was miserable after missing the catch, as everything before that had been perfect. He had been enjoying the match, feeling it was just the ideal day for it.
  7. After missing the catch, the narrator decided that life was devoid of all pleasure and laughter. He gave up cricket since he couldn’t hold on to the catch and chose to play golf instead.
  8. The narrator missed the catch due to a diversion of attention. It was summer, and he was already smitten with the weather. Additionally, a bee was humming around the pitch, reminding him of Clara, the most beautiful girl according to him.

One more Set of Answers:

  1. The poem doesn’t explicitly state the time of day, but the sunny weather and mention of birds singing suggests it’s a pleasant afternoon or morning time.
  2. The narrator was wearing flannels, which were spotless and gleaming.
  3. The peace is described as unclouded and gay, with ladies watching and birds singing.
  4. The narrator describes “the magic of summer” as the sights and sounds of a beautiful summer day that distracted him from the game.
  5. The small boys and the batsman expected the narrator to catch the ball.
  6. The narrator missed an easy catch, which made him miserable.
  7. The narrator decided to switch sports and take up golf instead of cricket.
  8. The narrator blames his daydreaming about Clara and the summer atmosphere for missing the catch.

Poetry Appreciation

Answer: In the poem “Missed,” P.G. Wodehouse uses personification in a few places:

  1. Line 2: “The breeze bore an odour of hay” – Here, the breeze is given the human ability to “bear” or carry an odor. This personalizes the breeze and creates a more vivid picture of the summer setting.
  2. Line 7: “In the tree-tops the dicky-birds carolled” – “Dicky-birds” is a playful term for birds, and “caroling” implies singing joyfully. This personalizes the birds and adds to the peaceful atmosphere.
  3. Line 11: “The bee (that inveterate hummer)…” – Parenthetically, the bee is called an “inveterate hummer,” giving it a human characteristic (being inveterate means habitual) and highlighting the constant buzzing sound that becomes a distraction.

These instances of personification all contribute to creating a peaceful and idyllic summer atmosphere. The fragrant breeze, the singing birds, and even the insistent bee all paint a picture of a pleasant afternoon. This peaceful mood is then sharply contrasted by the narrator’s bungled catch, making his disappointment even more pronounced.

  1. By the handful my hair (which is auburn)
    I tore with a wrench from my thatch
  2. Life’s void of all pleasure and laughter;

Answer: The humour in these lines comes from a combination of techniques:

1. By the handful my hair (which is auburn)
I tore with a wrench from my thatch

  • Hyperbole: This is a clear exaggeration. People don’t rip out their hair in handfuls, even in extreme distress. The image is outlandish and emphasizes the narrator’s dramatic overreaction.
  • Informal Language: “Thatch” is a casual term for hair, adding to the lighthearted tone.
  • Self-deprecation: The narrator’s dramatic action of ripping his hair out highlights his own foolishness and adds a touch of self-mockery.

2. Life’s void of all pleasure and laughter;

  • Understatement: This is the opposite of hyperbole. Here, the narrator claims life has become devoid of all pleasure due to a missed catch. This is obviously an exaggeration, making the statement humorous due to its absurdity.
  • Dramatic Irony: We, the readers, know the missed catch isn’t a life-altering event. The narrator’s extreme reaction creates a humorous contrast between the seriousness he assigns to the situation and its actual significance.

The humour comes from the narrator’s overly dramatic responses to a relatively minor setback. The exaggerated language and self-deprecation make his actions and pronouncements lighthearted and funny.


  1. Line 14: “O, ne’er, if I live to a million,” – This is a clear hyperbole. It’s highly unlikely the narrator will live to a million, and the statement emphasizes the depth (and likely temporary nature) of his despair over the missed catch.
  2. Line 18: “By the handful my hair (which is auburn)
    I tore with a wrench from my thatch”
    – As discussed earlier, ripping out hair in handfuls is a massive exaggeration of the narrator’s distress. This hyperbole creates a humorous image and highlights his dramatic overreaction.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Plz add poetry appreciation also

  2. Anonymous

    amazing, fabulous very helpful

  3. Anonymous

    pls add the questions

    1. Anonymous

      I agree

  4. Anonymous

    RTC 2-a pavilion has been written twice

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