Study Material of Mirror (Summary and Word Meanings)

Summary of the Poem

Study Material and Summary of Mirror NCERT Class 10th

This poem is written in free verse and is divided into two stanzas. In the first stanza the narrator is a mirror and in the second stanza, it is a lake (a reflecting surface which acts like mirror).

In this poem, a mirror describes its existence and its owner, who grows older as the mirror watches.

The narrator, mirror describes itself as “silver and exact.” It forms no judgments, instead merely swallowing what it sees and reflecting that image back without any alteration. The mirror is not cruel, “only truthful.” It considers itself a four-cornered eye of a god, which sees everything for what it is.

The mirror says it spends most of its time looking at a pink wall across from it. It is as if the wall has become part of it—its heart. The image of the wall is interrupted only by people who enter to look at themselves and the darkness that comes with night.

In the second, a mirror as reflecting surface continues that it reflects anything ‘just as it is’. The reflection is precise and accurate. It provides an exact picture of the thing in front of it. Feelings can often influence how we perceive a certain object or person. Often such a perception may be inaccurate or untrue. But a mirror does not allow its reflections to be clouded by feelings such as love or dislike. Hence its reflections are ‘unmisted’ and dispassionate.

Because of this untrue nature, the woman cries and wrings her hands. Nevertheless, she cannot refrain from visiting the mirror over and over again, every morning. Over the years, the woman has “drowned a young girl” in the mirror, and now sees in her reflection an old woman growing older by the day. This old woman rises toward her out of the mirror like “a terrible fish.”

Terms and Meanings from the Poem

• Preconceptions - a preconceived idea
• Mediate - think deeply
• Speckles – small spot of colour
• Agitation – upset
• Terrible – horrible

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