Summary of Poem A Photograph Hornbill CBSE Class 11 NCERT English

Summary of the A Photograph by Shirley Toulson

The cardboard shows me how it was
When the two girl cousins went paddling,
Each one holding one of my mother’s hands,
And she the big girl — some twelve years or so.
All three stood still to smile through their hair
At the uncle with the camera. A sweet face,
My mother’s, that was before I was born.
And the sea, which appears to have changed less,
Washed their terribly transient feet.

The cardboard; here it refers to the photo frame; showed the speaker how life was when the two cousin sisters went paddling, (here it means walked barefoot in shallow water) with each one of them holding the speaker’s mother’s hands. The bigger girl of the cousin sisters must be about twelve years old. All three of them stood still shoulder to shoulder to smile through their long hair at the camera whose picture was taken by the uncle holding it. The mother had a sweet and pleasant smile before her child was born into this world. The sea in which they were paddling; which seemed to not have been changed; washed their terribly transient wet feet.

Summary of A Photograph Class 11 Hornbill

Some twenty — thirty — years later
She’d laugh at the snapshot. “See Betty
And Dolly,” she’d say, “and look how they
Dressed us for the beach.” The sea holiday
Was her past, mine is her laughter. Both wry
With the laboured ease of loss.
Now she’s been dead nearly as many years
As that girl lived. And of this circumstance
There is nothing to say at all.
Its silence silences.

After twenty to thirty years later, the mother took out the photograph and laughed at the snapshot. The two cousin sisters were Betty and Dolly. She found it so hilarious at the manner that they dressed up for the beach. The sea holiday was her past for the mother while it was laughter for the speaker. Both mother and daughter wry; produced by a distortion or lopsidedness of the facial features: abnormally bent or turned to one side; twisted; crooked: devious in course or purpose; misdirected; contrary; perverse: distorted or perverted, as in meaning: bitterly or disdainfully ironic or amusing; at the labored ease of loss. But now the mother has been dead for the past few years just as one of those cousin sisters’ lives. Out of all these circumstances, there is nothing else left to say. The matter is closed and silence has sealed its fate.

Summary of A Photograph Class 11 Hornbill

NCERT Solutions of A Photograph by Shirley Toulson
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