THE PENCIL’S STORY
– Florence Hoatson
C1.) Read the poem silently and answer the following questions
1) Where does the poet see the pencil lying; (a) in the beginning b) at the end of the poem?
Answer: The poet sees the pencil lying on the mantelpiece in the beginning.
The poet sees the pencil lying in a holder at the end of the poem.
2) Why is the pencil’s life described as weary?
Answer: The pencil is handled for forty times a day so it is weary.
3) When according to the poet, is the pencil (a) sad (b) glad?
Answer: According to the poet the pencil is sad when its end is bitten.
According to the poet the pencil is glad when it is useful.
4) What does the poet mean by ‘‘wits are rather dull’’?
Answer: “Wits are rather dull” refers that the pencil’s lead to is needed to be sharpened when it becomes blunt.
5) What makes the poet say that ‘‘the pencil’s speech is always dark’’ and that ‘‘it always makes its mark’’? Explain.
Answer: The above lines mean that whenever we write with pencil, the words are imprinted in dark color. The color of the pencil is dark. Whenever we hold the pencil very close to our fingers then there is a mark.
6) Make a list of the rhyming words found in the poem.
Answer: B –see
About – out
Play – day
Ought – short
Friend – end
7) Read lines 5 to 8. Who might be “Tommy” according to the poet? How old would he be?
Answer: “Tommy” might be a little kid because there is a description that Tommy draws all sorts of things, from submarines and aeroplanes to cabbages and kings.
C2.) Fill the columns after reading the poem carefully :
persons in the Poem The various purposes for which the pencil is used by them
1.)Tommy – To draw all sorts of things, from submarines and aeroplanes to cabbage and kings
2.) Father – To keep score when playing.
3.) Mother – To do the washing-list.
1.) Can the pencil’s journey from the mantlepiece to the holder be compared to the journey of life of all human beings?
Answer: The journey of pencil can be compared to the journey of life. Just like we humans go through many emotions of happiness and sadness in our life, in the same way the pencil goes through it. We work hard to earn money and live life in the same way the pencil works for many hours to be useful for others. It becomes sad when its end is bitten. It becomes happy when it is proved to be useful. We also go through many emotions, twists and turns in life. When there are last moments left in lives, we are placed in safe place, in the same way, when the pencil gets old, i.e. it becomes short due to continuous writing, it is kept in a holder. In this way, we can see how there can be apt comparison between journey of pencil and journey of man’s life.
2.) Pick out the lines from the poem in which you find examples of personification.
Answer: The poem is an autobiographical one. Pencil is personified in every line.