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Rainbow English Book Class 11 Solutions Poem 5 The Lamentations of the Old Pensioner

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Bihar Board Class 11 English The Lamentations of the Old Pensioner Textual Questions and Answers

[A] Work in small groups and discuss the Questions

Question 1.
How does a person change when he grows old ?
A person becomes a changed man when he becomes old. His attitude goes again in childhood. His behaviour becomes childish.

Question 2.
How do these changes affect an old person ?
When an old man sees his past eg. young life, going on thinking about, he feels sorry because he has to hear many agonising matters. He wants to return in his past life but now it is impossible. In old age his activities last, and he cannot do anything for the sake of himself. Thus an old man in gld age bodily and mentally gets changes.

Question 3.
Is there any change in attitude and behaviour of an old man ? How and why ? Compare with old age.
Attitude and behaviour of an old man is totally changed. He becomes just like a child. In young age he had loved beauty and was quite energetic but now his old age has become like a broken tree and inactive.

Question 4.
What is pension ? Who gets pension ? Do you know any pensioner ?
Pension means the payment made in consideration of past service. A retired person gets pension. There are so many pension holders in my village.

B. 1. Answer the following questions briefly :

Question 1.
What is the meaning of the line ‘Ere Time transfigured me ?
Transfigured means to change the outward form. The poet in his early days of youth enjoys with his friends and wife. He talked about politics or love. But in old age there was left nothing except dullness.

Question 2.
What was the speaker interested in as a young man ?
The speaker, the poet himself was interested in politics and love when he was a young man.

Question 3.
What are the young men doing now ?
Young men are busy in making a weapon consisting of a pointed blade fitted at the end of a long pole.

Question 4.
What is the poet thinking about in lines 11-12 ?
The poet is thinking about the time which has completely changed into something else. There is no reflection of that time.

Question 5.
Who does the speaker remember in the last stanza ?
The speaker remembers the days when he was young. He had loved beauty so much at that time. It is still afresh in his memory. Now as he has become old like a broken tree, not a single woman likes to see him. Being disgusted he hates Time which has transfigured him.

Question 6.
“I spit into the face of Time” Why does the speaker say so ?
The speaker has become old now. He has lost his youthfulness. There is no attraction left in him. So he speaks ’I spit into the face of Time.’

C. Long Answer Type Questions :

Question 1.
Make a list of things in the poem that show how the man was when he was young ?
List of things are the following :

  1. enjoying rains
  2. having his chair
  3. nearest to the fire
  4. having company
  5. talking of love and politics
  6. making pikes
  7. raging his fill at humanity and
  8. having company of woman etc.

The list of things which has been used in the poem as stated above throws light on the personality of the man when he was young.

Question 2.
How does the poet feel now that he is old ?
The poet remembers the days when he was young. He had loved beauty, so much at that time. Now as he has become old, he is disliked by , women and others. Being disgusted he feels that he is neglected by all now.

Question 3.
What does the poem tell us about the old man ? his character, attitude, circumstances etc ?
The old man had loved beauty very much when he was young. Now as he has become old and is neglected by all, seems to be disusted. It appears from the way he has expressed his feeling, he is a jolly figure. So far his attitude is concerned, he has interest in nature, love and politics. The circumstances relate to the time he is passing through. During his young age he enjoyed love and politics and was liked by women as well. But now as he has become old he has been neglected by all. Time has transfigured him.

Question 4.
Is there any shift in the subject matter in the three stanzas ? Describe the shifts, commenting on the effect these shifts make ?
Of course there is shift in the subject matter in the three stanzas. There are the three stages of life—(i) Young age (ii) Youth (Grown up) stage, (iii) Old age. It appears from the description, the poet has expressed his experiences of these three stages. He has loved beauty and politics very much when he was young. Women liked him. When he attained youth (maturity) he concentrated his activities to some important work. Now when he has become old he is neglected by all. Time has transfigured him.

Question 5.
How is the title of the poem related to the poem ? Explain.
The poem narrates the life of an old pensioner. It is an expression of sorrow by him (the poet). He remembers those days when he was young and energetic. He had loved beauty and politics. He was liked by all. Now he has become old and neglected. Being disgusted, he hates time, which has transfigured him.

The poem presents the reality of life. It is the description of the life of an old pensioner, who is lamenting on his miserable life. So, the title of the poem is meaningful and justified.

Question 6.
Write a summary of the poem in 30-35 words.
See Summary.

Question 7.
What idea is repeated three times in the poem ? Why ? Does it help to enact the theme of the poem ?
The poet has characterised the life of an old pensioner who has experienced all the three stages of life. He enjoyed his young age life so much. He loved beauty and politics. Now in course of time he has become old like a broken tree. He feels himself being neglected by all. His face is now disfigured and possesses an unimpressive appearance. So he is highly disgusted. According to him, time is responsible for such mishappening with him. He expresses his annoyance, saying, “I spit into the face of time that has transfigured me”.

The idea-“Transfigured me” is repeated three times in the poem and it plays an important role in the theme of the poem.

Question 8.
What is the tone of the poem; complacency, resignation, rage ? Why?
The poem is the character sketch (description) of an old Pensioner, who had his bright days when he was young. But in course of time he had become old. He remembers the days of his young age. People liked him very much at that time. He has loved beauty and politics. Now as he has become old, not a single woman likes, to see him. He is neglected by all. He has become like a broken tree. Time has transfigured him. So he hates it (Time).

The tone of the poem is-“rage”. He has expressed his rage out of ‘ frustration, agony and disgust.

Question 9.
How many times has the phrase “a broken tree” been used ? What does the phrase signify in the poem ? Is it a symbol ?
The phrase “The broken Tree” has been used twice in the poem in the first and the last stanza.

In the first stanza the old pensioner describes the days when he was quite young. At that time he had taken shelter under a broken tree, but he did not like it. He used to talk of love and politics with the people at that time. He was liked by all. That time he was not transfigured. In the last stanza he describes his present days when he has become old and disliked by all. Now talk of love : and politics has become the matter of the past. He is not liked by the people at present. As such he himself has become like “a broken tree”. His life at this time has completely changed. He has blamed the time in the last stanza out of frustration.

Yes, “a broken tree” in this poem is a symbol. The term “broken Tree” is symbolic here. It symbolizes a life full of frustrations.

Question 10.
How do you think you will change when you get older. Write an essay in 150-200 words. [ Board Model 2009 (A) ]
I realise that when I shall get older. I shall be changed. Time is the greatest factor. It brings changes in every object of nature. It plays a domaint role of transfigure human beings, birds beasts, trees and all other things on the earth.

We experience it every now and then in our family or else where. My parents and other elders were young few years back. No they have lost glamour as in the past becoming older, when I was bom. I as not able even to walk on my feet. But now I am sixteen years old. There came a great change in me. Every thing has changed. I am perfectly a youth, booth physically and mentally. I have the capacity to work hard and to solve my problems.

I know it well that one day or other I shall become old and will be neglected by all, because time will transfigure me. But I hope the younger generation will be benefited by my experience in life.

I am not at all worried with this reality. There are three stages of life (i) childhood (ii) Youth and (iii) old age. Every body has to pass through all these stages. As such we need not to be annoyed with this reality of life.

Question 11.
Is ‘Time’ personified in the poem ?
Personification is a figure of speech in which an animal, object or idea is described as having human form of characteristics.

In the poem it is beautifully placed. Time in real sense is not a living being. It is invisible and cannot be touched or felt. It only indicates the duration of a work done. But in this poem the learned poet has personified it. It appears as if it is a living being. The old pensioner feels that the time is not friendly to him. So he hates ’Time’ who has transfigured his life. He has criticised ‘Time’ in the way that a man criticises another person.

In the last lines of the first stanza, personification of ‘Time’ is as noted below.

‘Era Time transfigured me’.

In the same way ‘Time’ is again personified in the last two stanzas —
“My contemplation are of Time” — Second stanzas.
“I spit into the face of Time” — Last stanzas.

In all three stanzas ‘Time’ is written in capital letter, so it is clear that ‘Time’ here denotes living being.


D. 1. Dictionary Use :

Ex. 1. Correct the spelling of the following words:
transfigurd: transfigured; conspirasy: conspiracy; raskals: rascals; tyrany : tyranny; contemplasion : contemplation.

Ex. 2. Look up a dictionary and write two meanings of each of the following words—the one in which it is used in the lesson and the other which is more common:

shelter, conspiracy, crazy, time.
Bihar Board Class 11 English Book Solutions Poem 5 The Lamentations of the Old Pensioner 1
D. 2. Word-meaning :

Ex. 1. Match the words in column ‘A’ with their meaning given in column ‘B’:
Bihar Board Class 11 English Book Solutions Poem 5 The Lamentations of the Old Pensioner 2
(1) (d)
(2) (b)
(3) (f)
(4) (e)
(5) (g)
(6) (a)
(7) (c)

E. Grammar :

Read the following line carefully :

‘My chair was nearest to the fire.

In the above line ‘nearest’ has been used to express the degree of comparison, here superlative degree. There are three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative and superlative.
Mark the structure of the sentence given below:
Rimjhim is as clever as Ankita.
Ankita is cleverer than Pragya.
Snigdha is the cleverest girl in her class.

Ex. 1. Now fill in the blanks using the appropriate degree of comparison of the abjectives given in the brackets:

  1. Rajesh is …………….. as Ashok. (Simple)
  2. Bhartiis …………….. than Kanchan. (beautiful)
  3. Kalyan is the …………….. in the locality, (popular)
  4. Shabbi is …………….. than Rubi. (intelligent)
  5. Mamta is as …………….. Chhabi. (practical)


  1. as simple
  2. more beautiful
  3. most popular
  4. more intelligent
  5. practical as

F. Activity :

Talk to the old people in your locality and try to find act:
What did they do when they were young ?
What was their hobby when they were young ?
What do they feel now when they are old ?
What is their normal course of work now ?
What are the changes in their life style now ?
How do they adjust now ?
Now do a project work on ‘The art of coping with the old age’.
A met Raghu Kaka and Birju Bhaiya. They are in their seventies. When I talked to Raghu Kaka. He began to remember his days when he was young. He was a carpenter in a big timber factory. He used to make excellent furniture. Furniture made by him had a great demand in th market. The master of the timber factory was proud of him. He had only hobby to make new designs of furniture. When the customers praised his furniture his joy knew no bound.

Now he feels that all his efficiency and dream of younghood have no meaning. No body wants even to hear his story. He always sits in his room alone and thinks for past life. There is a great change in his life. He used to be very busy in his younghood. Now he sits idle and stares in vacume. He passes his time in sleeping, walking and remembering about his past.

(In this way may write about other old man.)

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