1. What does the word cardboard denote in the poem?
Ans - The word cardboard obliquely adumbrates the photograph pasted on a hard rick paper.
This word is used to acquaint us the consuetude of the- then people with photograph. The photographs are pasted on cardboards and framed with glass to safeguard it till the next a few generations. The cardboard even works a bridge between times, past and present.
2. What has the camera captured?
Ans. The camera has captured the time referring to past and the three girls – the poet’s mother and her two cozs, Betty and Dolly in the swimming apparel the siblings on the sea beach. With a perfect pose mother had been in the middle and her two cousins on either side holding her hands and walking with bare feet. The snap unfolds the innocuous and blithe state of the people pictured.
3. What has not changed over the years?
Ans. The poem is the perfect archetype of time and timelessness. Mortality of humans and immutability of nature is presented here. The sea, embodiment of eternal existence has not changed. The agility vitality and freshness of the sea is still the same. It talks how humans perish in the lap of time and nature, the changeless one, witnesses, the melancholic saga of humans.
4. The poetess’s mother laughed at the snapshot? What did this laugh indicate?
Ans. Our past makes us nostalgic. With the changing view, we find our past to be a bit funny one. She must have laughed recollecting the incident and as well her youth and attire.
-This laugh indicates her golden time of childhood where she was filled with mirth and free from all worries and complexities of life.
5. What is the meaning of the line “Both why with the labored ease of loss.”
Ans. The photograph is ironically a dysphonic one. The state of mother being joyous in the photograph and the happiness of the poet to see her mother in mirthful state both are connected to a dark side. Ironically mother is no more to see her happy and at the same time the poet does not have her mother to make the poet herself happy. Both are amusing yet disappointing as the state of feeling comfortable or released is unnatural. There is a deep loss of pain.
6. What does ‘this circumstance’ refer to?
Ans. Here ‘this circumstance’ refers to the death of the mother. Another melancholic phrase which talks about the present state where the mother with her past in gone and the poet who has lost her mother.
7. The three different stanzas depict three different phases. Name them
Ans. First phase portrays the innocuous childhood time of the mother of the poet when the poet was not born.
Second phase delineates the adulthood of the mother when she herself laughs at her own picture. This phase brings the poet in her childhood.
Third phase, the melancholic one where, the mother of the poet is dead, leaving her photograph and the poet is here in the most dejected state losing her mother and her happiness.