Telangana SCERT 8th Class English Guide Telangana State Unit 2B The Cry of Children (Poem) Textbook Questions and Answers.
TS 8th Class English Guide Unit 2B The Cry of Children (Poem)
“For oh,” say the children, “we are weary
And we cannot run or leap;
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping,
We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
And underneath our heavy eyelids drooping
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring
Through the coal – dark, underground;
Or, all day we drive the wheels or iron
In the factories, round and round.”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Answer the following questions :
What kind of places are the children working in ?
Children are working in various kinds of places such as coal mines, factories etc.
‘The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.’ What does the phrase ‘reddest flower’ refer to ? Why does it become pale?
The reddest flower refers to a bright and beautiful flower. It states that the children cannot enjoy even the most beautiful things. Even the beautiful things appear dull due to their over tiredness.
How does the work affect the children ?
They become weary. They can’t even run or leap. They are supposed to play like other children but start (falling) dropping down to the ground and sleep. Their knees tremble sorely in the stooping. Due to fatigue, even beautiful things appear to them dull like snow.
Do children enjoy themselves when engaged in work ?
Children don’t enjoy their lives when engaged in work, because that is the age they like to attend school to get educated and to play happily in the playgrounds to their heart’s content. When engaged in work, they feel like caged birds which lose freedom.
If the poem were written from the point of view of a factory owner, what kind of things would he say about children?
If the poem were written from the point of view of a factory owner, he would say that it is the fate of the children to work in the factories for their livelihood. He may say he is providing employment to children who are almost starving to death. He may say that he feels sorry for their condition but in vain.
What is the poet’s attitude towards child labour? Pick out the words/expressions that reveal her attitude.
The poet feels pity on the condition of the children looking at their fate. Poet very much bothers about children’s hard work in the coal-mines, factories at the cost of their childhood. She feels that they lose their sweet moments of childhood. It has become inevitable for them to work so hard for their livelihood. The words and expressions like weary, knees tremble sorely in the stooping, heavy eyelids, as pale as snow, burden tiring… all these reveal her attitude.
The Cry of Children (Poem) Summary in English
This poem depicts the grievances of child labour. The children are striving hard, because of their poverty. They are losing their valuable childhood days. This is effectively depicted in this poem.
The children say that they are weary. They can not run or leap as they are tired very much working in the dark underground mines.
There are meadows for playing but they prefer to sleep on them. They say that their knees are trembling sorely in the stooping. Even they fall upon their faces trying to go underneath their heavy eyelids are always drooping. Due to over tiredness, they could not enjoy even beautiful things. Beautiful things like a reddest flower appears to them dull and pale.
About the Poet:
Elizabeth Barret Browning (1806-1861) was a great poet of English language. She published a Collection of Poems, Sonnets from the Portuguese, Aurora Leigh, The Seraphim and other poems. She married Robert Browning, a famous English poet and moved to Italy. Most of her poems deal with human emotions.
1. weary (adj) : tired and lost all the strength
2. meadows (n) : land that is covered with grass
3. merely (adv) : only
4. sorely (adv): in a painful manner
5. drooping (adj) : hanging downward
6. pale (adj) : not bright/ light in colour
7. drag (adv) : pull
8. stooping : bending