CBSE Class 8 English Literature Poem Punishment In Kindergarten By Kamala Das

POEM: Punishment In Kindergarten By Kamala Das

About The Poet

Kamala Das was born in Kerala - India in 1934. She was educated mainly at home. Her short stories and poems are written in Malayalam and in English. She has published a number of books of poems and an autobiography. In many of her poems Kamala Das recalls experiences from her childhood. She was very devoted to the home and the surroundings which she grew up in. However, in this poem she remembers an incident which caused her not joy but pain. Now, in adulthood, she can look back on that day of punishment, detaching herself from the pain-she is not part of it any more. She has found an adult peace with which she can speak about the incident, without becoming upset. When she is describing the time spent at the kindergarten, the past tense is used, but when the poet is speaking about herself as an adult, she uses the present tense. 

SUMMARY

"Punishment in Kindergarten" is a little autobiographical poem by the famous Indo-Anglian poet Kamala Das.  She recalls one of her childhood experiences.  When she was in the kindergarten, one day the children were taken for a picnic. All the children except her were playing and making merry.  But she alone kept away from the company of the children.  Their teacher, a blue-frocked woman, scolded her saying.

                        "Why don't you join the others, what

                        A peculiar child you are!"

This heard, all the other children who were sipping sugar cane turned and laughed.  The child felt it very much.  She became sad at the words of the teacher.  But the laughter by the children made her sadder.  She thought that they should have consoled her rather than laughing and insulting her.  Filled with sorrow and shame she did her face in a hedge and wept.  This was indeed a painful experience to a little child in the nursery school.

 The poem is written in three stanzas, each having different number of lines – the first with seven lines, the second with six and the third with nine.  The poem does not follow any regular rhyme scheme.  The subject matter of the poem has two parts, the first of which being the description of the painful experience of the kindergarten days and the second, the adult's attitude to the incident at present when she is no more a child.

            The poet seems to be nostalgic about her childhood days.  There are certain expressions in the poem that are worth remembering.  The poet says that the child buried its face in the hedge and "smelt the flowers and the pain".  "Smelt the flowers can be taken as an ordinary expression, but "smelt the pain" is something very evocative and expressive.  In the first stanza of the poem, the poet describes the pain caused to the child, "throwing words like pots and pans".  This again is beautiful.  The phrase used by the poet to describe the child's teacher, namely, "blue-frocked woman" can be justified from the child's point of view.  But to the poet who is an adult the use of the phrase looks a little too awkward.  On the whole, the poem can be taken as the poet's interest in remembering her childhood days.

EXERCISES

I. Answer  with reference to context:

1. Today the world is a little more my own.

No need to remember the pain

A blue-frocked woman caused, throwing

Words at me like pots and pans, to drain

That honey-coloured day of peace.

‘Why don't you join the others, what

A peculiar child you are! ' 

(a) Identify the poem and the poet

(b) Who was the blue frocked woman? What did she want the poet to do?

(c) What pain had she caused? 

2. On the lawn, in clusters, sat my

schoolmates sipping

Sugarcane, they turned and laughed; 

Children are funny things, they laugh

In mirth at others' tears, I buried

My face in the sun-warmed hedge

And smelt the flowers and the pain. 

(a) Who were the children?

(b) Why were they laughing?

(c) Explain the phrase 'sun-warmed hedge' 

3. The words are muffled now, the laughing

Faces only a blur. The years have

Sped along, stopping briefly

At beloved halts and moving

Sadly on. My mind has found

An adult peace. No need to remember

That picnic day when I lay hidden

By a hedge, watching the steel-white sun

Standing lonely in the sky.  

(a) Why are the faces a blur now?

(b) What 'adult peace' has the poet found?

(c) The final image of the poem, 'the steel-white sun standing lonely in the sky' - what does this signify? 

II. Answer the following questions briefly:

1. To what is the teacher's scolding words compared?

2. Why is the day described as 'honey coloured'?

3. What added to the hurt inflicted by the teacher? 

Ques.3 Choose the correct answer from the options given below:

1. A blue frocked woman refers to 

(a) her teacher in Kindergarten who was wearing a blue frock

(b) her mother who loved to wear a blue frock

(c) a lady she just happened to meet 

2. 'Throwing words' means

(a) scolding loudly and harshly

(b) screaming with pain

(c) speaking loudly about happy events 

3. 'Like pots and pans' is a 

(a) metaphor

(b) simile

(c) pun

Tags: 

 


Click for more English Study Material

Latest NCERT & CBSE News

Read the latest news and announcements from NCERT and CBSE below. Important updates relating to your studies which will help you to keep yourself updated with latest happenings in school level education. Keep yourself updated with all latest news and also read articles from teachers which will help you to improve your studies, increase motivation level and promote faster learning

Board Cancelled Official CBSE Statement

Keeping in view the requests received from various State Governments and the changed circumstances as on date, following has been decided- 1. Examinations for classes X and XII which were scheduled from 1st July to 15th, 2020 stand cancelled. 2. Assessment of the...

CBSE Online Training for Teachers 2020

It is clear that this pandemic has utterly disrupted an education system that many assert was already losing its relevance. Enhancing professional development digitally is a need in the times of COVID-19, where social distancing and remote interactions is the new...

CBSE Decision on Board Exam 2020

The Class 10 and 12 exams are cancelled, and results for both 10th and 12th would be declared by July 15 based on internal exams. CBSE Class 12 students would have the option to appear for the exams at a later date. CBSE has a scheme in which marks scored in past 3...

TV Channels for Students by CBSE

In enhancing the students studying part, the Government is planning to introduce one standard one channel plan. The lockdown in India has adversely collapsed all the operations including schools, colleges, and workplaces with unanticipated setbacks. On behalf of the...

Board Exams Class 10 and Class 12 Datesheet 2020

CBSE has announced the datesheet for the remaining exams of class 10 and class 12 exams. The exams are going to start in July. The class 10 and 12th board exams will be conducted for the remaining 29 papers from July 1 to July 15, 2020, at various centers nominated by...

CBSE Boards Paper Checking to Start

As per the announcement recently released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, at least 3000 CBSE affiliated selected as evaluation centers for board exam answer sheets will be allowed to open for the limited purpose of evaluation purposes only. The answer sheets for Board...

×
Studies Today