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Rain on the Roof, Class 9 English Explanation, Summary

By Ruchika Gupta

 

Rain on the Roof - Poem Class 9 CBSE English Explanation, Summary, Question Answers, Difficult words

Rain on the Roof - CBSE class 9 English Poem- detailed explanation of the lesson along with meanings of difficult words and literary devices used in the poem. Given here is the complete explanation of the Poems, along with summary. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson

 

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Rain on the Roof

By Coates Kinney

 

 

 

Introduction to the Poem

 From the title of the Poem-‘Rain on the Roof’, we can make out that the poem is about the rain. The poet is telling us about the memories he has of the rain. The sound of the raindrops falling on the roof of his house brings back sweet memories of the past.

 

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Poem and Explanation

Stanza 1

When the humid shadows hover

Over all the starry spheres

And the melancholy darkness

Gently weeps in rainy tears,

What a bliss to press the pillow

Of a cottage-chamber bed

And lie listening to the patter

Of the soft rain overhead!

 

Humid: something which is full of moisture.

‘shadows’ refers to the moisture laden clouds which cast a shadow on the earth.

hover: Move around something

melancholy: sad

bliss: Happiness

patter: sound of raindrops falling on the roof.

Cottage chamber means the bedroom.

 

The poet is saying that when the humid shadows hover (here,‘humid shadows’ refers to dark clouds which are full of water). The poet is saying that when the sky is full of these clouds which are moisture - laden, are full of water and are about to bring rain, when such clouds hover around in the sky, over all the starry spheres (‘starry spheres’ refers to the skyat night time which is full of stars).At that time, huge clouds which are full of moisture, move around in the sky and the sad darkness of the night is wiped off by the raindrops which seem like tears falling from the sky. The poet is comparing rain drops to tears and he says that the dark sky which seems to be very sad, it appears as if it is crying and the raindropsare the tears shedby it.  He adds that it is a like ablessingto lie on the bed in his room(Cottage chamber means bedroom) and listen tothe sound made by raindrops falling on the roof.

 

Stanza 2

 

Every tinkle on the shingles

Has an echo in the heart;

And a thousand dreamy fancies

Into busy being start,

And a thousand recollections

Weave their air-threads into woof,

As I listen to the patter

Of the rain upon the roof.

 

tinkle: short, light ringing sound

shingles: rectangular wooden tiles used on roofs

echo: repeated sound

woof: weft, i.es the thread woven across the loom

patter: sound of raindrops falling on the roof

‘busy being’ refers to human beings and here, the poet is referring to himself

 

The poet is expressing his feelings when he hearsthe raindrops falling on the roof top of his house. He says that every tinkle on the shingles has an echo in the heart. Whenever he hears rain falling on the roof top, the soundrepeats in his heart and in his dreams, he has many different, fanciful imaginations. He adds that this sound of the rain falling on the roof top creates many new different dreams in his mind. He recollects many memories of the pastwhich come back into his mind as dreams. So, he says that as he listens to the patter of the rain upon the roof, he has many new dreams in his mind and the memories of the past come backin the form of dreams.

 

Stanza 3

 

Now in memory comes my mother,

As she used in years agone,

To regard the darling dreamers

Ere she left them till the dawn:

O! I feel her fond look on me

As I list to this refrain

Which is played upon the shingles

By the patter of the rain.

 

ere: old poetic word for ‘before’

dawn: day break

list: old poetic word for’ listen’

refrain: a repeated part of a song or a poem; here, the sound of the rain

 

Here, the poet introduces his mother.He says that he is dreaming of his mother. As he had told in the previous stanza that rain brings memories of the past – it is the memory of his mother who is no longer alive. In the past, she used to love him a lot, she used to consider him a darling and she would let him sleep till day break and have sweet dreams. The poet can still feel that his mother is looking at him as he listens to the song made by the rain drops falling on the roof top of his room.The sound of the rain makes him correlate his past with his present. That is why the poet is moved by the sound of the rain drops on the shingles of his room. Whenever he hears this sound it brings back memories of the past and he is reminded of his mother.

 

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Literary Devices in the poem

Rhyme scheme of the poem: abcbdefe

 

Stanza 1

1.Alliteration: The repetition of a consonant sound in two or more consecutive words.

‘Humid Hover’ - ‘h’ sound is repeating.

‘starry spheres’ - ‘s’ should is repeating.

‘press pillow’- ‘p’ sound is repeating.

‘lie listening’ - ‘l’ sound is repeating.

  1. Onomatopoeia: The use of sound words to create a dramatic effect and auditory imagery.

‘Patter’ is the use of sound word. It is the sound made by the rain drops falling on the roof top.

  1. Personification: Treating a non – living thing as a living being.

darkness has been personified when he says that it is sad.

  1. Transferred Epithet: The use of an adjective with a noun when it refers to another noun.

In ‘melancholy darkness’, the darkness is not melancholy, but it refers to the sad people.

 

Stanza 2

1.Alliteration: The repetition of a consonant sound in two or more consecutive words.

‘busy being’ - ‘b’ sound is repeating

‘their thread’ - ‘th’ sound is repeating

‘rain roof’ - ‘r’ sound is repeating

  1. Onomatopoeia:  The use of sound words to create a dramatic effect and auditory imagery.

‘tinkle’, ‘patter’ – sounds made by the raindrops

  1. Personification: Treating a non – living thing as a living being.

recollection is personified when he says that they weave dreams.

  1. Transferred Epithet: The use of an adjective with a noun when it refers to another noun.

‘dreamy fancies’ – it does not mean that the fancies are dreamy but refers to  the people who have dreams.

 

Stanza 3

  1. Alliteration: The repetition of a consonant sound in two or more consecutive words.

‘memory my mother’ - ‘m’ sound is repeating

‘Darling dreamers’ - ‘d’ sound is repeating

  1. Onomatopoeia:  The use of sound words to create a dramatic effect and auditory imagery.

‘patter’ – sound of raindrops falling on the shingles of the roof.

 

 

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Summary

The poem ‘Rain on the Roof’ talks about the poet’s varied reactions to the sound of raindrops falling on the roof of his house. He says that the raindrops at night are like tears shed by the sad, dark night. He loves to lie in bed and hear rain falling on the roof of his room because it gets back sweet memories of the past. He says that the sound of rain drops helps him fall asleep and gives him sweet dreams. He has memories of his loving mother who would put them to sleep.

 

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Question and Answers

1.What do the following phrases mean to you? Discuss in class.

(i) humid shadows

(ii) starry spheres

(iii) what a bliss

(iv) a thousand dreamy fancies into busy being start

(v) a thousand recollections weave their air-threads into woof

A.

(i) ‘humid shadows’ refers to the dark clouds which are full of water.

(ii) ‘starry spheres’ refers to the sky at night time which is full of stars.

(iii) ‘bliss’ means a blessing.

(iv) ‘a thousand dreamy fancies into busy being start’ means that people start having varied sweet dreams.

(v) ‘a thousand recollections weave their air-threads into woof’ means that when people are asleep, the memories of the past come back into their mind in the form of dreams.

 

2. What does the poet like to do when it rains?

A. When it rains, the poet likes to lay in bed and hear the rain falling on the roof of his room.

 

3. What is the single major memory that comes to the poet? Who are the “darling

dreamers” he refers to?

A. The poet has memories of his beloved mother. When he was a child, she would put him and his siblings to bed and allowed them to sleep till late. They had sweet dreams in their sleep. “Darling Dreamers” refers to the poet and his siblings when they were children and had sweet dreams. They were loved by their mother and so, were her ‘darlings’.

 

4. Is the poet now a child? Is his mother still alive?

A. No, now the poet is not a child. He is an adult. His mother is not alive anymore.