(i) Who is the speaker in the poem?
(ii) With your partner list out the happenings the speaker is worried about.
(iii) Why do you think she/he has these worries? Can you think of ways to get rid of such worries?
(i) The speaker in the poem is a child who has his fears, doubts, whims, and fancies.
(ii) The speaker is worried if he was dumb in school, if they had closed the swimming pool, if he got beaten up, if there was poison in his cup, if he started to cry, if he got sick and died, if he flunked that test, if green hair grew on his chest, if nobody liked him, if a bolt of lightning struck him, if he did not grow taller, if his head started getting smaller, if the fish would not bite, if the wind tore up his kite, if they started a war, if his parents got divorced, if the bus was late, if his teeth did not grow in straight, if he tore his pants, if he never learnt to dance. Hence, everything seemed negative and depressing to him.
(iii) The child has these worries because it was night time and thus, he was not doing anything, but lying in his bed. It brought him depressing thoughts that otherwise did not bother him when he was playing with his friends or busy with his usual routine of going to school. These thoughts started occurring to him and he started imagining what if the worst struck. He wondered certain probable things such as what would happen if he failed in his test or if his teeth did not grow straight. However, his mind also wondered on many unlikely things such as green hair growing on his chest or if his head started getting smaller. As is said that “an empty mind is a devil’s workshop”, the child thinks of such fearful things, which make him wonder what if such a dangerous thing struck him.