Tuesday , July 5 2022
6th class English book Honeysuckle

Whatif Poem: 6th Class CBSE Honeysuckle English Ch 18

Whatif Poem: NCERT 6th CBSE Honeysuckle English Chapter 18

The narrator is a young girl. Her mind is sometimes filled with doubts and fears. At night such unpleasant situations haunt her.

She wonders what will happen if she loses her power to speak, or if the school closes the swimming pool, or if she gets beaten up, or if somebody puts poison in her cup. It is also possible that she may get sick and die, or fail in the examination, or stop growing in height, or is hit by lightning. The other such bad situations are that the wind may tear up the kite, or a war breaks out, or her teeth grow irregularly, or she may never learn to dance.

When she wakes up next morning, everything looks fine and normal. But her fears return at night again.


Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And Sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in School?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming-pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatlif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
What if nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?

Question: Read the following questions and choose the most appropriate option from the ones given below:

1. When do strange questions strike the poet?

  1. In the morning
  2. In the afternoon
  3. In the evening
  4. In the night

2. What does she mean by What if song?

  1. What will happen if she loses her power to speak
  2. The song means what will happen in case such a change takes place
  3. What will happen if she gets beaten up
  4. None of the above

3. The ‘Whatif’ song haunts the speaker…

  1. only once
  2. again and again
  3. only twice
  4. every moment

3. What does the poem reveal about the speaker?

  1. She is bold
  2. She is timid
  3. She is filled with doubts and fears
  4. She is confident

4. What does the expression ‘Whatif’ mean?

  1. What will happen in case these happen
  2. What will happen the next moment
  3. What will happen if the earth gets dry
  4. None of the above


  1. (4)
  2. (2)
  3. (2)
  4. (3)
  5. (1)


Whatif the fish uwon’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems swell, and then
The night-time Whatif strikes again!

Question: Read the following questions and choose the most appropriate option from the ones given below:

1. Which of the fears is not applied to the speaker?

  1. What will happen in case the fish stops biting
  2. What will happen in case her parents get divorced
  3. What will happen in case she gets poor marks
  4. What will happen in case a war breaks out

2. Such silly questions are baseless, still …

  1. they trouble the speaker every time
  2. they create havoc in the speaker’s life
  3. they develop negative aptitude in the speaker
  4. none of the above

3. What are these doubts and worries called?

  1. Cynical fears
  2. Inborn fears
  3. Habitual fears
  4. Baseless fears

4. What type of people do entertain such fears?

  1. Strong-minded people
  2. Haughty people
  3. Weak-minded people
  4. Mature people

5. What does the word ‘swell’ in the extract mean?

  1. Deformed
  2. Spoiled
  3. Short in size
  4. Large and wonderful in size


  1. (c)
  2. (d)
  3. (a)
  4. (c)
  5. (d)


(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) Shel Silverstein, the poetess, is the speaker in this poem.
(ii) The speaker is worried about the following happenings.

  1. She becomes dumb.
  2. The Swimming pool is closed.
  3. She fails in the examination.
  4. She get beaten up.
  5. Her parents get divorced.
  6. She is hit by lightning.
  7. She gets sick and dies.

(iii) Most of our worries are born out of baseless fears. With a strong will power and the right positive attitude to life, one can get rid of such worries.

Question: Read the following line. Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear. Can words crawl into your ear? This is an image. The poet is trying to make an image of what she / he experiences. Now with your partner try and list out some more images from the poem.

Аnswer: We all think in terms of words. Our mind remains active all the 24 hours. It doesn’t rest even at night. It is crowded with ideas, both sweet and bitter. In this way words, creating a picture or scene, enter one’s mind and ears. Dreams are also action packed scenes. We talk, shout, tremble with fear and sweat at night.

Question: In groups of four discuss some more “Whatifs” that you experience in your day to day life and list them out.

  1. The thieves and killers sometimes force their way into house.
  2. Supposing a mechanic or telephone lineman or an electrician knocks on the door.
  3. Strangers, salesmen and vendors press the call-bell to gain entry.
  4. Beggars and fakirs also frighten me.
  5. Then there are nasty monkeys and cats entering the kitchen through the half Closed door.
  6. What will happen in case an earthquake comes or lightning strikes us?
  7. And now write a poem of five or six lines with the “Whatifs” that you have listed.

Аnswer: Do it yourself

Question: What does the poem ‘Whatif’ talk about? Give a few examples of some of the child’s worries or cynical fears.

Аnswer: Children in general have some fears and worries. Their thinking can’t be rational or probable. The speaker gives a long list of some unusual situations or mishaps. These fears haunted her in sleep. She wondered what would happen if she lost her power to speak or got beat up, or got sick and died. Moreover she might fail / miss the test, or her hair grew green or she was struck by lightning, or a war broke out, and her parents got divorced. By morning she became normal again.

Question: Who is the speaker in the poem Whatif? What is she worried about? Can you suggest ways to get rid of silly fears?

Аnswer: The speaker in the poem is a girl. She is haunted by fears and worries. These are related to her safety. There is no sequence or substance in her fears. Such baseless and absurd fears trouble us when we go to bed. These are like frightening dreams, only a cowardly or weak minded person entertains such fears. One can get rid of them if one tells oneself firmly to shed all worries.

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