Tuesday , June 15 2021
9th Class CBSE English Literature Reader

Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth: 9th English Ch 11

Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth: NCERT 9th Class CBSE English Course Communicative: Literature Reader Interact in English Chapter 11

Question: Parents alone are responsible for inculcating a good sense of dental hygiene amongst children. Do you agree / disagree? Discuss with your partner.

Answer – Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth: A class activity.

Question: See textbook on page 84.

Answer – Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth: For self-attempt.

Question: On the basis of your reading of the poem, complete the following table:

Stages in the life of the poet Activities Consequences
(a) Youth eating toffees
____________
(b) Adulthood ____________ gazing at the dentist in despair.

Answer:

Stages in the life of the poet Activities Consequences
(a) Youth eating toffees cavities
eating sweet sticky food, fillings
eating gobstoppers, cavity
licking lollies caps and cavities
eating Sherbet dabs filling and cavities
(b) Adulthood sitting in the dentist s chair gazing at the dentist in despair.

Question: On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice:

(a) The title ‘Oh, 1 wish I’d looked after me teeth’ expresses ______

  1. regret
  2. humour
  3. longing
  4. pleasure

Answer:

  • (1.) regret

(b) The conscience of the speaker pricks her as she has ______

  1. been careless
  2. been ignorant
  3. been fun loving
  4. been rude

Answer:

  • (1.) been careless

(c) The speaker says that she has paved the way for cavities and decay by ______

  1. eating the wrong food and not brushing
  2. not listening to his mother
  3. laughing at his mother’s false teeth
  4. not listening to the dentist

Answer:

  • (1.) eating the wrong food and not brushing

(d) The tone of the narrator is one of ______

  1. joy
  2. nostalgia
  3. regret
  4. sorrow

Answer:

  • (4.) sorrow

Question: Answer the following questions:

  1. “… But up-and-down brushin’
    And pokin’ and fussin’
    idn’t seem worth the time—I could bite!” What do these lines convey?
  2. Why did the poet go to the dentist? How could she have avoided it?
  3. “If you got a tooth, you got a friend”, what do you understand from the line?
  4. With reference to the poem, how can you look after your teeth?
  5. Give an appropriate proverb that conveys the message that this poem carries.

Answer:

  1. The act of brushing her teeth up and down and checking them carefully didn’t help her much. It was too little and too late. Most of the time she hajl been biting lollies, toffees, sweets and candies. And that had already done the damage.
  2. The poet went to the dentist for fillings and drilling. She lay in the chair of an old dentist who was drilling into her teeth with his machine. She could have avoided all these if she had taken proper care of her teeth.
  3. ‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend’ expresses a practical truth of life. Without healthy teeth you can’t chew and eat things properly. Good teeth are your good friends. They keep your taste and digestion all right.
  4. The poem gives us a definite message. We should not neglect our teeth but take a proper care of them. We should not eat toffees, lollies, candies and sweets. If we don’t care, it means we are paving the way for cavities, caps and decay.
  5. Make hay while the sun shines.

Question: Listen to the conversation between Doki and his sister, Moki. As you listen complete the idioms and expressions listed below:

  1. sleep ……………….
  2. ………………. me the willies
  3. crack the ………………
  4. take the …………….. to water
  5. …………… tail.
  6. wonders will …………….
  7. ……………… can’t be undone.
  8. reap what I …………….

Idioms are metaphorical expressions rather than literal. For example ‘give someone the willies’ does not simply mean ‘to hand over something called willies to someone’, but ‘to make someone feel nervous’. It is important for learners of English to understand them and be able to use them.

Answer:

  1. sleep like a log. (sleep very well)
  2. unwanted guests give me the willies (make me nervous)
  3. crack the whip (use your authority)
  4. take the well to water (do the opposite)
  5. I know neither its head nor its tail (know nothing about it)
  6. Wonders will never cease (wonders will continue to happen)
  7. What has been done, can’t be undone (can’t be changed)
  8. Reap what I sow. (bad result of what you did in the past)

Question – Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth: Read the following statement where I refers to ‘you’
“I can’t afford to, after what Jack s done to his teeth.”
What is it, you think you can’t afford and why? Write a diary entry of not less than 100-120 words.
(in-class activity; not to be set up as homework).

Answer: Classroom Activity.

Just Think

Question: In line 35, the poet has misspelt the word ‘amalgum’. Why do you think she has done that? Discuss.
(Teacher would point out the use of ‘me’ instead of ‘my’ and other linguistic variations that make the poem enjoyable.)

Answer: Classroom Activity.

Paraphrase & Reference To Context – Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

Question: Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the perils beneath.
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food,
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

(Lines 1—5)

अनुवाद: काश! मैं अपने दाँतों की देख-भाल कर पाती। काश! मैं अपने दाँतों के नीचे (पनपते) खतरों को ठीक समय पर पता लगा पाती। वे सभी टॉफियाँ जो मैंने चबायीं और वे मीठा चिपचिपा भोजन इनका कारण है। काश! इनसे मैं बच पाती। काश! मैं अपने दाँतों का ख्याल रख पाती।

Paraphrase: The poet wishes she had cared for her teeth. If she had done so, she would have spotted or located the dangers that cropped up below them. All this was the result of chewing toffees and eating sweet sticky food. She would have avoided them. She again wishes she’d looked after her teeth.

  1. What does the poet wish and why?
  2. What was the effect of all the toffees she chewed and the sticky sweet food she ate?
  3. What is the rhyme scheme of the given lines?

Answer:

  1. The poet wishes if she had cared for her teeth and spotted the dangers that cropped up below them.
  2. The effect of chewing toffees and eating sweet sticky food was quite disastrous on her teeth. She suffered from various ailments of the teeth.
  3. The rhyme scheme of the given lines is aa, bb, a.

Question: I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To pass up gobstoppers.
From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.

(Lines 6–10)

अनुवाद : जब मेरे भराई वाले दाँतों से अधिक कहीं ज्यादा (स्वस्थ) दाँत मेरे मुँह के अन्दर थे तभी मुझे अपने उस एक शिलिग का प्रयोग सख्त मिठाई, (gobstoppers) जिन्हें मैं सम्मान से अपने चाकू से काटती थी उसकी जगह कोई और चीज खरीदने के लिये करना चाहिये था।

Paraphrase: The poet feels that she was not wise enough to look after her teeth. She used her only shilling to buy hard sweets and candies like gobstoppers which she cut with all respect with her knife. She should have used her shilling for buying something that was good for teeth rather than buying gobstoppers. She should have taken all these precautions when she had many more healthy teeth than the ‘filled’ ones.

  1. Was the poet wise enough to look after her teeth?
  2. What should she have done with her shilling?
  3. What are ‘gobstoppers’?

Answer:

  1. The poet was not wise enough to look after her teeth because she allowed them to decay and deteriorate.
  2. She should have made better use of her shilling and she should not have bought sweets and candies with it.
  3. Gobstoppers are a large, hard sweet made from the dried root of the liquorice plant.

Question: When I think of the lollies I licked,
And the liquorice all sorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

(Lines 11–15)

अनुवाद : जब मैं उन लॉलीपॉपों के बारे में, जिन्हें मैं चूसा करती थी, और उन हर प्रकार की Liquorice कैन्डियों के बारे में, जिन्हें मैं खरीदती थी; (और) छोटी-छोटी और बड़ी मिठाईंयों के बारे में, और उन सभी भुरभुरी चीनिया बादामों के बारे में सोचती हैं, तो मेरे अन्त:करण में भयानक रूप से एक टीस उठती है।

Paraphrase: The poet says that when she thinks about the lollies she licked and all sort of liquorice candies, big and small sweets and hard but brittle peanuts that she bought, her conscience starts pricking her horribly.

  1. How does she feel when she thinks of the lollies that she licked?
  2. What is liquorice?
  3. Find a word in the extract which is same as to “moral sense’.

Answer:

  1. Her conscience starts pricking her horribly when she thinks of the lollies that she liked.
  2. Liquorice is a black substance used as a sweet.
  3. Conscience.

Question: Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’
Didn’t seem worth the time — I could bite!

(Lines 16—20)

अनुवाद : ओह, ये ठीक है कि मैंने अपने दाँतों को ठीक ढंग से ब्रश से साफ किया। मैंने उन्हें देर रात को चमकाया। लेकिन ब्रश को ऊपर नीचे और उन्हें ध्यान से जाँच करने का कोई खास परिणाम नहीं दिखा। उसका कारण यह है कि जितना समय मैंने दाँतों को चमकाने पर दिया, उससे कहीं ज्यादा समय मिठाईयाँ खाने में व्यतीत किया।

Paraphrase: The poet says that she did brush her teeth properly. She even tried to make them shining even late at night. But these up and down actions of the tooth-brush and her checking them carefully didn’t produce the desired results. The time that she spent on all these things was much less and not worthwhile than the time she spent on eating sweets and licking lollies and candies.

  1. Did she brush her teeth properly?
  2. Did her brushing give her the desired results? If not, why?
  3. How did she damage her teeth?

Answer:

  1. Yes, she did brush her teeth properly.
  2. No, brushing her teeth didn’t give her the desired results. Sweets, lollies and candies had already damaged her teeth.
  3. She damaged her teeth by chewing lollies and candies and eating sweets.

Question: If I’d known, I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s
Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

(Lines 26—30)

अनुवाद: यदि मुझे यह पता होता कि (लॉलीपॉप, कैन्डी और मिठाई इत्यादि खाकर) मैं अपने दाँतों में सुराख, खोल और सड़न पैदा करने का रास्ता तैयार कर रही हूँ और मुझे आगे जाकर दाँत भरवाने, इंजैक्शन लगवाने और दाँतों में ड्रिल मशीन जैसी जान मार देने वाले काम करवाने पड़ेंगे तो मैं अपनी सारी (खरीदी हुई) मिठाईयों को बाहर फेंक देती।

Paraphrase: The poet regrets if she had known it before (that by eating lollies, candies and sweets) that she had been preparing the way for cavities, caps and tooth decay and suffer the fillings, injections and drilling machines in the future, she would have thrown all those sweets away.

  1. Did she have any idea that she was paving the way for cavities, caps and decay?
  2. What would she have done if she had known that sweets and candies would do her harm?
  3. What is the rhyme scheme used in the above lines?

Answer:

  1. No, she didn’t have any idea that she was paving way for cavities, caps and decay by eating sweets and candies.
  2. She would have thrown all the sweets and candies if she had known that they would do her a lot of harm.
  3. The rhyme-scheme of the lines is: aa, bb, a.

Question: So I lay in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine,
In these molars of mine.
“Two amalgum,” he’ll say, “for in there.”

(Lines 31—35)

अनुवाद: इसीलिये मैं एक बूढे दाँतों के डॉक्टर की कुर्सी में पड़ी, उसके नाक को निराशा से देखती रही। और उस (डाक्टर) की बेधनी मशीन (drilling machine) के अपने बड़े दाँतों (दाड़ों) में घुर्र-घुर्र करते सुन श्ही थी

Paraphrase: The poet lay in the old dentist’s chair and gazed up his nose in disappointment. She heard the whining noise of the drilling machine working into the molars or the big teeth.

  1. Where did the poet lie?
  2. Why was the poet in despair?
  3. What are molars?

Answer:

  1. The poet lay in the old dentist’s chair.
  2. The poet was in despair as she had developed many tooth ailments.
  3. The molars are twelve big teeth used for chewing food.

Question: How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin?
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

(Lines 36—40)

अनुवाद : जब मेरी माँ अपने नकली दाँतों को झाग वाले पानी में रखती थी, तो मैं उसकी हँसी उड़ाती थी। लेकिन अब हिसाब-किताब तय करने का समय आ चुका है और माँ के वे नकली दाँत मेरी ओर इशारा कर रहे हैं। ओह अफ़सोस, मैंने अपने दाँतों का ख्याल रखा होता।

Paraphrase: When the poet’s mother put her false teeth in the foam, she just laughed at her and her false teeth. But now the time of reckoning has come. Those false teeth of the mother remind her that it is her turn now. The poet regrets that she neglected her teeth and wishes she’d looked after them.

  1. What did the poet do when she looked at the false teeth of her mother?
  2. How has the time for reckoning come for the poet?
  3. Find the phrase in the extract which means ‘took care of.

Answer:

  1. The poet used to laugh when she looked at the false teeth of her mother
  2. Now, the time for reckoning has come for her as she is lying in the old dentist’s chair.
  3. Looked after.

ABOUT THE POEM

The poem conveys the necessity of taking care of teeth in one’s childhood. The poet regrets that she did not take care of her teeth during her childhood. So she developed many cavities beneath her teeth. She harmed her teeth by eating a lot of toffees, sweet and sticky food. Now she realizes that she should not have eaten those lollies, candies and tiny sweets. She feels guilty on thinking about her bad habits. To make the matter worse, she did not brush her teeth properly. Now she had to go to the dentist for treatment. She had to bear the pain of injection and of the dentist’s drill. When she sat in the dentist’s chair, she became desperate. When she looked at the false teeth of her mother she reminded herself to be careful otherwise she would also have to get false teeth.

REFERENCE TO CONTEXT QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Read the given extracts and answer the questions that follow :

Question: ‘Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’.
And pokin ‘and fussin’.
Didn’t seem worth the time—I could bite.

  1. What is ‘them’ being referred to in the first line ? Why did the poet show them the toothpaste ?
  2. Explain the phrase ‘pokin’ and ‘fussin’.
  3. What didn’t seem ‘worth the time’ to the poet ? (CBSE 2014)

Answer:

  1. The word ‘them’ refers to teeth. The poet did not brush the teeth properly. She only showed them the toothpaste.
  2. The phrase pokin’ and fussin’ mean checking carefully.
  3. To the poet, brushing the teeth carefully is not worth the time.

Question: When I think of the lollies I licked And the liquorice all sorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, bit and little,
And that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

  1. How does the poet feel when she thinks of all the sweets she has taken ?
  2. What do you think of her as a child ?
  3. What are ‘liquorice’ and ‘sherbet dabs’ ?

Answer:

  1. The poet feels guilty when she thinks of all the sweets she has taken.
  2. She was very fond of sweets and careless about her teeth.
  3. ‘Liquorice’ is a kind of candy. ‘Sherbet dabs’ are tiny sweets.

Question: ‘Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath All the toffees I chewed.
And the sweet sticky food
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

  1. What is the poet’s wish ?
  2. What harmed her teeth ?
  3. Give the meaning of‘spotted’.

Answer:

  1. The poet wishes that she should have taken proper care of her teeth.
  2. The toffees that she had chewed during childhood harmed her teeth.
  3. ‘saw’.

Question: How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth.
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

  1. What did the poet make fun of ?
  2. What do you mean by ‘they’ in fourth line ?
  3. Give the meaning of the word ‘beckonin’.

Answer:

  1. The poet made fun of the false teeth of her mother.
  2. ‘They* refers to false teeth.
  3. ‘beckoning’ (calling)

Question: “But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth”.

  1. ‘But now comes the reckonin’. Explain.
  2. Who are beckoning the poet ?
  3. What is the poet’s regret ?

Answer:

  1. It means that she harmed her teeth by eating many sweets. Now the time has come to estimate or calculate the harm.
  2. The false teeth of the mother are calling the poet.
  3. The poet’s regret is that she did not take proper care of her teeth

Question: If I’d known, I was paving the way
To cavity, caps and decay
the murder of fillin’s
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away

  1. Why did the poet develop cavities in her teeth ?
  2. Which poetic device does the poet use in the second line ?
  3. Give the meaning of‘sherbet’.

Answer:

  1. The poet developed cavities in her teeth because she had been eating too much sweets, lollies and toffees, etc.
  2. It is alliteration.
  3. ‘A sweet candy’.

Question: So 1 lay in the old dentist’s chair And I gaze up his nose in despair And his drill it do whine
In these molars of mine “Two amalgum,” he’ll say, “for in there”.

  1. Why did the speaker go to the dentist ?
  2. How did the speaker feel in the dentist’s chair ?

SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS (SOLVED)

Answer each of the following questions in 30-40 words.

Question: What are the different kinds of sweets that the poet ate which led to the cavities? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The poet, as a child, used to eat all sweets things such as lollipops, caramels, chocolates and chewing gums. She enjoyed candies and the other sticky stuff.

Question: Why has the line, “Oh ! I wish I’d looked after me teeth’ been repeated in the poem by Pam? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The line has been repeated for emphasis. The poet realizes and regrets that she has not been taking proper care of her teeth. That is why, her teeth were now in a bad state.

Question: What should the poet have known? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The poet should have known the consequences of eating many sweets and neglecting the teeth. She should have known that if she continued to neglect the care of her teeth they would be causing her a lot of trouble.

Question: What were the consequences of the poet’s actions in her childhood according to the poem ‘Oh!I wish I’d looked After Me Teeth’? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: In her childhood the poet ate a number of sweets of all kinds. She did not brush her teeth carefully. The result was that cavities developed beneath her teeth, and she had to go to the dentist and underwent a lot of pain.

Question: “Two amalgum”. What does this expression mean ? (CBSE 2014)
Or
Why has the word ‘amalgum’ been misspelt in the poem ‘Oh ! I wish I’d looked After Me Teeth’ ? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The poet deliberately misspells the word ‘amalgam’’ as ‘amalgum’. She wants to emphasize in an amusing way that there were two cavities beneath her teeth which the dentist was to fill with amalgam – a mixture of mercury and another metal used for such purposes.

Question: Why does the child find brushing a useless activity? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The child found brushing a useless activity because she was ignorant about dental hygiene at that time. She casually brushed her teeth and thus harmed them greatly.

Question: What perils did the poet spot? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The poet spotted perils, that is, cavities beneath her teeth. These cavities were caused by her eating sweets and sticky stuff and by her neglect of her teeth.

Question: How does the poem successfully ‘awaken the reader to his dental hygiene and care’? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The poem repeats the line ‘Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth’ to emphasize the necessity of dental hygiene. She repeatedly expresses her regret and tells the reader how she had harmed her teeth by eating many sweets and by the neglect of her teeth. Thus, the poem succeeds in its explicit aim of making the reader aware of the significance of dental care.

Question: Who is whining a ‘drill’ in the poem, ‘Oh, I wished……………….. ‘, and why ? (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The dentist is using his drill- which gives the sound of whining-in filling the holes in the teeth of the poet. It is so because there are cavities beneath the poet’s teeth, caused by her neglect of her teeth.

Question: “But up-and-down brushing and pokin’ and fussin”. What do you understand by the line. (CBSE 2014)

Answer: The line tells us that the poet did not brush her teeth properly and carefully. She did not move the brush up and down as recommended. She took the activity of brushing as useless.

Question: On what should the poet have spent her money?

Answer: The poet should have spent her money on the right kind of food. She should have spent money on healthy and nutritious food that would have made her teeth strong and healthy. She should not have wasted money on buying toffees, lollies, candies and sweet, sticky food.

Question:Why does the conscience of the poet prick her?

Answer: The conscience of the poet pricks her because she had been eating wrong kind of food. She had been eating toffees, lollies and candies and sweet, sticky food. This kind of food caused cavities in her teeth. She had to bear painful injections and the pain of the dentist’s drill. Thus, she feels guilty.

Question: What did the poet do with her cavities in her teeth?

Answer: She went to the dentist for treatment. She wanted to get the cavities filled medically. She had to get the painful injections. She had to sit in the dentist’s chair and bear the pain of the dentist’s drill. She regretted that she had not looked after her teeth.

Question: What signal did her mother’s false teeth give to the poet?

Answer: Her mother’s false teeth gave her the signal that if she did not take care of her teeth, she, too, would have to get the false teeth for herself. She had neglected the care of her teeth. She developed many cavities in her teeth. She was likely to lose some teeth. So she thought that her mother’s false teeth gave a sort of warning to her.

VALUE – BASED LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS (SOLVED) – Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth

Question: “The body is a temple”. It is believed that the body given by God should be treated with care, as it is one’s temple. Comment on this thought with reference to the poem ‘Oh I wish I’d looked After Me Teeth’. (CBSE 2014)

Answer: A temple is a place which we respect and honour. The body given to us by God is nothing but a venerable temple. If we neglect it we are sure to suffer in one way or the other. If we do not take proper care of any of its organ we will have to bear the consequences.

In the poem ‘Oh! I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’ the poet paid no attention to her teeth in her childhood. She continued to eat sweets and sticky stuff. To make the matters worse, she did not brush her teeth carefully. She thought that brushing was a useless activity. The result was that many cavities developed beneath her teeth. She had to go to the dentist to fill those holes. She suffered from a lot of needless pain. Had she treated her teeth with respect she would not have to suffer at all.

Question: What message does the poet want to convey to children in his poem ‘Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’? Support your answer with reference to the following lines:
How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

Answer: The poet regrets that she had not taken care of her teeth during her childhood. She conveys a message to the children that they should inculcate in themselves a good sense of dental hygiene. She regrets that she harmed her teeth by neglecting their care. Due to the neglect of her teeth, she developed many cavities beneath her teeth. It happened because she had been eating a lot of toffees and sweet, sticky food. Now, she realizes that she should not have eaten sweets and hard candies. She feels guilty that she had been eating lollies, candies and tiny sweets. Her conscience pricks her because she had been eating wrong food. The poet regrets that she did not brush her teeth properly. She did not brush her teeth by moving brush up and down. She did not consider it worthwhile to spend some time in cleaning her teeth. Consequently, the poet had to go to the dentist for treatment.

Question 3: What is the role of parents and teachers in teaching dental care to children ? Discuss it with reference to the poet’s experience in the poem ‘Oh! I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’.

Answer: There is no denying the fact that parents and teachers can play an active role in teaching dental hygiene to children. Mothers at home must ensure that her children do not eat too many sweets. She should ensure that they brush their teeth at least twice a day. She should also tell them the proper use of toothbrush. If the children pay no or little attention to their teeth, they should be taken to the dentist and show the horrible scene of treating the teeth.

In the poem ‘Oh ! I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’, it seems as if her parents were quite negligent. They did not persuade or force her to avoid sweets and brush her teeth carefully. Had they played their role well the poet would not have to suffer a lot of pain at the dentist in filling her cavities.

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