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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Chapter 1 - A Photograph

Last updated date: 21st Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024

Class 11 English Chapter-1 Poem NCERT Solutions - A Photograph - Free PDF Download

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-1 Poem ‘A Photograph’ is provided on Vedantu in the form of a PDF. 

In these NCERT Solutions, all the answers are explained as per the latest CBSE guidelines. The NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Poem 1 can be downloaded from Vedantu for free. These solutions will help you revise the poem A Photograph comprehensively. By following these NCERT Solutions, you will be able to understand the summary, theme, and analysis of the poem easily. Hence, you can refer to the NCERT Solutions Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 Poem for your exam preparation.


NCERT Solutions for Class 11


Class 11 English

Subject Part:

Class 11 English - Hornbill

Chapter Name:

Chapter 1 Poem  - A Photograph


Text, Videos, Images and PDF Format

Academic Year:



English and Hindi

Available Materials:

  • Chapter Wise

  • Exercise Wise

Other Materials

  • Important Questions

  • Revision Notes

Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 Poem A Photograph is an excellent poem. To understand the lines and the context of this chapter, students refer to the notes prepared by the experts. Once done, they use the NCERT solutions designed by subject experts to get proper answers to the exercise questions. These solutions are compiled in a simpler tone to help students focus on the answers and learn them properly.

Access NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1- A Photograph (Poem)

The Theme of the Poem- A Photograph

Shirley Toulson’s ‘A Photograph’ explores many important themes. The most prominent ones among them are loss, nostalgia, mourning, and the transience of life and memories. The speaker of the poem recalls the memories of her deceased mother. ‘A Photograph’ revolves around the speaker’s reminiscence from her own life and that of her mother’s memories.

The poet experiences the emotions of both sorrow and joy when she recollects her mother’s words when the two looked at the photograph together. It has been pretty long since the image was captured and framed, and her mother and she looked at it. However, it is evident from the poem that the memories of such moments are strongly engraved in the poet’s heart.

Every individual on this planet has experienced a loss of some kind. Shirley Toulson in the poem taps into that feeling of loss and emptiness through the lines of the poem when one reads it and looks back at it years later. Through Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-1 Poem - The Photograph, the poet remembers the past in the present. The poem is universally applicable to all its readers. Toulson not only pays a tribute to her mother but also to all those who have lost a dear one, through this beautiful poem.

Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1: Question and Answers

1. Infer the meaning of the following words from the context:

  • Padding 

  • Transient

Now look up the dictionary to see if your inference is right.

Ans: Paddling refers to the act of moving in shallow water with bare feet. For example: Jane went with her friends to the sea and enjoyed paddling in the water, when the waves washed over the beach.

Transient means something that is short term or temporary. For example: Sad days are a transient period of life. Good days do follow by.

2. What does the word “cardboard” denote in the poem? Why has this word been used?

Ans: ‘Cardboard’ in the poem refers to the small photograph that the poet comes across. It held the memory of her mother and her cousins' beach holiday when they were kids.

This word has been used because with time material things lose their significance. The photograph was one very fond memory of the poet’s mother who is now dead. For the mother, the photograph was a memory but for the poet it is her mother's laughter when she recollected her memories of the day. It emphasises the transient nature of humans and how gradually with time everything is left behind and their actual significance almost lost. 


3. What has the camera captured?

Ans: The camera captured a very fond memory. The photograph was taken on a beach holiday where the author's mother and her cousins Betty and Dolly had fun and they were dressed up weirdly for it. The poet’s mother was the big girl, twelve years or so in the picture and had a sweet smile through her hair, smiling at their uncle, who held the camera. She stood in the middle holding the arms of the cousins, paddling in the seawater. 

The photograph brought an instant smile on the mother's face, when she was alive,  as she reminisced of those days.

4.  What has not changed over the years? Does this suggest something to you?

Ans: The photograph was taken around twenty-thirty years ago when the author came across it. Even after so many years, the sea remained the same. It is still visited by many mortals everyday whose terribly transient feet are washed away by the waves, signifying the power nature and time holds. It shows us how helpless we are in front of time and nature, which is eternal. Even the once fond memories remain a mere piece of cardboard after a few years.


5. The poet's mother laughed at the snapshot. What did this laugh indicate?

Ans: After coming across the photograph, the author went to her mother to ask further about it. The mere piece of cardboard brought a wide smile across the mother’s face as she reminisced about the fond beach holiday she had with her cousins, Betty, and Dolly when she was a mere twelve-year-old child. The nostalgic memory made her laugh as she commented on the way they dressed back in those days.


6. What is the meaning of the line “Both wry with the laboured ease of loss”?

Ans: Both the author and her mother had fond memories which brought pain with them. The mother laughed when she looked at the photograph of the beach holiday with her cousins but felt a pang of pain remembering that her childhood was gone, and those days could not come back again. 

For the author, the memory of her mother’s laughter when she was presented with the photograph came back again around twelve years after her mother died. She nursed the pain that the loss brought with it but was happy to remember the day she laughed so fondly.

7. What does “this circumstance” refer to?

Ans: ‘This circumstance’ refers to the helpless state that the author is presently in. She lost her mother twelve years ago and coming across the photograph again, her mother once showed her, bringing back fond memories along with pang of pain. She could not meet her again. Only the memory of her laughter remained in her heart. She was trying to nurse the pain away from the loss and the void that could not be filled. It also shows how helpless we, as mortals, are in front of time and nature, and we can do nothing other than submitting to its power.


8. The three stanzas depict three different phrases? What are they?

Ans: The first stanza of the poem talks about the childhood of the poet' mother when she went on a beach holiday with her cousins. It was a happy memory which the mother held close to her heart.

The second stanza talks about the mother being old and gradually entering old age. The poet is now a young girl and was narrated this happy memory by her mother on being presented with the photograph.

In the third stanza, the poet has progressed deeper into life and aged. Her mother is now dead and she fondly remembers her smile and memory when she once again comes across the picture.


Hornbill Class 11 Chapter 1 Photograph – Intext Questions

What is the Central Idea of  Poem 1 Class 11 English?

The Class 11 English Poem A Photograph is written by Shirley Toulson as a tribute to her beloved mother. The poem delineates three distinct stages in the transit of life. In the first stage, a photograph depicts the poet’s 12-year old mother, enjoying the beach with her two cousins. The second stage signifies the memory of twenty or thirty years later, where her mother is laughing at how the poet and her cousins used to doll up for the beach holiday. In the third stage, the poet recollects the memories of her dear departed mother with a heavy heart. The photograph inoculates a nostalgic emotion in the poet.

The NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 A Photograph on Vedantu will guide you to write precise and proper answers for all types of questions from this poem in the exam.

CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-1 Poem ‘A Photograph’ - Summary of the Poem

The summary of Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 A Photograph is given below.

This poem is written in remembrance of the poet’s mother. She is looking at an old cardboard photo frame of her mother. That has a picture of three girls in which the tallest girl, standing in the middle, is her mother, when she was twelve years old along with her cousins Betty and Dolly beside her. She is holding the hands of her younger cousins. Her uncle took her photograph when they went paddling on a beach holiday.

The poet does not forget to notice the sweet face of her mother. The sea touching her transient feet depicts the sea is still the same, whereas she aged in the following years. Her mother, after twenty-three years, used to show this picture to the poet and laugh about how their parents used to doll them up for the beach holiday. The beach holiday was one of the favourite memories of her mother, whereas the laugh of her mother was her favourite memory of the poet. 

They both lost something close to them, which they will never be able to re-live. Those moments have turned into memory now. It has been twelve years since the demise of her beloved mother, and she misses her mother more when she sees the photograph where her mother is just a twelve-year-old girl having fun with her cousins. She cannot express the anguish that she feels for her mother’s absence.

The NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 A Photograph are available for free download on Vedantu. You can access these NCERT Solutions online as well as offline.

Chapter-wise NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill


NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Poem


CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-1 Poem ‘A Photograph’ - Salient Features of NCERT Notes

CBSE Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 Poem ‘A Photograph’ consists of some special features which prove to be advantageous for the students:

  • Vedantu has the best faculty who have prepared the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 A Photograph, which will help students to understand and analyze the poem thoroughly. 

  • All the textbook questions of the poem are solved and explained in the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill A Photograph PDF on Vedantu. So get sufficient notes and prepare yourself to perform the best in your exam.

  • The NCERT Solutions of Chapter 1 A Photograph is done in such a lucid way that the students will find it very easy to understand the text and hence can study the material with full advantage. 

  • NCERT Solutions are provided for free which will help the students to download it for free and use it anytime and from anywhere. 

Solved Example

What does cardboard signify in the poem?

  1. A piece of paper.

  2. That life is transient.

  3. A-frame of wooden.

  4. A photo holder.

Ans- 2) That life is transient. 

Questions and Answers:

1. What does the ‘cardboard’ denote in the poem ‘A Photograph’?

Ans. The word ‘cardboard’ in the poem denotes that the photograph was very old. In olden times these cardboard framed photographs were prevalent, thus this piece in the poem denotes the age-old photo of the poet’s mother. 

2. What do these two words mean in the context of the poem: Padding and Transient? 

Ans. Following is the meaning of the two terms:

  • Padding - moving the boat at a faster speed. 

  • Transient - something which will stay for a shorter period of time. 

Fun Fact:

James Maxwell took the first-ever colour photo in 1861.

Importance of Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 Poem A Photograph NCERT Solutions

Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 Poem A Photograph is a masterpiece written by the poet Shirley Toulson. She has a photograph of her mother and it is the topic of this poem. This heart-touching poem explains how she, her cousins and her mother were present in the photograph and her uncle took it. The poet cannot forget the sweet face of her mother even if she is not there with her.

To understand the context of this chapter, students will have to pay prime attention to all the lines of this poem. Once done, they can proceed to answer the exercise questions to check whether they have understood the poem properly or not. This is where the students will need the assistance of the NCERT solutions developed by the experts.

The questions in the exercises are all based on the context of this poem. Hence, the answers will explain what the questions want to ask and how to compile one. Add these solutions to your study sessions and develop your answering skills for this chapter.

Advantages of Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 Poem A Photograph NCERT Solutions

  • The answers to all the exercise questions can be found in a single file. You can access this file online or can download it for more convenience.

  • Refer to these solutions to resolve doubts based on the exercise questions. Leave no questions and queries unattended when you have these solutions in your hands.

  • Follow the answering format compiled by the experts. Check how they have maintained the CBSE Class 11 English standards to keep the answers simple and easily comprehensible. Develop similar skills to score more in Class 11 English exams.

  • Practice these exercise questions with the solutions and revise the chapter faster before an exam.

Tips to Study English Hornbill Better in CBSE Class 11 

Students can follow the following suggestion and tips to score brilliantly in the Hornbill section of English CBSE Class 11:

  1. Students are required to take note of the chapters which are included in this supplementary book. 

  2. Students are then required to study each story and poem from this book. 

  3. Understanding the prose and poetries is very important thus the students must totally understand the concept of the context. 

  4. Previous Year’s Question Papers, NCERT Solutions, and Revision study must be practiced well by the students. 

Thus hope the study material has benefitted the students in the best way. Students are required to download the free PDF which will help them to resort to the NCERT solutions of Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-1 Poem ‘A Photograph’ whenever required. 

Additionally, we also have discussed the benefits of referring to these study materials, and how will it help the students in preparing for the exam. 

Download Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 1 Poem A Photograph NCERT Solutions PDF

Get the free PDF version of the solutions and make your study sessions for this chapter more productive. Learn from the solutions how to use the context of this poem in an accurate way to compile a precise answer. Develop your concepts related to this chapter by using these solutions. Practice answering such questions before the exam to stay ahead of the competition.

FAQs on NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Chapter 1 - A Photograph

1. The three paragraphs depict distinct phases of life. Name those phases?

The poem offers a very meaningful message that every student must understand. The three paragraphs depict three distinct phases in three stages of life, which are as follows-

  • The first stage depicts a time when the poetess’s mother was a twelve-year-old girl. 

  • The second stage signifies the time after twenty-three years when her mother was in her middle age, during her childhood.

  • The third stage depicts the period after her mother passed away, and the poet was left with her sweet memories only.

2. What is the irony in the poem A Photograph?

The poem tries to convey a very strong message related to love, happiness, and affection when it comes to the bond of motherhood. The line in the poem- There is nothing to say at all, its silence silences, signifies the irony of the poem. The photograph is amusingly melancholic. The poetess is delighted to see her mother in the picture shows irony as she felt sad at the same time. Her mother passed away without seeing her daughter happy, and meanwhile, her daughter was unhappy because her mother was not with her to make her happy. An ironic ambiance is created within this write-up.

3. What is the theme of the poem Photograph?

The poem Photograph highlights the three stages in the journey of life. The main theme of this poem is the nostalgic emotion of the poet by looking at the photographs. In the first stage, the poet’s mother is a 12-year old who is seen enjoying the beach with her cousins. The second stage depicts the photograph of the poet and her cousins dressing up for the beach holiday. The third stage is the departure of the poet’s mother.

4. Who has written the Photograph?

The poem Photograph in Class 11 English has been written by Shirley Toulson. She has dedicated this poem as a tribute to her dear departed mother. The photographs inject the poet with nostalgic emotions. The poet is trying to convey that they both have lost something valuable and close to them. She is trembling as she will not be able to relive them again.

5. Can the poem Photograph be considered a melancholic or nostalgic poem?

The poem Photograph, composed by Shirley Toulson, should be considered as a nostalgic poem. The poet looks at the photographs and recollects and revisits the memories she had of her mother. She has composed this poem as a tribute to her mother. According to the main idea of the poem, photographs allow us to revisit the place, feelings, moments and people. The poet is also sad that she will not be able to relive those moments again. For more solutions, visit the page NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-1 Poem.

6. How can the solutions for the poem Photograph be downloaded?

Vedantu offers solutions to all the exercises of the chapter in a detailed and simplified manner. The solutions for the poem The photograph can be downloaded from the page NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-1 Poem on the official website of Vedantu.

One of the reasons to refer to the Vedantu solutions is that these are provided by experienced experts after cross verification and also by following the guidelines set by CBSE Board. And all these solutions can be accessed at free of cost on the official website of Vedantu or on the Vedantu app.

7. How is the material provided supposed to be useful?

Vedantu offers the complete study guide comprising the revision notes, important questions, detailed solutions, mock tests, and previous year’s question papers. These can be found on their official website. The solutions provided are cross verified by the experienced subject matter experts and in a simplified manner. One of the reasons to refer to this guide is that they follow the guidelines set by the CBSE Board.