Sunday, 24 May 2020

Once Upon A Time

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4. Once Upon A Time

‘Once Upon a Time’ is written by ‘Gabriel Okara’. The poem criticizes the modern life. Modern man is hypocrite. He does not show what he feels. His behavior is always artificial. He laughs without being happy. He says good bye when he means good riddance. The poet does not like this artificial behavior. He wishes for old simplicity


And I have learnt too, to laugh with only my teeth, and shake hands without my heart.
I have also learnt to say ‘goodbye’, when I mean ‘good riddance’
To say ‘glad to meet you’ , without being glad; and to say ‘it’s been nice talking to you’ , after being bored.

Q1. Name the poem and the poet.
Ans. The name of the poem is ‘Once Upon A Time’. The poet is Gabriel Okara.

Q2. Who is the speaker in the poem?
Ans. A father is the speaker in the poem.

Q3. What has the poet learnt to do with his feelings?
Ans. He has learnt to hide his real feelings.

Q4. What kind of life is the poet living?
Ans. He is living an artificial life.

Q5. What is the meaning of laughing only with my teeth?
Ans. It means to laugh without being happy from inside.



But believe me, son,
I want to be what I used to be When I was like you. I want
to unlearn all these muting things.
Most of all, I want to relearn
how to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror shows only my teeth like a snake’s bare fangs

Q1. Name the poem and the poet.
Ans. The name of the poem is ‘Once Upon A Time’. The poet is Gabriel Okara.

Q2. Whom is the poet talking to?
Ans. The poet is talking to his son.

Q3. What are the things that the poet wants to unlearn?
Ans. The poet wants to unlearn hypocrisy of modern life.

Q4. What does the poet compare his laugh to?
Ans. He compares his laugh to the poisonous expression of snake.

 In this poem the poet laments the loss of innocence of early life. He condemns the hypocrisy of adults. In adulthood one ceases to be his real self. He comes to acquire different masks for different occasions. He is many in one. Like others, the poet also adopts different face. Soon he realizes his folly. He wants to shed his artificial behaviour and become as natural as he was in his early life. He feels that childhood is a period of honest laughter and spontaneity.


Once Upon A Time       BY-   GABRIEL OKARA

        This is a very beautiful poem by Gabriel Okara. It gives us a very good message. It shows the difference between the people in the past and people in the present. It shows how fake we have become.