‘We have Been Friends Together’ is a poem written by Caroline Norton. Here are given meanings, summary, explanatory video, question answers to exercises and poetry appreciation. The book used is ‘Wind Chimes’ but if you are using any other textbook and then tell us and we would provide solutions to that textbook also.
Video: We Have Been Friends Together
fount – the source
gushing – pouring out
sullen – angry and silent
gloom – express hopelessness
infancy – childhood
bid – tell
Summary: We Have Been Friends Together
‘We have Been Friends Together’ is heart touching poem based on friendship-bereavement theme. A person recounts her/his friendship with another person through the various stages of life. They have spent time as children, playing outdoors. They have shared youthful joys together, full of humour and hope. They have even been sad together, being the shoulder for each other to cry upon. Yet, in spite of all that history, something (possibly a misspoken word) has now come between them that threatens the fabric of this time-tested friendship. Something, which has clouded over the amity, taken the pleasure away from the bond and replaced the voice of companionship with silence, has driven a wedge. The poet entreats her/his friend to not let that remain.
Solutions: We Have Been Friends Together
- a. The poet is describing a time when her friend and she were young and their hearts were full of hope, joy and warmth.
b. Hope has been compared to a fountain.
c. The poet and her friend are the subjects of the lines.
- a. The poet is referring to conversations and memories from their childhood.
b. The voices are silent now because there is now a wedge between the poet and the friend.
c. The message would be that the poet and the friend should forget about their conflicts and extend the hand of friendship to each other.
- a. ‘Grass-grown’ probably refers to the time that has passed since their childhoods. It has been so long that the grass has grown back.
b. These are the graves of the hopes they had when they were children.
c. The hopes they had as children were lost and so, metaphorically, they lie in their graves where they sleep.
- The first stanza talks about the great bond between the poet and her friend. But in the last few lines the poet talks about the coldness in their relationship. This contrast being is talked about here.
- In my opinion the speaker is not insensible. For example – the poet says that she and her friends have been together in good as well as bad times. She also urges her friend to understand that one day everyone has to die and so, her friend should clear any doubt or misconceptions or misunderstandings and troubles that have strained their relations. All of the above examples show that she was eager to persuade her friend to renew the friendship as before.
- The things that can cause any breakup and separation are feelings hurt and the unforgiving attitude. If the two do not forgive each other for the hurt they have caused each other, they will surely part. Forgetting the good and bad times they have spent together and the value of each other, can actually be reasons to part.
- According the poem the speaker seems to be young lady who has spent with her friend since childhood.
- Yes, they should be again be friends together. Throughout the poem the poet keeps asking as what is in that would separate them and at the same time laments the coldness in their relationship.
- The poem has three eight-line stanzas. Each stanza deals with two parts—the first part deals with how the relationship between the poet and the friend once was and the second part deals with the way the relationship is now. Each stanza ends with a rhetorical question.
- The repeated rhetorical question in the poem is ‘What can/shall part us now?’ The poet tries to remind the friend about the strong bond they share by recalling the good and bad times they have spent together. The question is how she tries to convince the friend to forget about what troubles her/him and to be friends with her once again.