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CLASS: 11th CLASS (1ST YEAR, FSC PART 1, HSSC-1, ICS)
SUBJECT: ENGLISH BOOK III (PTBB)
POEM NAME: “In The Street Of The Fruit Stalls”
POET NAME: “Jan Stallworthy”

THEME

The poet finds many fruits piled up in the dark street. To the poet, they appear like bombs. This worries the poet. Some children buy the fruit happily. People buy bombs as happily as children buy fruits. Is it not childish? Are weapons good for mankind? The poet finds that those who buy atomic weapons are insane. They are as crazy as children. Man is making his future as dark as the fruit street. This feeling makes the poet’s head and heart sore and sad.

 

STANZA NO. 1
Wicks balance flame, a dark dew falls
 In the street of the fruit stalls,
 Melone, guava, mandarin,
Pyramid-piled like cannon balls,
 Glow red-hot, gold-hot, from within.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “In The Street Of The Fruit Stalls” written by Jan Stallworthy.

Context:
There are some fruits in a bazaar. Some children buy them and their faces are covered with juice.

Explanation:

There is a fruit street. Many stalls of fruit are open. But the thread of lantern is giving very poor light. It falls on the fruits like a dark dew. Fruits like melon, guava and mandarin are available there. Large piles of fruits have been arranged in conical shapes. But they are like bombs which glow as red as fire.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: What does the poet mean by dark dew?

Ans: The poet sees that dim light of lantern is falling on the fruits. It is so humid that fruits are sprinkled with moist. In the dim light of the lantern, the fruits shine dimly. This humidity has been called dark dew.

Q: Why does the poet calls the fruits cannon balls?

Ans: The poet calls fruits cannon balls because they are as common as fruits. Fruits are considered to be healthful. Atomic ammunition is also considered to be a safeguard. But, actually it is meant for the destruction of mankind. For the poet, the fruits are cannon balls, for children, they are full of taste and energy.

Q: What is symbolism?

Ans: Representation of ideas through symbols is called symbolism. For example, the poet calls fruits cannon balls. They become symbols of destruction. This shows that the poet’s hatred for the atomic ammunition.

Q: Why does the poet call the fruit street a ‘dark street’?

Ans: The fruit street is dark because the light of the lantern is dim and too little for the street. But the poet calls it dark in a figurative sense. He finds the dark fate of man in that street where the fruits appear to him like bombs.

STANZA NO. 2
Dark children with a coin to spend,
 Enter the lantern’s orbit; find Melon, guava, mandarin,
The moon compacted to a rind,
The sun in a pitted skin,
They take it, break it open, let.

 

Explanation:

Dark children come in the fruit street. These are the Negroes which are suffering everywhere in the world. They are dark also because they are living under the danger of war. Their fate is dark. They have a coin to buy fruit. They enter the lantern light and look at the fruits. Their mouths water at the sight of the fruits. The fruits look like the moon with a covering. Or they look like the sun packed in a spotted and scarred skin.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: How do the fruits appear to the children?

Ans: The fruits look like the moon in a rind or the sun packed in a skin. They are attractive for them. Therefore, their mouths water at the site of fruits.

Q: Why are the children dark?

Ans: The children are dark because they are Negroes who are suffering everywhere in the world. They are living under the threat of war. Their fate is dark. Therefore, the poet calls them dark children.

 

STANZA NO. 3
A gold or silver fountain wet,
Mouth, fingers, cheek , nose chin,
 Radiant as lanterns, they forget,
The dark street I am standing in.

 

Explanation:

The children buy the fruit. They break it greedily and eat it. The juice of the fruit springs out like a fountain. It sprays on their mouths, fingers, cheeks, nose and chin. Their faces are wet all over. They begin to shine like the lantern. They forget the darkness of the street. However, the poet is still afraid of the darkness of the street. He fears that the future of man is as dark as the street because he is buying ammunition as happily as he buys fruit.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: Why do children shine in the dim light of the lanterns?

Ans: When the children break open the fruit, a fountain of juice ejects out of it. It wets their faces all over. This sticks to their faces which shine in the dim light. Their faces are bright joy.

Q: Why does the poet fail to forget the dark street?

Ans: The poet is mature enough to see the future of mankind. The fruits appear to him like bombs. So, the dark street stands for the darkness of man’s future. The poet fails to forget the hidden death in the bombs science has invented in the name of security.

 

THANKS FOR READING!


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