POEM – WIND / NCERT: CLASS -9 SUMMARY/EXPLANATION/LITERARY DEVICES/THEME/MESSAGE/QUESTION ANSWERS

  Wind

Wind, come softly.

Don’t break the shutters of the windows.

Don’t scatter the papers.

Don’t throw down the books on the shelf.

There, look what you did — you threw them all down.

You tore the pages of the books.

You brought rain again.

You’re very clever at poking fun at weaklings.

Frail crumbling houses, crumbling doors, crumbling rafters,

crumbling wood, crumbling bodies, crumbling lives,

crumbling hearts —

the wind god winnows and crushes them all.

He won’t do what you tell him.

So, come, let’s build strong homes,

Let’s joint the doors firmly.

Practise to firm the body.

Make the heart steadfast.

Do this, and the wind will be friends with us.

The wind blows out weak fires.

He makes strong fires roar and flourish.

His friendship is good.

We praise him every day.

                                                 SUBRAMANIA BHARATI

                                           [translated from the Tamil by A.K. Ramanujan]

Subramania Bharati (1882–1921) is a great Tamil poet, famous for his patriotism in the pre-Independence era.

A.K. Ramanujan is a Kannada and English poet, well known for his translation of classical and modern poetry.

GLOSSARY

poking fun: making fun of

rafters: sloping beams supporting a roof

winnow: blow grain free of chaff; separate grain from husk by blowing on it

Summary

The poem begins with an entreaty to the wind, requesting him to come slowly without causing destruction. He requests him not to break the shutters of the windows, scatter the papers or throw down the books from the shelf. Then the poet addresses the wind and blames him for tearing books and bringing the rain again. The poet is vexed and thinks of the wind as someone cruel who takes pleasure in teasing and torturing the weak – destroying their property and crushing their hearts and lives. He says that the wind god blows harshly to winnow out the weak and destroy them. The poet then advices his readers that; since, the wind god would not work according to their bidding- it is they who should strengthen their own selves and their surroundings. They should build strong homes, firmly joint the doors and make their bodies strong and hearts steadfast. The wind favours the strong and bold, so once they make themselves strong – the wind will become their friend. The wind blows out weak fires and makes the strong ones flourish. So, his friendship is good once we are strong. It is because of this that we praise the wind god every-day.

Theme of the poem – Wind

The theme of the poem is facing the adversities of life by being prepared for them beforehand. The destructive power of the wind symbolizes the hardships that we face in life. By making ourselves strong we can make the challenges in our lives our friend and be successful in life.

Message of the poem – Wind

The poem gives us an important message that we must be prepared for the challenges of life. We should be physically fit and mentally strong in order to overcome the adversities of life. The hardships of life separate the strong from the weak and help the strong to flourish while crushing the weak ones. Nobody in the world cares for the weak so we must make ourselves strong in order to overcome the adversities of life and emerge as a winner.

Rhyme scheme of the poem – Wind

The poem is written in free verse and hence does not have a rhyme scheme.

Line by line explanation -poem Wind

Wind, come softly.

Don’t break the shutters of the windows.

Don’t scatter the papers.

Don’t throw down the books on the shelf.

There, look what you did — you threw them all down.

You tore the pages of the books.

You brought rain again.

The poet requests the wind to tread softly, so that nothing breaks or gets disturbed. He tells the wind not to break the shutters of the window, not to scatter the papers or make the books fall down from the shelf. But the wind is like a disobedient child and tears the pages of the books and brings the rain. The poet is vexed and blames the wind for the destruction he has done.

You’re very clever at poking fun at weaklings.

Frail crumbling houses, crumbling doors, crumbling rafters,

crumbling wood, crumbling bodies, crumbling lives,

crumbling hearts —

the wind god winnows and crushes them all

The poet says that the wind is cruel and he teases and destroys the weak. The word ‘crumbling has been used multiple times to emphasize the fact, that everything that is feeble, frail and weak crumbles in the face of strong wind. Weak houses, doors and beams of the roof fall down, and the weak hearts and lives are crushed in the violent destructive force of the wind. The poet implies that weak people break and fall in adverse times. The poet says that the wind god winnows people. Just as people winnow grains to separate it from the chaff, similarly the wind god winnows people to separate the strong people from the weak. He crushes the weak and makes them fall.

He won’t do what you tell him.

So, come, let’s build strong homes,

Let’s joint the doors firmly.

Practise to firm the body.

Make the heart steadfast.

The poet tells people that the wind god won’t act according to our bidding and hence to save ourselves from destruction we must build strong homes with firm doors to keep out the strong wind. We must make our bodies strong and our hearts firm in order to overcome the storms of life.

Do this, and the wind will be friends with us.

The wind blows out weak fires.

He makes strong fires roar and flourish.

His friendship is good.

We praise him every day

If we are strong and prepared we will find that the wind will become our friend. The wind favours the strong like everyone in the world. It will destroy us if the fire inside us is weak, but if it is strong the wind will help us to flourish and succeed in life. The poet ends by saying that friendship with the wind is good as it will help us to succeed and fly high in life. It is for this good quality that we praise the wind god every-day.

Literary Devices -poem Wind

Apostrophe – “Wind come softly…” (An inanimate object is directly being addressed by the poet)

Anaphora – ‘Don’t’ [in lines 2, 3, 4] and ‘You’ [in lines 6, 7, 8] (Repetition of the same word at the        beginning of lines)

Alliteration – ‘wind winnows’, ‘won’t want’ (Repetion of consonant sound)

Personification – “Don’t break the shutters…” (The wind is given characteristics of a human being)

Repetition – ‘Crumbling’ (it is repeated several times for emphasis)

Symbolism – The wind symbolizes the adversities in life.

Thinking about the Poem – Question /Answers

I. 1. What are the things the wind does in the first stanza?

Ans.  In the first stanza, the wind demonstrates its destructive behavior by breaking the shutters of windows, scattering papers, throwing down the books form the shelf, tearing their pages. It brings rain and destruction along with itself, poking fun at weaklings and crumbling them.

2. Have you seen anybody winnow grain at home or in a paddy field? What is the word in your language for winnowing? What do people use for winnowing? (Give the words in your language, if you know them.)

Ans. Yes, people in rural areas winnow grain to separate it from the chaff. Winnowing is known as ‘phatakana’.

People use ‘kulo’ or ‘soop’ made of wicker for winnowing in our country.

3. What does the poet say the wind god winnows?

Ans. The wind god winnows the people and separates the strong from the weak. The poet describes the wind god as cruel and destructive who likes poking fun at the weak and crushing them. Just as winnowing separates the grain from the chaff, similarly wind god blows away and destroys the weak and retains and helps the strong.

4. What should we do to make friends with the wind?

Ans. Wind favours the strong, so in order to be friends with the wind, one should be ready to withstand the destructive forces in life. We should make strong homes, practice to firm our bodies and make our minds steadfast.

5. What do the last four lines of the poem mean to you?

Ans. The last four lines describe the wind as someone, who favours the strong over the weak. It blows out weak fires implying that it likes to crumble the lives of the weaklings, but makes the strong fires flourish. Symbolically it means that strong people can withstand and bloom under the wind’s destructive embrace. It gives out the message that one must be ready to face the challenges of life in order to emerge victorious.

6. How does the poet speak to the wind — in anger or with humour? You must also have seen or heard of the wind “crumbling lives”. What is your response to this? Is it like the poet’s?

Ans. The wind has been personified in the poem and the poet bids the wind to come softly, but when the wind disobeys, the poet speaks to him in anger requesting him to stop the destruction.

Yes, often during cyclones the wind creates havoc by destroying lives and property. In those times I feel that humans are helpless against the forces of nature.

Like the poet, I too feel that the only option that humans have is to be prepared against adversities.

                           The tree on the mountain takes whatever the

                           weather brings. If it has any choice at all, it is in

                           putting down roots as deeply as possible.

CORRIE TEN BOOM