In the street of fruit stalls

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Notes by Muhammad Azam, Shaheen Academy, G-6-1-3, Islamabad

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In the street of fruit stalls

  1. 1. IN THE STREET OF FRUIT STALLS Wicks balance flame, a dark dew falls In the street of fruit stalls’ Melon, guava, mandarin, Pyramid-piled like cannon balls, Glow red-hot, gold-hot from withinReference: These verses have been taken from the poem “In the Street of Fruit Stalls” ByJan Stallworthy.Context: In this Poem, the Jan Stallworthy has reflected dark and harsh reality of lifethrough death and destruction caused by war, poverty and miseries of life. But all thesesufferings have failed to crush man’s love for pleasure. He still searches for delight in theshort sweetness of life just like the children, who enjoy the sweet spray of juice forgettingall about the misery of life they live in. These children are too innocent to comprehend thedark and harsh reality of life.Explanation: In this first stanza, the poet has used the dark imagery “dark dew falls”. Hehas portrayed evening time with dark and grim future inflicted by war in the street of fruitstalls, where various fruits are piled up in a conical form like pyramid. The imagery of fruitsis symbolizing both pleasure and misery. Pleasure in the sense that they are in variety,having sweet taste and colour yet at the same time symbolizing the cannon balls likely to beused in war. They reflect hot, red and golden colours, which in dim light appear like bombs.The whole world is engulfed in the darkness of war, misery and poverty. The same darknessis found in the fruit street. War and its horrors have shattered the human psychology tosuch an extent that different kinds of fruits look like bombs. In the dim light of lanternsthey glow red hot or appear gold hot. 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 skinExplanation :Here in this stanza, the poet has used the word “ Dark Children”, whichreflect that the poor children with innocent hopes and dark future find pleasure in thesefruits like melon, guava and other fruits. They innocently hold a coin standing in the lightlanterns. For them this is the only hope and pleasure of life to buy and enjoy the taste ofvarious fruits. Dark children symbolize insignificant of human life in the eyes of those who wagewar and bring about misery to fellow humans.[[The situation is so grim that the moon and the sun have failed to perform their normalfunctions as a result of which darkness and gloom have enveloped the world. In spite of allthis man’s love for pleasure is still an integral part of his nature. The children are obliviousof their miserable living conditions. They buy different fruits and eat with relish. The juiceswet all parts of their faces. The condition of the poet is, however, different. He feels sad atthe present situation and has serious concern about the future. They take it, break it open, let A gold or silver fountain wet Mouth, fingers, cheek, nose, chin: Radiant as lanterns, they forget The dark street I am standing in.Explanation: They buy the fruit and break it open they tasty juice runs down their cheekslips and stick to their hands. For them the pleasure is cheap and they are unaware of thewar going on, harsh realities of life and grim future, where man is man’s enemy and whichis also disturbing the poet. ****

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