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NCERT Textbook: Poem - Vocation, English, Class 6 | English Class 6 (Honeysuckle) PDF Download

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88 HONEYSUCKLE
Vocation
Vocation
On your way to school or market you see many people at
work. In pairs, discuss what you have noticed. Then read
this poem. You may read it aloud with a partner, if you like.
When the gong sounds ten in the morning and
I walk to school by our lane,
Every day I meet the hawker crying, “Bangles,
crystal bangles!”
There is nothing to hurry him on, there is no
road he must take, no place he must go to, no
time when he must come home.
I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in
the road, crying, “Bangles, crystal bangles!”
When at four in the afternoon I come back from
the school,
I can see through the gate of that house the
gardener digging the ground.
He does what he likes with his spade, he soils
his clothes with dust, nobody takes him to
task, if he gets baked in the sun or gets wet.
I wish I were a gardener digging away at the
garden with nobody to stop me from digging.
Just as it gets dark in the evening and my
mother sends me to bed,
I can see through my open window the
watchman walking up and down.
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 2


88 HONEYSUCKLE
Vocation
Vocation
On your way to school or market you see many people at
work. In pairs, discuss what you have noticed. Then read
this poem. You may read it aloud with a partner, if you like.
When the gong sounds ten in the morning and
I walk to school by our lane,
Every day I meet the hawker crying, “Bangles,
crystal bangles!”
There is nothing to hurry him on, there is no
road he must take, no place he must go to, no
time when he must come home.
I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in
the road, crying, “Bangles, crystal bangles!”
When at four in the afternoon I come back from
the school,
I can see through the gate of that house the
gardener digging the ground.
He does what he likes with his spade, he soils
his clothes with dust, nobody takes him to
task, if he gets baked in the sun or gets wet.
I wish I were a gardener digging away at the
garden with nobody to stop me from digging.
Just as it gets dark in the evening and my
mother sends me to bed,
I can see through my open window the
watchman walking up and down.
Rationalised 2023-24
VOCATION 89
The lane is dark and lonely, and the street-
lamp stands  like a giant with one red eye in
its head.
The watchman swings his lantern and walks
with his shadow at his side, and never once
goes to bed in his life.
I wish I were a watchman walking the street
all night, chasing the shadows with my
lantern.
RABINDRANATH TAGORE
1. Your partner and you may now be able to answer these questions.
(i) Who is the speaker in the poem? Who are the people the
speaker meets? What are they doing?
(ii) What wishes does the child in the poem make? Why does
the child want to be a hawker, a gardener, or a watchman?
Pick out the lines in each stanza, which tell us this.
(iii) From the way the child envies the hawker, the gardener
and the watchman, we can guess that there are many things
the child has to do, or must not do.
Make a list of the do’s and don’ts that the child doesn’t like.
The first line is done for you.
The child must The child must not
come home at a fixed time. get his clothes dirty in the dust.
———————————— ———— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— ———— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
WORKING WITH THE POEM
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 3


88 HONEYSUCKLE
Vocation
Vocation
On your way to school or market you see many people at
work. In pairs, discuss what you have noticed. Then read
this poem. You may read it aloud with a partner, if you like.
When the gong sounds ten in the morning and
I walk to school by our lane,
Every day I meet the hawker crying, “Bangles,
crystal bangles!”
There is nothing to hurry him on, there is no
road he must take, no place he must go to, no
time when he must come home.
I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in
the road, crying, “Bangles, crystal bangles!”
When at four in the afternoon I come back from
the school,
I can see through the gate of that house the
gardener digging the ground.
He does what he likes with his spade, he soils
his clothes with dust, nobody takes him to
task, if he gets baked in the sun or gets wet.
I wish I were a gardener digging away at the
garden with nobody to stop me from digging.
Just as it gets dark in the evening and my
mother sends me to bed,
I can see through my open window the
watchman walking up and down.
Rationalised 2023-24
VOCATION 89
The lane is dark and lonely, and the street-
lamp stands  like a giant with one red eye in
its head.
The watchman swings his lantern and walks
with his shadow at his side, and never once
goes to bed in his life.
I wish I were a watchman walking the street
all night, chasing the shadows with my
lantern.
RABINDRANATH TAGORE
1. Your partner and you may now be able to answer these questions.
(i) Who is the speaker in the poem? Who are the people the
speaker meets? What are they doing?
(ii) What wishes does the child in the poem make? Why does
the child want to be a hawker, a gardener, or a watchman?
Pick out the lines in each stanza, which tell us this.
(iii) From the way the child envies the hawker, the gardener
and the watchman, we can guess that there are many things
the child has to do, or must not do.
Make a list of the do’s and don’ts that the child doesn’t like.
The first line is done for you.
The child must The child must not
come home at a fixed time. get his clothes dirty in the dust.
———————————— ———— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— ———— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
WORKING WITH THE POEM
Rationalised 2023-24
90 HONEYSUCKLE
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
———————————— —— —— — — — ———————————— —— —— — — —
Now add to the list your own complaints about the things
you have to do, or must not do.
(iv) Like the child in the poem, you perhaps have your own wishes
for yourself. Talk to your friend, using “I wish I were…”
2. Find out the different kinds of work done by the people in your
neighbourhood. Make different cards for different kinds of work.
You can make the card colourful with pictures of the persons
doing the work.
Rationalised 2023-24
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FAQs on NCERT Textbook: Poem - Vocation, English, Class 6 - English Class 6 (Honeysuckle)

1. What is the central theme of the poem "Vocation"?
Ans. The central theme of the poem "Vocation" is discovering one's passion and pursuing it wholeheartedly.
2. Who is the speaker in the poem "Vocation"?
Ans. The speaker in the poem "Vocation" is the poet herself, Grace Nichols.
3. What does the poet mean by the line "I have a vocation"?
Ans. The line "I have a vocation" means that the poet has found her true calling or passion in life.
4. How does the poet describe the feeling of pursuing her vocation?
Ans. The poet describes the feeling of pursuing her vocation as being fulfilling, joyful, and liberating.
5. What is the significance of the repetition of the phrase "I have a vocation" throughout the poem?
Ans. The repetition of the phrase "I have a vocation" emphasizes the poet's strong belief in her chosen path and her determination to follow it. It also highlights the importance of finding and embracing one's true calling in life.
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