The first part of the poem describes the action of the wind. The poet asks the wind to come softly. He requests the wind not to break the shutters of the windows, not to scatter the papers and throw down the books on the shelf. But the wind throws down the books and tears the pages of the books. The poet says that the wind pokes fun at weaklings. It brings down frail houses, crumbling doors, rafters, and even weak hearth. The wind crushes everything that is weak.
The poet advises us to be strong. Only then can we save ourselves against the wind. We should build strong homes with firm doors. Our bodies and hearts should also be strong. It is the way of the world to kick the weak and to be friends with the strong. The wind blows out the weak fires but makes the strong fires roar and flourish. Thus the poem conveys the idea that nobody cares for the weak. Even the wind is on the side of the strong people.
The poem opens with a plea to the wind to blow gently and not to cause damage. It is urged not to break the shutters of the windows or scatter papers by blowing them away. Personifying the wind, the poet tells it not to throw down books on the shelf and draws its attention to the papers that it has torn and the rain that it has brought again. The poet is not happy with the wind’s attitude here. He feels that wind takes advantage of weak people’s helplessness and blows so hard that their houses get destroyed; they may get injured or even killed, their lives are shattered, trees get uprooted and people suffer great loss. They feel very low and crestfallen. Wind, who has been referred to as a god, has the potential of destroying anything or anybody that comes in his way or tries to oppose him. In fact, wind god is so mighty that he charters his own course. It is difficult to control him, once he runs out of control.
The surest way to deal with the onslaught of wind is to build strong, wind-resistant houses that can withstand powerful and speedy wind storms. Wind rattles all the doors and sometimes pulls them out of their hinges. It is important to fix the doors strongly so that they do not come off. People need to be physically strong to face any eventuality caused by wind. And if people are determined and make concerted and coordinated efforts, wind who is alleged to be the friend of the strong only can become an equally good friend of the weak, who are poor and helpless people.
The poem closes with the observation that the wind extinguishes weak fires only. The strong flames are flared up further by it. If we are weak, the wind will overpower us; if we are strong it will aid us. When we make ourselves capable of combating the wind, it becomes a good friend.
The poem carries the message that one must develop mental toughness and physical strength in order to survive the hardships of life. If a person is feeble, he will break down just as the weak buildings crumble down in the harsh wind storms. Therefore, destructive forces should be turned into good friends with strength and determination.