This poem depicts the state of a little girl’s mind who is constantly instructed about the do’s and don’ts by her elders. She is told not to hunch her shoulders and to sit up straight. She is told to finish her homework and tidy her room. She is forbidden from eating a chocolate that she has. But all the time, the little girl Amanda keeps dreaming of a life of freedom in the open. She dreams of mermaids in the sea, of roaming barefoot in the dusty street and of the golden haired Rapunzel who lived alone in a high tower. She takes no note of what is being said to her. Then she is rebuked for being moody and sulking all the time.
Don’t bite your nails, Amanda!
Don’t hunch your shoulders, Amanda!
Stop that slouching and sit up straight,
(There is a languid, emerald sea,
where the sole inhabitant is me—
a mermaid, drifting blissfully.)
Fig: Amanda bite nails
While Amanda’s guardian is mouthing right behaviour lessons for her she is engrossed in her own world. She is dreaming of being a mermaid who is drifting blissfully in the sea. Drifting is different from swimming. While swimming amounts to controlled strokes, drifting is more careless. Swimming can be extraneous but drifting can be more pleasant.
Did you finish your homework, Amanda?
Did you tidy your room, Amanda?
I thought I told you to clean your shoes,
(I am an orphan, roaming the street.
I pattern soft dust with my hushed, bare feet.
The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet.)
Fig: Amanda doing Homework
Amanda is being asked if she has finished her homework, cleaned her room. But Amanda is feeling like an orphan who is roaming aimlessly in the street. Like a carefree kid she is making patterns on soft dust with her bare feet. She has shut her ears to what is being told to her and instead enjoying the golden silence of her inner world.
Don’t eat that chocolate, Amanda!
Remember your acne, Amanda!
Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you,
(I am Rapunzel, I have not a care;
life in a tower is tranquil and rare;
I’ll certainly never let down my bright hair!)
Fig: Amanda eating chocolate
Rapunzel was a princess with long golden hair. Her hair was so strong that she used to drop her hair from the watchtower she was living in and her prince charming used to climb by using her hair.
But Amanda wants to enjoy the tranquility of her tower and doesn’t want to let down her hair. She doesn’t want any prince to disturb her peace.
Stop that sulking at once, Amanda!
You’re always so moody, Amanda!
Anyone would think that I nagged at you,
Her gloomy face provokes her guardian to scold her for looking so gloomy. Because the guardian thinks everybody will come to know that Amanda had been scolded.
Amanda’s condition may be witnessed in every child’s life. When you are told a long list of dos and don’ts then you feel that every time you are being made a target. A target of a disciplined life, with a strict moral code of conducts. Most of you feel like shutting off your mind from the outside world. It can be debatable if you should do that or not. But you should always remember that whatever your parents or teachers are telling is for your good only.
Biting nails can lead to worm infestation so stop doing if you are habituated to it. Cleaning up your room and other things will help you develop as a responsible individual. Doing homework develops a habit of accomplishing the task at hand.
These habits will help you in your adult life when you will be building your dream career.
|1. What is the importance of exams?|
|2. How should I prepare for exams effectively?|
|3. How can I overcome exam anxiety?|
|4. Are exams the only measure of academic success?|
|5. How can I improve my exam performance?|