In this poem the poet describes the scene of the city, and the country from an aeroplane flying high. When the jet plane took off, the sky was clear. The poet looked out from the window. The city looked neatly planned. But on ground it looked without plan or order. It had numerous lanes and houses without style or symmetry.
When the aeroplane flew at a height of 10,000 feet above sea-level, he looked below and realised the logic of geography. It became clear to him why the cities in every country are situated on the river banks.
Secondly, the people lived chiefly in the valleys. This is the level land between the hills. Land and water are primary needs of life. They attract people.
When the plane rose as high above the ground as six miles the earth looked round. It had more water than land. The poet understood the reasons why it was so. But he could not see any logic behind the division of land by raising walls of bricks and hatred, and why people went madly after one another’s throat.
Notes For the Teacher
- Children already know words like ‘aeroplane, airport’, etc.
Draw their attention to words like ‘jetliner’, ‘jet engine’ and ‘jetlag’ in the following activity.
(i) Match items under A with those under B
(ii) Check the meaning of ‘jet black’ and ‘jetsam’ in the dictionary. Complete the idiom : jetsam and _________
- Today, if there is a border dispute or any other contentious issue between two countries, an organisation called the United Nations acts as a mediator to keep peace and order in the world.Encourage children to gather information about the UN and its constituent bodies.
- Peace Memorial Park is the only park of its kind in the world. It is in Hiroshima, Japan, and marks the spot where the first atomic bomb was dropped on ___________ (Children will remember the date and event if they recall the activity under Before you read in The Best Christmas Present in the World).A mini project could be planned on this.
- Ask children to draw a map of their locality/village depicting its physical features and distances between places, etc.
- Recite and write on the blackboard the following poem and discuss the items given at the end of the poem.
Wake gently this morning to a different day.
Listen There is no bray of buses, no horns blow.
There is only the silence of a city hushed with snow.
- Name a few cities in India which the poem reminds you of.
- Which words/phrases in the poem evoke images different from those suggested by ‘the silence of the city’?