Wednesday, 3 April 2019


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            Stanza – 1
Six humans trapped by happenstance
In dark and bitter cold.
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

The poet begins the stanza with a situation in which six humans are put in a situation of the trap and this has happened by chance. The poet reflects their situation of trouble with ‘black and bitter’ indicating the adverse chilling cold weather situation. The poet continuously uses the word humans reflecting them as six different individuals rather than a united group. These six figures are painted with a stick in each hand symbolizing their individual characters and as well as their lease of life upon the condition of how they act with those.

            Stanza – 2
Their dying fire in need of logs,
But the first one held hers back.
For, of the faces around the fire,
She noticed one was black.

Now the situation turns dramatic as they are put around a dying fire which needs the addition of fuel to it to survive. And it so happened that they all had a log of wood. The wise understanding would be to add to the fuel to survive and get saved. But the contrary happened. We get to see the first to decide not to add his log of wood to the dying fire. He does so because he got to see a black sitting around the fire. He was racially prejudiced. He did not want the black man to be benefitted with his log of wood.
Figures of speech used –
            1.         Alliteration - 

            Stanza – 3
The next one looked across the way
Saw one, not of his church,
And could not bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

This stanza shows the bitter side of religious intolerance. The second man got to see a person in the group who did not belong to his religious faith. So he decided not to add his log of wood as it would benefit the man of the different religious order.
Figures of speech used –
            1.         Symbolism – ‘church’ – meaning religious faith.
            2.         Enjambment - …………himself to giveà
                                    à The fire………………….

            Stanza – 4
The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich.

In this stanza, we get to see a poor person who was in torn, ragged and tattered clothes. He was at a point of view where he was not to be in the same tune with the rich. So he gave a hitch (tightened) to his clothes reflecting mean thought. He reflects his distaste and hatred for the idle rich.
Figures of speech used –
            1.         Alliteration - The third
            2.         Symbolism - Tattered clothes meaning poverty

            Stanza – 5
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of wealth, he had in store,
And keeping all that he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

This stanza reflects the counter contrary thought to that of the previous stanza. Here is the rich man with his own mean reflection. He kept on thinking about the wealth he had in his store and how to protect that sum of wealth from the shiftless (devoid of ambition) poor.

 Figures of speech used –
            1.         Alliteration – He had

            Stanza – 6
The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For he saw in his stick of wood
A chance to spite the white.

This stanza is coined by the poet to reflect the action of revenge. As previously the white man showed his racial hatred and did not ass his stick of wood, now the black man found a way to return the jab. He considered his not adding the stick to the fire as an act of revenge.

Figures of speech used – NIL

            Stanza – 7
And the last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving just to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

This stanza reflected how the last man decided to react to the previous five people who decided to stay in negative. The last man too thought of his gain. His policy was to give and help those who do the same. Here the poet has used deliberately the term ‘foreign group’ meaning their situation of being lonely as they could not write them to the requirement of the situation.

 Figures of speech used – NIL
            1.         Alliteration – ‘how he’ | ‘to those’

Stanza – 8
Their sticks held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof enough of sin;
They did not die from cold without...
They died from cold within.

In the stanza, the poet shows all of the six met their end because of their personal prejudices and mean thoughts. They all clutched to their eyes epitomizing the human sin difficult to forgive. Though the cold weather could have been the reason for their death, they did not die because of the cold outside rather they died for the coldness (lacuna of tolerance and human sympathy) they had inside them.

 Figures of speech used –
1.         Personification -…” held tight in death’s still hands.”
2.         Alliteration- did not die
3.         Antithesis – Line -3 –without | -Line 4-within


The author is a passionate blogger, writer and educationalist. This blog is created to ease troubles of the Cbse students. The author holds multiple blogs and the writer of the Novel KALCHAKRA, OOM AND THE CHOSEN FIVE..


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