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Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 10th English Solutions Poem Chapter 6 No Men Are Foreign
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No Men Are Foreign Textual Questions
A. Based on the understanding of the poem, read the following lines and answer the questions given below.
(i) Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes
Like ours: the land our brothers walk upon
Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.
(a) What is found beneath all uniforms?
Though the outward appearance of people may change because of the difference in their attire, there is an inherent similarity between all human beings. All people live and breathe in a similar fashion. Militaries in the world may don different uniforms but they comprise of human beings who essentially are the same anywhere in the world.
(b) What is same for every one of us?
When we die, we all shall meet this same earth in the end where we shall be buried in it the same way.
(c) Where are we all going to lie finally?
The poet says that at the end of our respective lives, we all shall lie buried in the same earth. He means to draw our attention to the common fate that awaits us regardless of our nationality.
(a) What makes men strange and countries foreign?
(b) Who is referred to as ‘our brothers’ in this stanza?
(c) What lesson can we learn from these lines?
(d) What should we remember?
(e) What uniforms is the poet talking about?
(f) Where do our brothers walk?
(g) Name the poem and the poet.
(h) What is the figure of speech in the first line?
(i) Explain the metaphor in the first line.
(j) What breathes beneath all uniforms?
(a) Geographical boundaries segregate countries. We consider countries other than ours to be ‘foreign’ and the people living in these countries to be ‘strange’.
(b) The people who live in countries other than ours have been referred to as our brothers.
(c) These lines teach us the lesson of peace, universal brotherhood and harmony.
(d) We should remember that no men are strange and no country is foreign.
(e) The poet is talking about the different uniforms worn by different people in different countries.
(f) Our brothers walk on this earth which is the same for all.
(g) The name of the poem is ‘No Men Are Foreign’ and the name of the poet is ‘James Kirkup’.
(h) Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes – Metaphor is the figure of speech employed here. Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes.
(i) ‘Uniforms’ here basically stand for militaries that different countries in the world have. These uniforms may be different in colour, design, shape and culture, but people donning them are the same anywhere in the world. So the word uniform is indirectly compared to the militaries of different countries.
(j) A single type of body breathes beneath all uniforms.
(ii) They, too, aware of sun and air and water,
Are fed by peaceful harvests, by war’s long winter starv’d.
(a) What is common for all of us?
(b) How are we fed?
(c) Mention the season referred here?
(a) Sun, air and water is common for all of us.
(b) We the people of the world are nourished and nurtured equally by the elements of Nature like sun, air and water, enjoying the harvests in peaceful times and dreading starvation caused by long-drawn wars.
(c) The season mentioned here is winter.
(a) Who does ‘they’ refer to in the first line?
(b) What are they aware of?
(c) What are all men fed by?
(d) What do you mean by peaceful harvest?
(e) What do you mean by ‘wars’ long winter?
(f) What are they starved by?
(g) Which poetic device has been used in “war’s long winter starv’d”?
(h) Why has war’s winter been called long?
(i) What is the figure of speech in the line, war’s long winter starv’d?
(j) Explain war’s long winter starv’d?
(a) ‘They’ refers to the people of countries other than ours, whom we consider as strangers.
(b) They are aware of the benefits of sun, air and water drawing sustenance from these elements of nature.
(c) All men are fed by peaceful harvests.
(d) By peaceful harvests, we mean the crops grown during the period of peace.
(e) It means the painful days of the war when we are kept indoors.
(f) They are starved by long winter.
(g) The poetic device used in “war’s long winter starv’d” is a ‘metaphor’.
(h) The winter of war has been called ‘long’ because unlike the naturalness it is self – inflicted trouble that not only robs the warmth of peace but also never ending.
(i) The starvation caused by the harsh winter has been compared indirectly to the wartime destruction. So it is Metaphor. The poetic device can also be Alliteration where the initial consonants in war and winter are repeated.
(j) Here the starvation experienced during unproductive and harsh winter describes the want and hunger faced during war-time. Both these conditions lead to ultimate destruction.
(iii) Their hands are ours, and in their lines we read
A labour not different from our own. –
(a) Who does ‘their’ refer to?
(b) What does the poet mean by ‘lines we read’?
(c) What does not differ?
(a) ‘Their’ refers to the other people of the world whom we consider as strange and foreign.’
(b) The poet by the words, Tines we read’ means that their destiny is similar to ours.The lines of their hands also show their capacity of doing hard work or labour.
(c) Labour does not differ.
(а) Explain the expression: ‘Their hands are ours’.
(b) Explain: ‘A labour not different from our own’.
(a) ‘Their hands are ours’ means that they too work hard like us with their hands to earn their livelihood.
(b) This expression means that the hard work done by the people who live in other countries is not different in any way from the one that we do. All of us have to toil and work hard in a similar way for survival.
(iv) Let us remember, whenever we are told To hate our brothers, it is ourselves That we shall dispossess, betray, condemn
(а) Who tells us to hate our brothers?
(b) What happens when we hate our brothers?
(c) What do we do to ourselves?
(a) The opportunist and leaders and politicians craving for power and authority, in short the selfish people, who control all wartime affairs, tell us to hate our brothers.
(b) When we hate our brothers, we hate ourselves unknowingly.
(c) We dispose and be disloyal to ourselves expressing complete disapproval to our deeds.
(a) What are we doing to our fellow beings?
(b) Why do we sometimes hate our brothers?
(c) How shall we dispossess ourselves?
(d) Whom do we harm by going to war?
(e) What are the aftermaths of hatred?
(f) Why does the poet call all strangers and foreigners ‘brothers’?
(a) We are disposing of; betraying and criticising our fellow beings.
(b) We sometimes hate our brothers because we allow vested and unscrupulous politicians and religious leaders to instigate us. We are taken in by their lies about our differences and begin to consider our brothers as strange and foreign.
(c) We shall dispossess ourselves by disliking our brothers in other parts of the world when we are told by the politically driven people to do so. These brothers cannot become foreign or strange just because they belong to different countries, races and cultures.
(d) By going to war, we harm ourselves as much as we harm the enemy. The environmental pollution makes this earth an equally unhealthy place to live in for both sides that go to war.
(e) The aftermaths of hatred are violence, communal disharmony and inhuman behaviour.
(f) All of them are bound by the common bond of humanity. Hence the poet calls all the , strangers and foreigners as brothers.
(v) Our hells of fire and dust outrage the innocence
Of air that is everywhere our own,
Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange.
(a) What outrages the innocence?
(b) Who are not foreign?
(c) What is not strange?
(a) War, which is futile spoiling the very earth with hells of fire and dust outrages the innocence.
(b) Any human being who breathe the same air are not foreign.
(c) The world which becomes more difficult place to live in and any country in this world is not strange.
(a) Explain: ‘hells of fire and dust’.
(b) Explain: ‘the innocence of air’.
(a) ‘Hells of fire and dust’ stands for the devastation created and caused by the arms and ammunition used in wars. The dust and smoke thus caused pollute the very air we breathe.
(b) ‘Innocence of air’ means the freshness and purity of air that nature has blessed us with. It also indicates the innocence of the human mind.
(i) Remember they have eyes like ours that wake
Or sleep, and strength that can be won
By love. In every land is common life
That all can recognise and understand.”
(a) What do all people have in common?
(b) Who does the word, ‘they’ refer to?
(c) Who does the words, ‘ours’ refer to?
(d) What do the eyes do?
(e) How can strength be won ?
(f) What is common in every land?
(g) What can all recognise and understand?
(h) Explain: ‘they have eyes like ours that wake or sleep’.
(i) According to the poet, how can we win other people?
(j) What do you understand by ‘common life’?
(k) What should we remember about men?
(l) What should we remember about countries?
(m) What advice does the poet give us in these lines?
(a) All people have eyes, sleep and strength in common.
(b) ‘They’ refers to people whom we discriminate and all the people of different countries whom we consider to be strange.
(c) ‘Ours’ refers to the people living in our own country whom we consider to be like us.
(d) The eyes wake and sleep.
(e) Strength can be won by love.
(f) Life is common in every land.
(g) All can recognise and understand that life is common in every land.
(h) The poet is trying to bring home the idea that those people whom we consider strange m or foreign are similar to us in every way. They sleep and wake up each new day just ’ like us. Even though the colour and shape of their eyes is different from ours, they perform a similar function.
(i) The poet says that the strength of other people can be won by love and kindness, not by force or war.
(j) ‘Common life’ means life anywhere in the world that has similar patterns and features – birth and death, joys and sorrows, youth and old age, and so on and so forth. This commonness of ‘common life’ is experienced by all the people of the world regardless of the country in which they live.
(k) We should remember that no men are strange.
(l) We should remember that no countries are foreign.
(m) The poet advises us to ignore the orders of those who incite us to hate and abuse others because by doing so we harm ourselves.
(ii) “It is the human earth that we defile
Our hells of fire and dust outrage the innocence
Of air that is everywhere our own,
Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange”
(a) What are we doing to the earth?
(b) What is outraging this earth?
(c) How do we outrage the innocence of air?
(d) What do you mean by ‘hells of fire and dust’?
(e) What can we call our own?
(f) Is there any strange country?
(g) What is ‘human earth’?
(h) What does the poet want to convey by telling us that “It is the human earth that we defile”?
(i) How do we defile human earth?
(j) How do we humiliate the mother earth?
(k) What should a man remember?
(a) We are polluting this earth.
(b) Hells of fire and dust are outraging this earth.
(c) We outrage the innocence of air by our poisonous ideas and deeds.
(d) ‘Hells of fire and dust’ means the wars that cause a lot of destruction.
(e) We can call the air our own.
(f) No, there isn’t any strange country.
(g) ‘Human earth’ is the human world that is comprised of all countries, races, cultures and creeds.
(h) The poet wants to convey that wars cause enormous destruction of life and possessions. They ruin the clean and green surroundings of the earth and breed disgust and hostility. Hence, no one profits from war because the damage caused to earth is to be tolerated similarly, for we all share the same earth.
(i) We defile or pollute the human earth by using arms and ammunition to cause extensive , death and destruction. Contemporary weapons cause irreparable damage to the environment. So, we defile the earth by our polluted ideas and hellish deeds.
(j) We humiliate the mother earth by fighting and killing one another.
(k) A man should remember that no men are foreign and no countries are strange.
B. Based on your understanding of the poem, complete the summary using the phrases given below.
This poem is about the ……………… (a) ……………… of all men. The subj ect of the poem is the …………… (b) …………. race, despite of the difference in colour, caste, creed, religion, country etc. All human beings are same. We walk on the …………….. (c) ………….. and we will be buried under it. Each and everyone of us are related to the other. We all are bom same and die in the same way. We may wear different uniforms like ………………… (d) ………….. during wars the opposing side will also have the same …………… (e) …………….. like ours. We as human do they same labour with ……………. (f) …………… and look at the world with the …………… (g) ……………… Waging war against others as they belong to a different country is like attacking our own selves. It is the ………………(h) ……………. we impair. We all share the same ……………… (i) ……………We are similar to each other. So the poet concludes that we shouldn’t have wars as it is ……………. (j) ……………… to fight against us.
(unity of human, dreams and aspirations, same land, our hands, unnatural, breathing body, same eyes, brotherhood, language, human earth)
(b) unity of human
(c) same land
(e) breathing body
(f) our hands
(g) same eyes
(h) dreams and aspirations
(i) human earth
C. Based on your understanding of the poem answer the following questions in a ‘paragraph of about 100-150 words.
‘What is the central theme of the poem ‘No men are foreign’?
James Kirkup gives a positive message of hope to mankind. In spite of obvious divisions and variances, all are united together by the common bond of civilization and mankind. For their entrusted interests, some selfish people divide lands and people. They collaborate to create hatred and divisions among people. The poet validates the statement that people living in different countries are essentially the same by proclaiming that ‘no men are strange and no men are foreign’.
That is the part of the title of the poem and it is the central theme too. Every single body breathes and functions in the same way as ours. Each one of us equally needs the sun, air and water. Human hands too are used for the similar purpose of labouring for livelihood. Even eyes perform similar purpose of sleeping and waking up. Love wins us all and we all identify its power.
In peace times, we all flourish and wars starve us. Hatred leads us astray and when we take up arms against each other, the entire earth is defiled and destroyed. Therefore, we all like peace which showers abundance and prosperity on us. Therefore, fundamentally we all are the same.
We should understand and try to recognise that the same soul runs through all the people. Let us work for the unity and affluence of all lands and all people. Let us not pollute and taint the earth which is ours. Hatred and narrow ideas pollute the minds of the people.
Conflicts and wars bring destruction and violence. We should remember that raising our arms against anyone means fighting against ourselves. The poet reminds us to remember, recognise and strengthen the common bond that unites mankind and humanity which is the main theme of this poem.
‘Sometimes one feels better speaking to a stranger than someone known.’
The poem ‘No men are foreign ’ has a greater relevance in today’s world. Elucidate. The poet, James Kirkup, quotes various instances to prove that no men are foreign. The very title of the poem is thought-provoking and forces the reader to think about the issue of people living in other countries as foreigners and strangers.
As the poem advances, the poet recurrently emphasises that all human beings are indistinguishable in their nature and tactics. All live on the same earth; enjoy air, sun and water; love peace and are opposed to war. They all have mutual experiences and toil in a similar manner to earn the living. The realistic reasoning put forth by the poet and the numerous reminders fully satisfy the reader that no men are foreign. He gets the message that alienation from fellow brethren is equally damaging to himself.
He also understands that by treating other men as foreign, the world stands exposed to the risk of war which can lead to permanent destruction and pollution of mother earth. It is true that many people have been telling us to live harmoniously since long. We never follow their message. We also know that our greed to get more wealth and power cannot give us peaceful life.
But some deep-rooted evils in our society make us draw a distinction between people. We know that all customs and conventions have been made by people. We start to hate even our family members due to our ego to be more powerful. By doing so, we at last harm ourselves. In society, people dislike selfish people. So before going to hurt other’s feeling, first of all we should think whether doing such act with others are justified by other people or society.
‘Smile at strangers and you just might change a life. ’
How are we alike? Explain in context with the poem, ‘No Men Are Foreign’.
All human-beings are the same. We have a similar body structure. All of us need air to breathe, sunlight and warmth to live and water for our survival. Our daily routine is also similar. We wake up in the morning, bathe and have breakfast before going on with our daily chores. All of us long for love and affection. We all sleep at night and wake up in the morning. When our needs and feelings are the same, then isn’t it right to treat all men alike? We should not look down upon anybody on the basis of his/her colour, caste, region or gender.
We should treat everyone as our brother and sister. Unfortunately, some self- centred people fight with others and hurt them. They think that others have harmed them. We should not think that other people are ‘others’. They are also our brothers. If they make one mistake, we should forgive them or compromise with them.
‘Acceptance for one another is the key to living.’
‘ The land our brothers walk upon
Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.’
What does the poet mean to say in the above lines? Explain.
The poet means to say in these lines that it is the same land on which we walk and tread. After our death, we would be buried in the same earth. Through these lines the poet tells us that we do all our activities on this same land. We get food for our survival from this same land. We make our houses on this land and we get many other things from the same land. Therefore, why should we consider some as strangers? No one is foreign or strange. We live in the same house or universe as a family.
Then why do we create discrimination against some people? Why do we fight with our brothers? It is all because of our greed to get more wealth and power. We want to have more wealth and power than others. In our quest to fulfil this desire, we fight with others and hurt them. The poet also tells us that one day all of us will die. Nothing would remain ours. We cannot take any of our possessions with us. We will have to leave all things on this same earth. Finally when we die, all of us will be buried in this same earth.
‘All are alike. ’
In what way do we dispossess, betray and condemn ourselves by hating our brothers and taking up arms against them?
By hating our brothers and taking up arms against them, we ‘dispossess’ ourselves as we rob ourselves of their love. When we hate them, they too react destructively and stop loving us. Mutually, we deprive each other of the noble emotion of love. We deceive ourselves as our hatred leads to wars, and wars cause widespread death and devastation. This leads to the piling up of waste that pollutes our own mother earth. The dust and smoke from war obstruct the air that we breathe.
So, hatred of fellow beings, in fact, leads to betrayal of our own selves. Further, this earns us condemnation as we disrupt the purity of the elements of nature. We threaten our own existence by ruining the systems that sustain us. Hence, hating our brothers and taking up arms against them does more damage to us.
‘The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession. ‘
No Men Are Foreign (James Falconer Kirkup)
Literary Devices At A Glance (Figures of Speech)
No Men Are Foreign by James Falconer Kirkup about poet:
James Falconer Kirkup was bom on April 23, 1918 in South Shields, Durham, England to James Harold Joseph and Mary Virginia. He attended Westoe Secondary School before studying Modem Languages at Armstrong College where he co-produced the poetry magazines Dint and Fulcrum, which featured his earliest verse. James Kirkup, who died on Sunday 10 May, aged 91, at his Andorran home, was an internationally celebrated English poet, travel writer, memoirist, novelist, playwright and translator. Dining the Second World War, Kirkup secured conscientious objector status, working as a farm labourer and for the Forestry Commission.
No Men Are Foreign summary:
In the poem ‘No men are foreign’ the poet stresses the fact that all human beings are equal. He is requesting his countrymen to not treat people unequally. Moreiver, the poet conveys that we are scarring the earth by shedding blood of our brethren in wars. Therefore the poet is putting forth a request to people to live their lives in harmony on this beautiful earth that God has given us.
Emphasising the value of universal brotherhood, the poet draws our attention to the absence of any differences amongst the people of different countries. He asks us never to forget that people living in other countries are not strange or unfamiliar. The uniforms worn by people in different parts of the world may be different, but the bodies beneath them are the same. All human bodies live and breathe in a similar fashion. We are all brothers because we walk upon the same earth that we have divided into countries. Also, we shall all meet this same earth when we die and be buried in it.
All men are our friends:
All the people of the world are nourished and nurtured equally by the elements of Nature like sun, air and water. We are all human beings. We have a common soul. Everyone is united by the sameness of spirit. Therefore wars and the bloodshed that takes place in the name of caste, class, creed and country are futile and must be condemned. They too prosper during peace but have to suffer poverty, hunger and even dread starvation caused by long-drawn wars. They too toil to earn the livelihood and their destiny is similar to ours.
We should remember that our eyes that wake, sleep and love are similar to eyes all over the world. The poet asks us to remember that the so-called ‘strange’ and ‘foreign’ people experience sleep and wakefulness like us. It is a fact that wherever we may be, we can win powerful strength with love. Their experiences of life are similar to that of ours. Hence, we all find something familiar in each other’s life and realise a common identify with one another.
Hate others and hate yourself:
The poet says whenever we are asked by our leaders or rulers to hate and exploit the people of other countries, we must remember that this hatred would have a negative effect on us. We should keep in mind that if we hate others it means that we hate ourselves. We would find ourselves cheated as it would deprive us of the bliss of universal brotherhood. We would condemn ourselves to a life of enmity and strangeness.
Mother Earth’s mercy:
The poet again retells us in the end that people are contaminating this earth by their deeds. The fatal weapons emit fire and ashes that spread all over and pollute the environment. War is futile as it spoils the very earth for which we take up arms against each other. We should protect our atmosphere and keep in mind that this universe is the creation of God and we all are one. All will one day or the other die and return to earth only. This robs the air of its pureness and the world becomes a more difficult place to live in. The earth that one walks upon is the same for all people from diverse countries. People in every part of the world get the sunshine, air and water in equal methods. It is, therefore, imperative not to consider any human being as foreign and any country as strange. We must build common respect and trust.
The poet tries to convey that one must shed the difference of opinion and be united and make this earth a haven. To treat anybody as a foreigner is an insult to the one who cultivates.
No Men Are Foreign Glossary:
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