In The Street
I was glad—
Pleasant night offered me an opportunity
To explore the flamboyant city:
Buildings were asleep beneath the silent starry sky,
Streets were trafficless—no wheels to hie.
The benches in the park lay bare,
Swings hung childlessly—empty
And in the gelid winter air
Reigned an unusual serenity.
I was glad—
Then at the corner of a street,
On the steps of a shuttered-shop, him did I meet:
A half-naked scrawny man—too old and feeble—
His handsomeness faded away and ribs were visible.
The black lids were hiding his sunken eyes
And his broken health was emitting agonious sighs.
A bowl, by him, some proof of kindness holded
And a filthy half-eaten bread.
He was on the brink of senectitude,
But, perhaps, Fortune was undone with him yet,
So the Maker he did not meet.
I wanted to give him my
Costly warm wool sweater
But in such a city, things like this and people like this
Are just a common matter.
I, unworried I, easefully passed by.
I was glad.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: poverty
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
Notes: ''no wheels to hie'' = no car was there in the street.
''some proof of kindness...'' = the beggar's alms-bowl contains a few coins which he begged during the daylight sitting somewhere in the streets. And these coins are the ''proof of kindness'' as they show that some people are still kind to such a beggar.
The penaltimate stanza shows how the beggar's distressed condition touches the speaker's heart and makes him to do something for the beggar who's lying in the open air. The speaker wants to save the beggar from cold by offering him his(speaker's) warm sweater. But at last he also, like some other people, just avoided the beggar letting him suffer in the open air.