Lines 1 – 2
Far far from gusty waves these children’s faces
Like rootless weeds, the hair torn round their pallor.
- Gusty waves – Strong waves (seas)
- Weeds – Unwanted plants
- Pallor – Face
- Where does the slum exist? How do you know this? The slum exists far away from the seas and oceans and rivers where rich and prosperous people live. Prosperity is found in cities and cities generally stand on the coastal regions of the world. As the slum is away from the gusty waves of the seas, they are far away from seas too.
- Why is the hair of the children here compared to rootless weeds? When weeds are rootless they are dead and decayed. Similarly the slum-children have their hair without being groomed or nourished properly. Their hair tangle on their faces without any order.
- Why does the poet mention only the faces of the children?
The poet, by mentioning only the faces of the children in the classroom to bring out the pains they suffer. Their existence is entirely based on pains and sufferings, poverty and want, darkness and death. As one’s pains are expressed only on his/her faces, the poet mentions only ‘faces’ in the poem.