I Believe — Explanation and Questions and Answers
By Brucellis K Sangma
I believe if a pebble is thrown upwards
I can pierce the heavens
And see the angels at play.
The poem celebrates the undying spirit, optimism and the countless possibilities of the human beings’ abilities. But, for the miracles of their dreams to happen, they must have the grit, resoluteness, and the will power. Through fantasy the poet cites the throwing of a pebble skywards, and piercing the Heavens to underscore the fact that a human being needs to summon all his physical and mental strengths to accomplish the impossible. While reading the lines, the symbolism of the poet’s words come out loud and clear.
I believe I can soar to the heights
Touch the silky clouds
And feel the stars.
Again the poet exudes superhuman audacity by stating that she could ‘touch the clouds and caper amidst the stars by her effort – but, only if she is determined. Super-human goals demand super-human endeavours. There is no short-cut here.
I believe I can dive
Right into the depths
And swim with the sharks.
Again, the poet reiterates that she can do near-impossible feats, like diving into the depths of seas and frolic among the sharks if she wanted. Obviously, the poet is awash with confidence and courage. She reckons that feats that appear only in fantasy can be accomplished by a determined individual.
I believe I can claw into the earth’s belly
Pick up the priceless gems
And adorn myself with them.
The author further illustrates her daring nature by stating that she can dig deep into the earth, mine her precious stones and decorate herself with them. It is a metaphoric exposing of her ingrained courage to explore the unknown, and enrich her mind with the knowledge gained through such expedition.
I believe I can do many things
Amidst the human angels
Surrounded by the world’s treasures.
The author underlines her resolve to do some great acts of sacrifice and dedication for the good of the humanity. She feels she can utilize the world’s wealth for the betterment of mankind.
But I firmly believe I’ve to complete
The role assigned to me here
Where I dream and breathe.
In the last lines, the author is far more circumspect. She knows letting the dreams soar high is busy, but accomplishing the objectives may prove to too daunting a task. So, she wants to be a pragmatist and a realist. She feels the duty before her, whether small or big, must be done with utmost sincerity and honesty. Wavering from the reality and flying among the clouds is futile, she cautions. The tasks in hand must get precedence over the mind’s limitless ambitions. Dreaming is easy, doing not.
Questions and answers ..
a. What is the central message of the poem?
The author sings the praise of ‘the audacity of hope’ in this poem. She lifts the readers’ spirit by narrating the many daunting tasks one can undertake to make one’s life purposeful. Thus, the message is one of ambition, altruism and dedication. However, she cautions against the perils of dreaming and neglecting the tasks in hand. Hope must not be opium that makes a man sedate and indolent.
b. Can you guess the type of person the author is?
She is a brave, service-minded and benign person. At the same time, she is a hard realist, not a day-dreamer.
c. Why the author states such impossible tasks like ‘clawing into the heart of earth’ and ‘diving into the deep sea to swim with the sharks’?
These are nothing but very poetic metaphors to illustrate the daring nature of the author. While declaring her ambitions, she beckons others to follow in her footsteps and be audacious. Her call is for dedication to duty in true fearless and daring way.
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