WORKING WITH THE POEM
Your partner and you may now be able to answer these questions.
(i) Who is the speaker in the poem? Who are the people the speaker meets?What are they doing?
Аnswers: The speaker in this poem is a school-going child. Every day he happens to meet the hawker selling bangles, the gardener digging away at the garden, and the watchman walking the street all night.
(ii) What wishes does the child in the poem make? Why does the child want to be a hawker, a gardener, or a watchman? Pick out the lines in each stanza which tell us this.
Аnswers: The little child is innocent. He watches the people keenly around him. He is sick of checks on his movement. He wants to enjoy the same freedom as do the hawker, the gardener, and the watchman. They do what they like.
The child says:
1. I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in the road.
2. I wish I were a gardener, digging away at the garden.
3. I wish I were a watchman walking the street all night.
(iii) From the way the child envies the hawker, the gardener and the watchman, we can guess that there are many things the child has to do, or must not do. Make a list of the do’s and don’ts that the child doesn’t like. The first line is done for you.
The child must The child must not
come home at a fixed time. get his clothes dirty in the dust.
Now add to the list your own complaints about the things you have to do, or must not do.
(i) Obey his elders Be late for school.
(ii) Do his homework regularly. Eat junk food.
(iii) Be truthful and honest. Be rude or ill-mannered.
Short Type Question
What activities are dear to little children? Who does the child envy and why in the poem Vocation?
Аnswers: Children by nature love freedom and fun. They are too young to foresee the consequences of their hasty action. They are adventure loving also. Tagore in his poem “Vocation’ gives voice to the natural desires of a child. The child first sees a hawker, selling bangles. He goes by his whim and enjoys freedom of movement. The child too wishes to become a hawker. In the afternoon he saw a gardener working with his spade and soiling his clothes. There is nobody to check or chide him. Lastly the child feels like becoming a watchman who walks the street all night. The child envies them all.