“Sindhi Woman” by John Stall-worthy | Explanation

Sindhi Woman


The poem “Sindhi woman” has been written by John Stall-worthy. John Stall-worthy was born in London in January 1935 and died in November 2014. He was a poet, literary critic, and one of the famous professors of English at the University of Oxford. John Stall-worthy wrote his first poem when he was only seven years old. A short summary of war poetry was also written by John Stall-worthy.

About the poem:

This poem consists of 2 stanzas and each stanza consists of 6 lines. The poem is simple and easy to understand. In this poem, the poet talks about the Sindhi woman and he also appreciates the way she tackles the hardships and boundaries of a conservative and judgmental society. Moreover, he also describes the dignity of work. We as human beings are supposed to work and fulfill all our responsibilities. This Sindhi woman is a lesson to all the people who sit aimlessly in their homes and do nothing. The lesson that the poet wants to convey through Sindhi woman is that everyone should face the hardships of life bravely.

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Stanza 1:

Barefoot, through the bazaar,

And with the same undulant grace

As the cloth blown back from her face,

She glides with a stone jar

High on her head

And not ripple in her tread

These lines describe a Sindhi woman who is barefoot and walking through the bazaar. She is walking in a graceful and beautiful manner. Her face is covered with a cloth and when the wind blows, her face is revealed. She is carrying a jar of stone on her head. The stone jar seems to be very heavy but it does not affect her gait. The weight she is carrying on her head does not create even a ripple in her tread. The Gait of a woman is still smooth and elegant.

Stanza 2:

Watching her cross erect Stones,

garbage, excrement, and crumbs

of glass in the Karachi slums,

I with my stoop, reflect:

They stand most straight

Who learn to walk beneath a weight.

Poet says that he was watching the woman walking through the roads of Karachi Slums which were covered with stones, feces, garbage, and pieces of broken glasses. Despite all this pollution, the gait of a woman is erect, smooth, and elegant. Sindhi woman is determined to reach her destination despite all the obstacles before her. Poet, standing there with his stoop, thinks that only the people who work hard and face the hardships of life bravely are the most honorable and respectable people of the society. The poem ends with a note that ” they stand most straight who learn to walk beneath a weight”.

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Zarmeen Zahid

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