Eid by Alamgir Hashmi Summary and Analysis |Themes| |Line by Line|


Read also: Poet's Introduction

Poem (Text)

Perhaps Eid is more than the Vermicelli thing

I was spooned to believe.

In the mosque this morning

I promised God to bend my knees

another four times.

My fellow knee-benders raised offertory,

to cushion the prayer-keeper,

so expiate the neglect he suffered

on the wooden bench.

Outside, the beggars buttonholed us,

Eid could not anchor in their corduroy cheeks.

How can these spindling shapes

be blotted out from the face of the morning?

I had left behind my blotting paper

the last day at school.

The master said in holiday there was no danger

of staining. I was convinced.

But question hovered like flies

over my plate as we began to eat.

My father said, watch that!

I held the shining spoon to my mouth,

looking for my face in it.


The poem is written in simple language without any specific rhyming scheme or punctuation marks narrated by a child. Every line varies in length but they are constructed beautifully. The poem is basically a reminder to Muslims all over the world to fulfill their moral responsibility: to help the poor. It highlights some of the moral and darker issues of our society. The importance of money in the social circle of Pakistan has been beautifully depicted and we can say that the poem is a social portrayal



Eid is a humor pensive poem that provokes us to accomplish a big moral responsibility. Usually, Eid is observed after completing the thirty days of fasting, with happiness and a lot of delicious dishes. A huge gathering at mosques to offer prayer by wearing different new attires. Eid becomes more special to children. The poem also reflects a cultural significance but on the other hand, it highlights the differences between poor and rich.

The first line of the poem rejects the prevailing idea of celebrating Eid by just enjoying the dishes. The poet says that it is more than that.

He promises to God to offer the religious duty.

"I promised God to bend my knees

another four times."

It is not only special to children but for older to pray, to bend their knees. In the second stanza, the image of offertory has been used. The offertory is an offering or collection of money made at a religious service. Money is being collected in order to be given to the prayerkeeper. 

Money is given to Imam sahib for some kind of compensation who sits on the wooden bench. Throughout the year, they have ignored the prayer keeper who keeps on sitting on the wooden bench and delivering religious sermons to the believers. The knee benders raise offertory to expiate the neglect he has suffered.

Here a very serious issue has been talked out. The stanza also shows the poor condition of religious people in our society. They are living in a very excruciating condition.

In the third stanza, the image of the beggar is used. They are poor and have a pathetic life. The poet says that after offering prayers, first, the money is to be given to Imam Sahib and then to the beggars who are outside of the mosque. The first line also shows the power of beggars who stop people by force and are compelled to give money.

Outside, the beggars buttonholed us,

Corduroy cheeks is an image that shows the appearance of the child that they are not happy due to their extreme poverty. They always look miserable, although they get money on Eid and every occasion.

Here the poet raises the question of whether is it not possible to blot out these weak and poor creatures from the morning. This is a very happy and shining morning but on the other hand, the gloomy faces of beggars make it depressed. The narrator continues and says that it is not possible to remove the sadness because he had left blotting paper at school on the last day.

This paragraph vividly shows the gap between the poor and the rich in economic terms. Both the groups become happy on this ‘Eid occasion.

In the last stanza, the image of spoons is used to show someone's face. These two spoons are very neat and clean and reflect the gap again between poor and rich. These are only available in rich people's houses. The poet says that the question hovering in his mind that why he cannot remove the sadness from the faces of these poor beggars.

The father shifts his attention by saying look at your shining spoon and ignore beggars.

This part is important in the sense that it has innovation.

Read Also

Summary of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, Chapter-wise Analysis



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