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Theory:

The Ball Poem by John Berryman revolves around a young boy who loses his ball. He talks about the concept of loss in the life of a human being. He seems to be questioning what a person is without material possessions. He also seems to be questioning whether human beings are ready to accept the loss and know how to react. The next factor that he discusses is that people trivialise our loss by trying to replace it with similar other things. But there is a certain attachment and emotion that travels with everything one possesses. The poem also offers the boy's transition from a child to a mature person, as he stands there rigidly, realising that he cannot get back the moments with the ball and his past experiences. This is also a learning platform for him to be more responsible, as he is losing his older self and getting into a new phase. The ball signifies the happy, carefree life that he had led. At the same time, he also realises that money or better objects cannot replace his loss. The poem teaches us to allow ourselves to process our emotions, accept the loss and simultaneously stand up as a mature, responsible person. The poet does not intrude into the boy's life as he understands that this is a lesson for him to stand up for himself.