Once there was a talking fan —
Electrical his chatter.
I couldn’t quite hear what he said
And I hope it doesn’t matter
The poet talks about the working of a fan in "Mystery of the Talking Fan". The title signifies that the speaker considers it a mystery as to how the fan works. Mystery in general is some event that one does not have an answer to. It may have a tone of suspense that gives one an eagerness to solve. The speaker seems to be a child as children have a very curious mind. They ponder about trivial things and events around them. The speaker considers the fan as a human being throughout the poem. The fan is personified as its sound is referred to as 'talking'.
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Ceiling fan
The poem begins by introducing the talking fan. Although the readers may wonder as to how a fan, being a non-living object, can talk. The next line explains that the chatter was electrical. The speaker feels that the fan wanted to convey something. In a busy world, humans do not even have time to wait and listen to their fellow human beings. The speaker making an effort to understand the fan's emotions is a direct reference to this. The fan's sound is not just a slow conversation, rather it is a chatter. This shows that the fan makes a lot of noise without giving any break. It is also referred to as electrical, as the fan may cause the sound because of any fault in electrical lines or a few loose screws. The speaker cannot understand what the fan is trying to convey but hopes it is not something serious. If it was a matter of concern, the speaker feels that he would regret not having heard the fan.
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The speaker wonders what the fan is communicating
Words with difficult meaning:
ChatterTalk quickly or for a long time
MysteryA thing that is not understood or cannot be explained
TrivialNot very important
PersonifiedTalking about a non-living thing as if they have life
CuriousEager to learn or know
RegretTo feel bad about not doing something
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Honeycomb. Mystery of the Talking Fan: Maude Rubin (pp. 97-98 ). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.