When the jet reached ten thousand feet,
it was clear why the country
had cities where the rivers ran
and why the valleys were populated.
The logic of geography —
that land and water attracted man —
was clearly delineated
When the jet reached ten thousand feet.
The poet sees that the cities are unorganised and lacks plan even from a slight distance away from the earth. He had only been away for a few meters to realise the disarrangement. The jet that he is in, takes off to an even more higher level on to the sky and he makes various other realisations.
He looks below from the jet as soon as he reaches ten thousand feet. The fact that he can still see the cities and rivers in spite of being so far away from the earth shows the beauty of creation. He finds cities, forests, water bodies, etc, and not humans. This also goes on to show that human beings are only a dot in the universe and do not have any significance outside the borders. He says that he now understands why the country had cities where rivers ran across them. He says that the entire world was once an undeveloped place. People later started setting across various places and making them adaptable. When choosing such a place as their abode, they would naturally choose places that have a source of water. Water is the most essential of all basic amenities. People generally tend to make a dwelling in a place where water is available so that they can drink, cook or bathe.
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People near water bodies
The poet also says that the river valleys were the ones that were highly populated, as he can see from above that it is a place where people could live comfortably without having to walk for miles together in search of water. If people had chosen to live in a desert region, they would have to starve and suffer due to lack of water. The logic that people were attracted to land and water is revealed when he sees the earth from ten thousand feet high.
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River valley
Words with difficult meaning:
FeetA means of measurement; one foot measures the length of a human foot
ValleysThe land between mountains with a river flowing across it
PopulatedHaving a lot of people
DelineatedDescribes exactly
AmenitiesSomething that is needed to provide comfort
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. Geography Lesson- Zulfikar Ghose (pp. 34-235). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.