When the jet rose six miles high,
it was clear the earth was round
and that it had more sea than land.
But it was difficult to understand
that the men on the earth found
causes to hate each other, to build
walls across cities and to kill.
From that height, it was not clear why.
The poet discovers new facts and unravels a few mysteries as the jet rises higher and higher. It shows that the more one detaches himself from the materialistic world, the more he is prone to understand the higher realities of life and the beauty of creation. The jet moves from ten thousand feet to six miles away from the land. This makes the poet confirm on the most interesting fact that exists on the earth's shape. When he looks below at the earth, he realises that it is true that the earth is round. The earlier men believed that earth was a flat planet. But it was later proved that it was round and one might not fall down the end of the earth when one is on a ship voyage.
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Earth is round
The second thing that he confirms is that earth had more sea than land. Seventy-one percent of the earth is filled with water. This shows that people can inhabit only the remaining part that is available. But the poet wonders why people would choose to stay away from each other even if there is little space available for them. If there is one thing that the poet could not understand, then it is this. He says that he had cracked some of the most unanswered questions, confirmed and re-checked on existing myths and discoveries, but this is something that he would never understand.
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Earth is covered mostly by water
The earth, being the creation of God, is a place for all human beings to live peacefully. Instead, men choose to fight each other and spread hatred based on religion, colour etc., without realising that life is short and one must live life to the fullest. They build boundaries, marking certain land as their territory. In the pursuit of material happiness, people fight each other and are even ready to kill. This is one concept that the poet would never understand as it involves unnecessary hatred.
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People draw boundaries for themselves
Words with difficult meaning:
MilesA measure of length. approximately 1.6 km
MysteriesSomething that holds suspense
MaterialisticSomething that can be touched or seen as an object; anything that money could buy
TerritoryAn area of land that is owned by someone
BoundariesA line that marks the limits of something
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.