No Smoke From The Chimneys – Four Levels | Flax Golden Tales

Siddhicharan Shrestha (1912 – 1992), Translated by Michael Hutt

No Smoke From The Chimneys

Literal Comprehension: The poem “No Smoke from the Chimneys” is written by famous Nepali poet Siddhicharan Shrestha (1912 – 1992) and translated by Michael Hutt into English. In this poem, the poet has expressed a freedom fighter as the speaker. The speaker tells that he is busy wiping up blood from a broken head so that Death not to call him. The people who are engaging in the protest against the monopolized political entity are seriously injured, but they are not afraid. The people are not caring for food for freedom and justice; they have no time for cooking. Therefore, nothing including the Lady’s (Death’s) calling can stop the speaker’s advancing feet or distract him from taking part in the protest.

Interpretation: The speaker of this poem may be trying to express that freedom is more important than food or fear of death. Therefore, people do not get diverted or stop when they once have come out of their house to the streets. This poem is all about politics which describes a time when the Nepalese people were fighting for democracy against the Rana regime.

Critical Thinking: While appreciating the speaker’s idea in the poem, I did not like the name ‘Lady’ used for death. In our society, the word ‘leady’ means nice and sincere women who deserve respect and value. But the speaker of the poem has shown Death as a beautiful lady. This isn’t quite matching. The title of the poem has unable to reflect the real mood of the speaker.

Assimilation: Now I know how the Nepalese people fought against the autocratic rule for freedom. Death could not discourage them from establishing democracy in the country. Otherwise, my generation would not have been enjoying freedom.

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