Written by John Berryman, the summary of ball poem Class 10 revolves around a boy who has lost his ball all of a sudden while playing with it. He was dribbling the ball and suddenly it fell into the water. He couldn’t bear the pain and became really sad. The poet compares the ball with the emotion and childhood of every human being which ends suddenly and they have to deal with it and move on. There will be so many losses in our life. We need to cope up with them. It is a lesson for everyone for the entire lifetime.
Central Idea of the Ball Poem
The Ball poem can be explained from two different perspectives - literally and metaphorically. First, let’s take a look into the literal meaning of the poem followed by metaphorically.
In a short summary of the ball poem, the writer has painted the picture around a little boy who has lost the ball that he was playing with. At one moment, the boy was very happy and cheerful while playing. Just in the next moment, he lost his ball which must have slipped from his hand and fell into the nearby river. This incident left the boy in a very sorrowful situation. As the poet describes, the situation made him stand “rigid, trembling, staring down”.
There is no hope left for the boy to get the ball back. It made him feel really dejected. That ball was the sign of his entire childhood. With the ball falling to the harbour, all the childhood memories have gone down as well. While the boy could get another new ball, it would never bring back similar emotions and joy in his life. This loss would prepare him to be more careful with the future so that he won’t lose anything which is invaluable to him. This incident will invoke a sense of responsibility in him.
Now speaking of metaphoric depiction, the poet wanted to symbolize the ball as the joyful days of childhood which was filled with innocence. If we look at those days, it is not easy to get these days back once they are gone. As mentioned in the poem, once the ball gets drifted from the little boy, he will suddenly have to grow up leaving the playful days of childhood behind. The ball is used as an imagery of the boy’s childhood.
So, the poem literally portrays how a little boy is learning to cope up with his loss upon suddenly losing his favourite thing. And, metaphorically, it is the story of every human being who has to learn to deal with all the loss that he loves the most.
Class 10 English the ball poem summary by Berryman teaches us about the feeling of losing something that we love and how to accept that misery as a part of our life.