The Kite [Poem] by Daya Dissanayake: Summary

The Kite by Daya Dissanayake is a twenty-two-line poem. One stanza poem doesn’t focus on the rhyme scheme but the length of the lines and the style...

The Kite by Daya Dissanayake [Summary & Analysis]
The Kite by Daya Dissanayake [Summary & Analysis]

Summary of The Poem Kite

The Kite by Daya Dissanayake is a twenty-two-line poem. One stanza poem doesn’t focus on the rhyme scheme but the length of the lines and the style of the language bring out the meaning successfully. The poem describes a child’s effort to fly a kite in a polluted atmosphere in his town. 

The poet describes the beauty of nature and the floating kite over the fruit trees and golden-green fields of rice. Soon the poet turns the readers to feel the condition of the town.  The small child is in a ragged pair of shorts.  The kite is made of a plastic bag and the sky is covered with factory smoke.  The child is playing in the streets filled with garbage and blocked drains.

Detail Analysis of the Kite

The poet begins by describing the background setting of the poem.  The kite is used by someone and it is a multicoloured kite.  It flashes against the deep blue sky.  The floating movement of the multi-coloured kite is visible as it is against the deep blue sky. The readers could visualize it as a rainbow in the sky. The kite floats over the top of the green trees which are heavy with fruit.  The poet describes the richness of the area where one can see and enjoy not only the abundance of

nature but also the fertile of the area.  By “heavy with fruit” the poet brings out the natural rich atmosphere of the area. Again the poet moves the kite with its blue and red tail over the golden-green waves on the ripening rice field.  It is ready for harvesting as the trees are ready for the fruits to be collected. The scenery is very picturesque and gives peace to our inner soul.  The feeling is calm and peaceful to visualize the description.

 In this section, the poet introduces the owner of the kite, a small boy in ragged shorts.  He tries to control the kite but he leaves to float freely around the sky. There is no particular description of the boy’s physical appearance. But the poet makes it clear that he is from an unhealthy and not wealthy surroundings. “Wearing ragged clothes” brings out the status of the small kid, and the kite is made of a polythene bag tied to a piece of tape from a thrown away video

cassette. The idea of the poet is quite clear in these lines. The child has no means to get a proper kite and he crafted the kite with the leftover polythene bags. He enjoys his own craft by flying around the sky.  The happiness of the small boy is described irrespective of his clothes and his appearance or his poverty. The kite flies over the back with acrid smoke.  The sky is polluted by the smoke of the nearby factories.  The little kid is not playing in a place where a child could enjoy, but he is probably playing in a dirty, polluted area. “Acrid smoke” says to the smoke which comes from the nearby factories and it is directly saying the poor condition of the people of that industrial area.  The smoke which comes from factories covers the garbage and blocks the drains.  The garbage becomes a major issue to the people who live there. It becomes out of control in the town. The trash runs down the street and blocks the drain causing major problems to the living condition of the poor people.

The first part of the poem brings out the happiness of the small boy with the beauty of nature as its background. He represents the joy of each poor child of society. But the second half of the poem brings up the real condition of the poor people who live in the industrial area. 

Literary Devices in Kite

The theme is the condition of the poor people of the industrial area.  The pollution of the area and the miserable life condition of the people.  Nature also becomes a part of the poem and makes the readers enjoy the visuals.

Symbols Used in The poem Kite

Kite is invading the blue sky, heavy with fruit and says about prosperity, the ragged shorts represent poverty and the polythene bag too says about the poor living condition of the boy. Acrid smoke too indicates the pollution that makes the living condition miserable. The Personification “the golden-green waves. Starred up…..”   Implies prosperity.

The symbolism becomes the main technique of this poem.  When the poet describes the kite which is made of polythene bad and cassette tape, he points out the polluted environment.  When the kite flies over the green trees shows that the danger of pollution is nearing it.  Colours play a prominent role in the poem. Every colour speaks to the condition of the place. “Green tree, green waves and ripening rice” all these expressions imply prosperity.  But the boy with ragged shorts says the poverty of the people of the area.

Thus the poet shows cleverly through symbols and images the condition of the people.  Social awareness is made in this poem to the society to realize how a part of the world suffers from poverty due to the negligence of the rich.

Writer of the Poem  Kite

\The writer of the Kite Daya Dissanayake; is a Sri Lankan novelist and poet.  He was born on 8th March 1947 in Galle.  He worked as a teacher of science at Sacred Heart Convent, then he joined the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation in Kankesanthurai Jaffna in 1968. He joined the Nawaloka Group of companies and as a D.P. Manager at the Nawaloka Hospital.

He had shown his skill in writing during his school magazines and wrote articles for the Sinhala paper. He was a popular photographer in School.   He started his writing seriously in his forties.  His works on King Ashoka, novels in English, Sinhala and collection of poems, articles in newspapers and magazines made him well-known in the literary society of Sri Lanka.  His first work was an e-novel in Asia, “The Sadhu Testament” (1998), Vessan Novu Wed (2003).

He received the Sri Lankan State Literary Award for the best English novel three times and was also awarded the SAARC Literary Award in 2013.  He is the first Sri Lankan to publish his work online for free access and one of the first Sri Lankan to advocate the E-book format and Creative commons. He was described as “Five Golden Authors' ' by the Sunday Observer. He voiced that award ceremony should be called off as they create “unnecessary friction, suspicion and jealousy.”

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