NO MEN ARE FOREIGN
By– James Kirkup
- The central idea of this poem is that we have the same father — God.
- As we are the children of God, we should believe in universal brotherhood.
- We all have a common right to the earth — a common property.
- We should not treat ourselves as the citizens of a particular country.
- We should not support narrow nationalism.
- Instead, we should think that we are the citizens of the world.
- Wars are not good for us. During wars, we suffer and in peace we make progress. So, we should try to live peacefully.
- Beneath all uniforms, … — the people of different countries wear various dresses but the human body is the same beneath them.
- … in their lines we read — we all have same hands by which we all produce the same type of goods, products and literature.
- In every land is common life — in every country, the people are leading the same life. They feel pain and sorrow similarly.
- whenever we are told To hate our brothers, … — the selfish people instigate the innocent to harm each other.
- Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange — We should not forget that we all are the citizens of the world. Here, no one is a foreigner and no countries are strange. We have similar body and mind everywhere.
|Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign
Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes Like ours: the land our brothers walk upon Is earth like this, in which we all shall lie.
|The poet says that all people are similar irrespective of whatever country they belong to. People from different countries may wear various dresses but beneath them, we can find the same human beings. The same earth is present everywhere. And the people of all countries will be buried into the same earth one day. So, differences among us are useless.
|They, too, aware of sun and air and water,
Are fed by peaceful harvests, by war’s long winter starv’d.
Their hands are ours, and in their lines, we read
Labour not different from our own.
|The poet tells us that the people of different countries have similar resources. They get light from the same sun, breathe air and drink the same water. In peace, they prosper and during wars, they suffer hunger similarly. Moreover, they have hands like us and all do the same work, occupy themselves in the production of the same products, good, and literature. They also work for the nation like us. Thus, we are the same and the entire world is our home.
|Remember they have eyes like ours that wake
Or sleep, and strength that can be won
By love. In every land is a common life
That all can recognise and understand.
|The poet says that the people of other countries have similar body structure like us. They also sleep and walk as we do. They can also understand love. Moreover, every country has the same type of life that can be easily noticed and appreciated. Thus, the poet finds no difference in body structure and feelings.
|Let us remember, whenever we are told
To hate our brothers, it is ourselves
That we shall dispossess, betray, condemn. Remember, we who take arms against each other
|The poet advises us that we should not be influenced by other people so that we may hate the people of other countries. If we do so, we hate ourselves only. We only neglect, betray and condemn ourselves by doing such acts against the people of other countries. Moreover, we should not forget that sometimes we even take arms against them. We have to know the reality of such acts. We are the citizens of the world.
|It is the human earth that we defile.
Our hells of fire and dust outrage the innocence Of air that is everywhere our own,
Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange.
|The poet makes us aware that the earth belongs to all human beings. The hatred and anger spread all over the world are damaging peace only. We should not distinguish the people of one country from others for we have no reason to do so. We must not forget that all men are equal and they belong to the same world. Thus, the poet equally treats the people of different countries of the world.