CBSE Class 10 English First Flight Amanda! Poem Summary


Don’t bite your nails, Amanda!

Don’t hunch your shoulders, Amanda!

Stop that slouching and sit up straight,


(There is a languid, emerald sea,

where the sole inhabitant is me—

a mermaid, drifting blissfully.)

The poet describes Amanda, who is continuously instructed by her mother about dos and don’ts. In the first stanza, the poet says Amanda’s mother is pointing out her mistakes and asking her not to bite her nails. Then she tells her not to bend her back and shoulders. She scolds her for walking in a lazy way with her head and shoulders hanging down and directs her to sit straight. By listening to all this, Amanda starts getting frustrated by her mother and starts imagining herself to be in a deep green sea. She imagines how blissful her life would be if she would be a sea god having a fish tail instead of legs. Then, she would have enjoyed the sea waves and moved along with the waves up and down in the water.

Did you finish your homework, Amanda?

Did you tidy your room, Amanda?

I thought I told you to clean your shoes,


(I am an orphan, roaming the street.

I pattern soft dust with my hushed, bare feet.

The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet.)

In the second stanza, Amanda’s mother is inquiring whether she has completed her homework or not. Then she asks her whether she has cleaned her room or not. She is also reminding her to clean her shoes. At this moment, Amanda visualizes her life as an orphan. She thinks that being an orphan, she can freely roam in the street. She has the freedom to peacefully draw designs on the soft dust with her uncovered feet. There is no one to say anything to an orphan, so she can have a silent, peaceful life full of freedom. Here, the poet says that she gets so irritated with her mother that she thinks the opposite. Her mother was advising her to clean her shoes so that she lives a hygienic and healthy life. But Amanda took it in another way that her mother is snatching her freedom. That’s why she starts imagining that the life of an orphan is better than hers.

Don’t eat that chocolate, Amanda!

Remember your acne, Amanda!

Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you,


(I am Rapunzel, I have not a care;

life in a tower is tranquil and rare;

I’ll certainly never let down my bright hair!)

In the third stanza, Amanda’s mother is not allowing her to eat chocolates. Whenever she eats chocolates, she gets pimples on her face. Her mother then tells her to listen to her when she is speaking. She wants Amanda to pay attention to her words and follow them. After listening to her mother’s words, Amanda imagines herself to be Rapunzel, a character in a fairy tale. Rapunzel was captured in a tower by a witch. The witch used to climb the tower with the help of Rapunzel’s long hair. So, Amanda wants to live Rapunzel’s life as she feels that she can live a calm and quiet life in a pleasant environment. But, she will never let her hair down to anyone, so that no one can enter the tower.

Stop that sulking at once, Amanda!

You’re always so moody, Amanda!

Anyone would think that I nagged at you,


In the last stanza, Amanda’s mother warns her to stop behaving in an odd manner. She says that she has become moody and is always in a bad mood. If anyone would notice this, then they will feel that her mother is harassing her. The poet wants to convey that Amanda can’t even react to what she feels about her mother. If she does so, her mother will take it against her sense of pride and scold her to behave properly as other children do. Here, Amanda’s mother nature is shown to be very dominating.

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