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The Ball Poem Summary (CBSE Class 10) By John Berryman

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The Ball Poem Summary CBSE Class 10
NameThe Ball Poem
BoardCBSE Board
AuthorJohn Berryman


The poem deals with the loss of a beloved thing and the ensuing need to mature. It tells the story of a little boy experiencing grief for the first time after losing a prized possession, in this case his ball.

The Ball Poem Summary-Short

Stanza 1:

The speaker wonders about the boy who has lost his ball and asks what he will do now. The speaker saw the ball bouncing down the street and then into the water.

Stanza 2:

The speaker acknowledges that telling the boy there are other balls is of no use. The boy is deeply saddened by the loss of his ball, fixated on the spot where it went into the water.

Stanza 3:

The speaker recalls the scene of the boy losing his ball and remembers the boy’s shiny new bicycle that he had begged the boy to ride.

Stanza 4:

The speaker repeats the word “ball” several times and describes how it used to bring joy to the boy. The repetition of “Again” suggests that the speaker wishes he could turn back time and give the ball back to the boy.

Stanza 5:

The speaker reflects on the impermanence of happiness and how the loss of the ball has extinguished the boy’s joy.

Stanza 6:

The speaker repeats the word “ball” once again, but acknowledges that the boy must retrieve it himself. The boy is learning the lesson of responsibility in a world of possessions and is beginning to understand the epistemology of loss.

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The Ball Poem-Long

The poem deals with the loss of a beloved object and the ensuing need to mature. It is about a young child who, for the first time in his life, is experiencing what it’s like to feel grief after losing a much valued object, in this case, his ball. The loss of a ball might not matter much to us. We might automatically assume that there are still a lot more balls. So, no need to worry. But this is something very different to a little child. With relatively little money, another ball can be obtained. However, since money cannot replace the things we love and cannot be purchased with it, it is external and immortal in this situation.

In this poetry, the boy’s ball van is a simple personification of his young days, which were joyful and innocent. People might steal our balls in the same manner that they would steal our innocence and make us grow up quickly. We cannot regain our innocence once it has been lost. Nevertheless, we still need to learn how to stand up. Of course, despite our internal sadness, we must remain strong and move forward with our lives. We can only survive in this way. We must therefore have the ability to accept and let go.

The poet uses imagery to describe how the ball represents the boy’s innocent nature. We can picture the small boy’s spirit descending into the harbor’s dark waters like a ball. The little boy will learn to mature as it floats further away, and the component that is connected to the ball will also mature until it is no longer a young child.

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The poem can thus be understood both literally and symbolically by the reader. If taken literally, it paints a moving portrait of little boys maturing and having to deal with the loss of the first thing they ever owned. If viewed symbolically, it tells the tale of how mankind has learned to cope with the loss of loved ones or objects.

About The Author

A youngster who has misplaced his ball is painfully described by the poem’s poet, John Berryman. Through the death of everyone, he imparted a lesson that is rich in wisdom, highlighting the need to learn to live with the agony of loss. The poet imagines a boy having fun with a ball.


This poem does a good job of capturing how it may feel to lose something we cherish and finally grow up without it.

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