Free Shipping For Orders Over ₹899

CBSE Class 10 English First Flight The Ball Poem Summary & Notes

the ball poem cbse class 10th first flight

Chapter 3 of the Class 10 English Book, ‘First Flight’, has two poems. The second one is called The Ball and is written by John Berryman. Here’s a simple summary of the poem – The Ball. 

CBSE Class 10 English The Ball Summary

In the poem “The Ball,” a boy loses his ball. Even though the ball wasn’t expensive, he could easily get a new one. However, instead of replacing it, the boy feels very sad. The poet wonders why losing this simple object has affected the boy so deeply. Through the poem, the poet explores what the boy might have learned from this experience and what he has truly lost beyond just a ball.

The Ball Poem Explanation

We’ve also included the poem below to make it easier for students to understand. This way, they can read the poem and its meaning together.

What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,

What, what is he to do? I saw it go

Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then

Merrily over — there it is in the water!

No use to say ‘O there are other balls’:

An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy

As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down

All his young days into the harbour where

His ball went. I would not intrude on him;

A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now

He senses first responsibility

In a world of possessions. People will take

Balls, balls will be lost always, little boy.

And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.

He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,

The epistemology of loss, how to stand up

Knowing what every man must one day know

And most know many days, how to stand up.


The poem begins with the poet asking himself a question about a boy who lost his ball. The boy used to be very joyful and happy when he had his possession. The poet imagines that the boy probably lost the it while playing with it, tossing it up and down. He pictures the ball slipping from the boy’s hand and rolling into the street, then eventually falling into the nearby river and disappearing into the water.

The poet observes that it’s not comforting to say the boy will simply get another one. The boy is deeply upset, standing still and trembling, lost in his thoughts. He feels as though his childhood memories and carefree days have vanished along with the ball into the harbor. The poet understands that buying a new one wouldn’t replace those cherished memories or the sense of belonging the boy felt with his old ball. For the first time, the boy learns a lesson in responsibility, realizing he should take better care of his belongings to avoid future losses. Through the loss the poet suggests that innocence and happiness are fragile, just like the boy’s ball. Once lost, they cannot be easily recovered.

The poet reflects on how the world is filled with material possessions, similar to the boy’s lost ball, that people constantly lose. Despite getting attached to these things, they won’t last forever. The boy must learn to cope without them. The poet emphasizes that money cannot buy everything, as some things are beyond monetary value. Through losing the it, the boy learns to navigate sorrow and understand life’s realities. He begins to grasp the importance of acceptance and resilience, realizing that suffering is unavoidable. Ultimately, the poet suggests that learning to let go and move forward is essential for growth and happiness in life.

We hope and hope that this summary of the CBSE Class 10 English First Flight Poem “The Ball” has provided you with a quick grasp of the poem. Stay connected with GK Publications for the latest updates on CBSE and study materials. Explore sample papers and question papers from various years to enhance your preparation for the Board exams.

Explore related resources:


Tags :

Share :