“No Men Are Foreign” Poem Summary, Themes, Central Idea & Glossary

“No Men Are Foreign” is indeed, the poem conveys a powerful message of unity and equality among all human beings, regardless of their differences in nationality, caste, creed, colour, or religion. It emphasizes the universal human connection that transcends these superficial distinctions and calls for the rejection of violence and hatred in favour of peace and harmony. Click here for more materials on this poem.


Here is given stanza wise word meanings

Stanza 1:

  1. Strange: Unfamiliar or unknown. In this context, the speaker is emphasizing that people from other countries should not be viewed as strange or foreign.
  2. Foreign: Belonging to or originating from another country. The speaker challenges the notion that people from different countries are fundamentally different or alien.
  3. Uniforms: The distinctive clothing worn by members of a group or organization. The mention of uniforms suggests that superficial differences, even in attire, should not overshadow our shared humanity.

Stanza 2:

  1. Harvests: The gathering of ripe crops; in this context, it symbolizes times of abundance and prosperity.
  2. Winter starv’d: The phrase refers to the scarcity of food during times of war, emphasizing the shared struggles and hardships faced by people in different countries.
  3. Lines: Refers to the lines or wrinkles on hands, suggesting the physical signs of labor and the shared experiences reflected in the hands of people from different lands.

Stanza 3:

  1. Eyes: Symbolizing awareness, perception, and shared humanity. The mention of eyes underscores the commonality of human experiences.
  2. Strength: Refers to both physical and emotional strength, emphasizing that love can be a source of strength that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries.
  3. Common life: The ordinary, everyday experiences that people share regardless of their nationality. It highlights the universal aspects of human existence.

Stanza 4:

  1. Hate: Intense or passionate dislike. The speaker warns against harboring negative feelings towards others, emphasizing the self-destructive nature of hatred.
  2. Dispossess: Deprive someone of their possessions or rights. The speaker suggests that when we hate others, we ultimately harm ourselves and forfeit our shared humanity.
  3. Arms: Weapons or military force. Taking arms against each other symbolizes engaging in conflict and war, with the speaker urging against such destructive actions.

Stanza 5:

  1. Defile: To pollute or desecrate. The speaker contends that engaging in conflict and war defiles the shared human earth, emphasizing the environmental and moral consequences.
  2. Hells of fire and dust: Describes the destructive impact of war, portraying it as a hellish scenario with violence and chaos.
  3. Innocence of air: The purity of the atmosphere. War is portrayed as an affront to the natural order and the shared environment that belongs to all humans.

By examining these critical meanings, we gain a deeper understanding of the poet’s choice of words and the nuances embedded in each stanza of the poem.


The poem suggests that all human beings are the same and that there is no difference between them. The poet emphasizes that all people have the same physical structure and that they only differ in their outer appearance due to the clothes they wear. All humans walk on the same land and will be buried in the same land after death. Everyone needs air, sun, water, food, and shelter. We all have to face the consequences of all types of conditions, whether it is reaping a harvest or starvation during long wars. We have the same type of occupations. We all have the same eyes to sleep and wake up, love and want to be loved. The strength of human beings can be won over by love. On each and every sphere of earth, there are common things in life which we can recognize and understand. When others ask us to hate our brothers, they ask us to condemn, dispossess, and betray each other. We defile the earth by hating and fighting with each other. Our hatred towards each other outrages the innocent mind of people and the environment which always belongs to us. So we should remember that no men are foreign, and no countries are strange.

Stanza Wise Summary:

The poem emphasizes the shared humanity among all people, advocating for understanding, empathy, and unity.

  • In the first stanza, the speaker asserts that no one is truly strange or foreign, as beneath all differences, there exists a common human essence.
  • The second stanza highlights the universal experiences of people across the globe, acknowledging their dependence on nature and the impact of both peaceful harvests and the hardships of war.
  • The third stanza focuses on the commonalities in human life, such as the universal aspects of waking, sleeping, and the potential for strength through love.
  • In the fourth stanza, the speaker warns against hatred and division, emphasizing that by hating others, we ultimately harm ourselves.
  • The final stanza underscores the idea that it is the collective human responsibility to care for the Earth and each other, urging the reader to remember that no one is truly foreign or strange.


The theme of the poem revolves around universal brotherhood, shared humanity, and the rejection of prejudice and hatred. The poet emphasizes that, despite differences in nationality, appearance, or experiences, all people are fundamentally the same. The poem encourages the recognition of commonalities, such as the basic human experiences of life, love, and the shared stewardship of the Earth. It advocates for unity, understanding, and empathy, while cautioning against the divisive nature of hatred and the self-destructive consequences of animosity. Ultimately, the theme centres on the idea that there are no truly foreign individuals or strange countries, and embracing this understanding is crucial for creating a more harmonious world.

We can elaborate on the themes as given below

  1. Universal Brotherhood: The poem underscores the idea that all individuals are interconnected and share a common bond of humanity.
  2. Shared Humanity: Emphasizes the common experiences, emotions, and characteristics that unite people across different backgrounds.
  3. Rejection of Prejudice: Encourages the dismissal of preconceived notions, biases, and stereotypes that may lead to division.
  4. Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of others, promoting a compassionate and inclusive perspective.
  5. Unity: Advocates for people coming together, despite differences, to work towards common goals and mutual understanding.
  6. Human Experiences: Highlights the common aspects of human life, such as waking, sleeping, and the pursuit of strength through love.
  7. Stewardship of the Earth: The poem suggests a collective responsibility to care for the environment and the world we all share.
  8. Consequences of Hatred: Warns against the destructive outcomes of harbouring animosity towards others, stressing that it ultimately harms oneself.
  9. Recognition of Commonalities: Encourages an awareness of the similarities that transcend cultural, national, or individual differences.
  10. Harmony: Implies the desire for a world where people coexist peacefully, acknowledging and celebrating diversity while recognizing our shared humanity.

Central Idea

The central idea of the poem revolves around the universal humanity that binds all people together, transcending borders, differences, and conflicts. It emphasizes the shared experiences, emotions, and essential human qualities that connect individuals across the world. The poem calls for empathy, understanding, and the rejection of hatred or hostility towards others, promoting the idea that recognizing our common humanity is crucial for fostering peace and unity. Additionally, it underscores the collective responsibility to care for the Earth and each other, highlighting the destructive consequences of division and animosity.

Message of “No Men Are Foreign”

Here’s a summary of the poem’s message:

  1. Universal Human Connection: The poem highlights the shared essence of humanity, asserting that all people are inherently connected and equal.
  2. Rejection of Divisions: The poem challenges the arbitrary divisions based on nation, caste, creed, colour, or religion, emphasizing their artificial nature and lack of true significance.
  3. Equality Before God and Humanity: The poem underscores the equal standing of all individuals before God and humanity, regardless of their background or beliefs.
  4. Renunciation of Violence: The poem advocates for the abandonment of violence in all its forms, recognizing its destructive and harmful nature.
  5. Call for Unity: The poem appeals for unity among all human beings, encouraging cooperation and collaboration to create a better world for all.

The poem’s message serves as a reminder of our shared humanity and the importance of embracing diversity and fostering peace. It challenges us to transcend our differences and work together to create a more just and harmonious world.

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