‘No Men Are Foreign’ Poem Stanza Wise Explanation Class 9 English

Get here Stanza Wise Explanation & Glossary of the poem ‘No Men Are Foreign’ as published in NCERT Class 9 English Book ‘Beehive’. Explanation is easy and comprehensive. Glossary is elaborate to understand the poem. Click here for more class 9 materials.

NO Men Are Foreign – Explanation & Glossary

“No Men are Foreign” by James Kirkup advocates for the recognition of our shared humanity and warns against the destructive consequences of hatred and division. The poem uses simple yet powerful language to convey a profound and timeless message about the importance of unity and understanding among people of different nations.

Here is a stanza wise explanation along with stanza wise glossary.

Stanza 1


  • Strange: Not familiar or unusual; odd or peculiar. (In this context, “strange” means that people from other countries are not different from us in any fundamental way.)
  • Foreign: Belonging to or coming from another country. (In this context, “foreign” means that other countries are not alien or hostile places.)
  • Uniform: A distinctive garment worn by members of an organization, especially a military force or a school. (In this context, “uniforms” represent the superficial distinctions that separate people from different countries.)
  • Body: The physical structure of an organism, especially a human being. (In this context, “body” emphasizes the shared physicality of all humans.)
  • Brothers: Men who have the same parents. (In this context, “brothers” is a metaphor for the shared humanity of all people.)
  • Earth: The solid ground on which we live. (In this context, “earth” represents the shared home of all humans.)


The speaker asserts that all people are the same, regardless of their nationality or appearance. Beneath all the superficial distinctions of uniforms and nationalities, there is a common human body that breathes and lives. The idea is that underneath all the external differences and uniforms, all humans share a common humanity. The land that others walk upon is just like the land we walk upon, and in death, we all share the same earth i.e. the land that we share is the same earth that all humans will eventually lie upon in death.

This stanza establishes the central theme of the poem, emphasizing the universality of human experience and the shared connection between people from different countries. The repetition of “no men” and “no countries” creates a strong, inclusive tone.

The repetition of the phrase “Remember, no men are strange” emphasizes the importance of recognizing our shared humanity. The simile “Like ours” connects the speaker’s body to the bodies of all other people, creating a sense of shared experience. The metaphor “the land our brothers walk upon” portrays the earth as a shared home for all humans.

Stanza 2


  • Sun: The central star of the solar system, providing light and heat. (In this context, “sun” represents a basic necessity of life that is shared by all people.)
  • Air: The mixture of gases surrounding the Earth, which is essential for respiration. (In this context, “air” represents another basic
  • Water: The liquid that forms the seas, rivers, and lakes of the Earth. (In this context, “water” represents another basic necessity of life that is shared by all people.)
  • Peaceful harvests: The gathering of crops after they have grown. (In this context, “peaceful harvests” represent the abundance and prosperity that can be achieved through cooperation.)
  • War’s long winter starv’d: Suffering from hunger and deprivation due to the effects of war. (In this context, “war’s long winter starv’d” represents the destructive consequences of conflict.)
  • Hands: The parts of the body at the end of the arms, used for grasping and holding. (In this context, “hands” represent the commonality of human labour.)
  • Lines: The marks on the palms of the hands that are believed to indicate a person’s character or destiny. (In this context, “lines” represent the shared experiences that shape human lives.)
  • Labour: Work, especially physical work. (In this context, “labour” represents the universal human experience of work.)


People from all countries share a basic understanding of the natural world, such as the need for sun, air, and water. They experience both the abundance of peaceful harvests and the scarcity of war-torn winters. Their hands, like our hands, bear the marks of labour, demonstrating their shared humanity.

In Other words: The stanza describes the shared human experiences of those in other countries. They too are affected by the natural elements like sun, air, and water. They experience times of peace and times of war-induced hunger. The hands of people in different countries are the same, and the lines on their hands tell stories of labour that is fundamentally similar to our own.

This stanza builds on the idea of commonality, highlighting the shared human conditions that transcend national boundaries. The parallelism in the lines “They, too, aware of sun and air and water” and “Their hands are ours” reinforces the idea of shared experiences.

The contrast between “peaceful harvests” and “war’s long winter starv’d” highlights the universal impact of human conflict. The metaphor “A labour not different from our own” emphasizes the commonality of human endeavour.

Stanza 3


  • Eyes: The organs of sight. (In this context, “eyes” represent the shared capacity for perception and understanding.)
  • Wake: To cease sleeping or being dormant. (In this context, “wake” represents the shared experience of consciousness and awareness.)
  • Sleep: To be in a state of rest in which the body and mind are inactive. (In this context, “sleep” represents the shared experience of rest and rejuvenation.)
  • Strength: The quality of being strong; the ability to exert force. (In this context, “strength” represents the shared capacity for resilience and perseverance.)
  • Love: An intense feeling of deep affection and care for another person. (In this context, “love” is presented as a unifying force that can overcome division.)
  • Common life: The shared experiences and values that connect all humans. (In this context, “common life” emphasizes the universality of human existence.)


This stanza emphasizes the shared physical and emotional aspects of humanity. People in other lands have eyes, sleep, and wake like we do. Their capacity & strength can be influenced by love, and there is a commonality in the everyday life that everyone can recognize and understand i.e. there is a common thread of life that runs through all cultures, one that can be recognized and understood by all.

The stanza employs imagery and emotions to reinforce the idea of commonality. It humanizes people from different lands by highlighting shared experiences, making it easier for the reader to relate to and empathize with them.

The repetition of the word “remember” underscores the importance of recognizing our shared humanity. The imagery of “eyes like ours that wake/ Or sleep” creates a sense of connection between the speaker and people from all over the world. The metaphor “common life” emphasizes the universality of human experience.

Stanza 4


  • Dispossess: To deprive someone of their lawful possessions. (In this context, “dispossess” represents the destructive consequences of hate and division.)
  • Betray: To act in a disloyal or treacherous way towards someone. (In this context, “betray” represents the violation of trust and unity.)
  • Condemn: To declare or judge to be wrong or deserving of punishment. (In this context, “condemn” represents the harmful effects of judgment and division.)
  • Arms: The weapons used in warfare. (In this context, “arms” represent the destructive nature of conflict.)


The speaker warns against hating our brothers, emphasizing that such hatred ultimately harms ourselves. When we are told to hate others, we are ultimately harming ourselves. Hatred and division only serve to dispossess, betray, and condemn us. Taking arms against each other only results in our mutual dispossession, betrayal, and condemnation. Taking up arms against each other is a destructive act that defiles the earth we all share. The speaker is advocating for unity and understanding instead of division and conflict.

The use of the imperative “Let us remember” urges the reader to consider the consequences of division. The pronoun “we” emphasizes the shared responsibility for creating a more unified world. The imagery of “hells of fire and dust” conveys the destructive nature of human conflict.

This stanza introduces a moral and ethical dimension to the poem. It serves as a plea for unity and understanding, suggesting that hatred not only harms others but also damages the hater. The use of the first person plural (“we” and “ourselves”) makes the message personal and inclusive for everyone human.

Stanza 5


  • Defile: To make something dirty or unclean. (In this context, “defile” represents the desecration of the earth caused by war.)
  • Hells: Places of extreme suffering or torment. (In this context, “hells” represent the destructive consequences of war.)
  • Fire: The rapid oxidation of a combustible substance, producing heat and light. (In this context, “fire” represents the destructive force of war.)
  • Dust: Fine particles of dry matter suspended in the air. (In this context, “dust” represents the debris and destruction caused by war.)
  • Innocence: The state of being free from guilt or sin. (In this context, “innocence” represents the purity of the earth that is violated by war.)
  • Outrage: To cause great anger or indignation. (In this context, “outrage” represents the emotional impact of war on the earth.)


The stanza reiterates the idea that harming each other is essentially defiling the shared human earth. The violence and pollution caused by war defile the innocent earth that belongs to all humans. The destructive actions of war are portrayed as polluting the common environment that belongs to everyone. The air, which is a shared resource, is polluted by the fires and dust of conflict. The repetition of the opening line reinforces the central message of the poem: all people are connected and no country is foreign.

The metaphor “Our hells of fire and dust” personifies the destructive impact of war. The phrase “outrage the innocence” highlights the violation of the earth’s purity. The repetition of the phrase “Remember, no men are foreign” emphasizes the enduring message of unity.

This stanza serves as a conclusion, summarizing the poem’s message. It brings together the themes of unity, shared humanity, and the consequences of hatred. The phrase “no men are foreign” is repeated, leaving a lasting impression and emphasizing the universality of the poem’s message.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    you are mad

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