I will Get on Tomorrow
Then, he decided to visit the barber. He wants a thorough and overhaul hair-cut by almost plucking the hair from its very roots. After the hair-cut, he think, he will look like a wizard.
Let us see the humorous comparison in the poem.
- The hair is compared to a torrent (a rushing stream of water), ivy (a creeper), jungle, flora (plants growing in wild) and crop.
- The barber's shop is compared to a den (cave) (refer line 12)
- The barber's tools are compared to armory (a collection of weapons), shears. snippers (scissors), scythes (reaping implements), electric clippers, sweepers (combs), harvesters, reapers (Refers lines 18, 33, 34, 35, 36)
- Angora is breed of goat famous for its long silky hair. The poet compared his long hair to this animal's fur (refer line 25)
a) Sloth is strong, but hair is stronger (line 29)
b) Employ a dozen extra sweepers (line 35)
c) Bring giant harvesters and reapers (line 36)
d) A Bumper crop waits to overwhelm your shop (Line 38)
Public Questions & Answers:
- 'I'll get one tomorrow' what is the one the poet is getting tomorrow? Do you think he will say: 'I' II get one tomorrow' when tomorrow comes? (Sept 99)
A. The poet is getting a haircut tomorrow. He will not say he will get one tomorrow when tomorrow comes. He has already postponed if for a long time and cannot stand it any longer.
- Why did the poet finally decide to visit the barber? (March 93, Sept99)
A. The poet has not visited a barber's shop for a very longtime. His hair has grown so much that it irritates and wears him down. It twists round his ears, leaps across his collar and moves down his neck. It has become unmanageable. As it falls irregularly it produces a tingling sensation. As it trips and trickles it tickles.
Tormented and irked by the heavy growth of hair like that the poet has finally decided to visit the barber.
- 'Men no braver than myself confront the armory on thy shelf
Who is the poet talking about? What does his 'armory' consist of? What does one need to 'confront' him?
A. a) The poet is talking about the men who are not braver than himself, the barber and his tools.
b) He calls his tools an armory which consists of weapons (shaving tools such as razor, scissors etc.,)
c) One needs courage, determination to confront the weapons of the barber.
- "I alone am shy and flustered solitary, cowardly custard Shaggy as a prize Angora". Why does the poet say he is 'shy and flustered'? Why does he describe himself as 'solitary' and 'cowardly'? Why does he compare himself to an Angora? (March 91)
A. a) The poet says that men not busier, not brave, and not wealthier than he, have already visited the barber to have the wild growth of their hair that gambols across their collar, cut for a fraction of a dollar. But he alone is shy and cowardly. He has not visited the barber.
b) He calls himself as 'solitary' and 'cowardly' because he was the only one who was afraid to face the barber whereas the men no braver than himself could do so.
c) He compares himself to an Angora because with his long grown hair, he looks like the Angora which was famous for its long and silky hair.
- "The bell has rung, the hour has struck Sloth is strong, but hair is stronger, I cannot stand it any longer". What do the lines mean? What effect do they produce? (March 89)
A. a) The poet says that he was lazy enough not to go to the barber and have a shave. These lines mean that it is time for the poet to have his haircut. His hair has grown so enormously that it has defeated his laziness. But a point has been reached when he could not bear the trouble given by the hair. So he decided to go to the barber. Laziness was strong enough to keep him away from the barber for some time. but the hair gave him so much trouble that he had to set aside laziness. So he says that hair is stronger than sloth.
One would expect to find such lines in religious poetry or in the holy texts. Such lines are used by poets while describing trivial things with the seriousness of a religious ceremony. In a mock-heroic poem the poets use such a method, where little things are made great. Well, this technique does create humour.
- "Bring on your shears, your scythes, your snipers, Bring giant harvesters and reapers". Notice the names of the tools the barber is asked to use. Is the poet really asking the barber to use these instruments? What does he want to suggest?
A. a) Shears, scythes, snippers, crisp electric clippers, giant harvesters and reapers are mentioned here as barber's tools. They are normaly used by agriculturists in agricultural occupation. They are indeed not the right names for the barber's tools.
b) The poet is not really asking the barber to use those instruments.
c) He just wants to suggest to the barber that much hair has grown on his head. So it might be difficult for him to use the ordinary shaving instruments.
- "Employ a dozen extra sweepers; Bring giant harvesters and reapers". Why does the poet ask the barber's make these preparations? (Oct 96)
A. The poet asks the barber to employ a dozen extra sweepers because he had no hair cut for quite a long time. The poet is very witty. In these amusing lines the poet wants the barber to know that a golden harvest awaits him. He is going to reap a rich bumper crop. So the poet asks him seriously to employ more servants to clear the bumper crop of hair which is going to overwhelm his shop. It is a humourous exaggeration used here.
- What kind of haircut does the poet want? What will he look like after the haircut? (March 2000, w008 - June 2006)
A. a) The poet wants a close haircut.
b) He will look like a lizard after the hair-cut. He will look bald.
- "Barber dear, I wish I knew why I do not visit you, Rather than to mount you chair". What is that he could not understand?
A. He could not understand why he had not visited barber to have his hair cut, why he could not spend just ten minutes in his shop, and why he preferred to suffer due to hair rather than to sit in the barber's chair for a shave.
- What does the poet request the barber finally?
A. The poet requests the barber to clip him close and leave him hairless as a lizard. He asks the barber to make him bald if possible He would then be the happiest of men and never thinks of him again.
Additional Questions & Answers:
- What are the different ways in which the poet is troubled by his hair?
A. His long flowing hair irritates him and damages him. It climbs his ears like a creeper. It gambols across the collar and moves leisurely down his neck. It tickles when it moves lightly and quickly.
- What else is the hair compared to?
A. The hair is compared to a creeping flora, a jungle and a bumper crop.
- What is the barber's shop called? Would you expect a den to be sanitary? A. a) The barber's shop is called a sanitary den.
b) We cannot expect a den to be sanitary. But everybody expects a barber's shop to be sanitary.
- What are the barber's tools called? What does the poet say one needs to 'confront' the barber?
A. a) The barber's tools are called the armory.
b) The poet says one needs determination to 'confront' the barber.
- The poet says he is a coward. What does he compare himself to? Do you think custards are particularly cowardly? Why then does the poet use the word?
A. a) The poet compares himself to solitary cowardly custard.
b) Custards are not practically cowardly.
c) While many have visited he has not visited the barber for a long time. So he considers himself a coward.
- Shaggy as a prize Angora. Overrun with creeping flora. What is an Angora? What is it famous for? Do you think the comparison is apt? Is it a flattering to man with long hair?
A. a) Angora is a breed of goat. It is famous for its long and silky hair.
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