Soft Storm Poem Summary

The poem ‘Soft Storm’ by Abhi Subedi expresses the absurdities of tumultuous times with a touch of compassion. The writer in the poem presents different occasions when the speaker of the poem grows soft. The speaker states that he becomes soft when he hears the tumult and crashing on the strange stillness and when the sky grows like flowers over stones and when the moon skids down the walls. Likewise, the speaker also becomes soft as the softness rose like a storm tearing the speaker’s roofs and when the moon sings of lampposts and gutters.

Likewise, the speaker maintains that he becomes soft when homeless children in Thamel cry with hunger and when the speaker returned from the melee where the ceremony dances with mad steps on the unwedded gardens of history. In a similar vein, the speaker says that he becomes soft when he alone turns to leave deep dents of words on the white sheets and when he sees a forlorn child carrying a transistor radio around his neck and running waling to find his mother in the corridor of violent history. Similarly, in the next stanza, the speaker speaks on inhumane behaviour and mentions his softness. He mentions he becomes soft when he sees a man beaten mercilessly without any reason and in no sensible time before his family. The poet also becomes soft when a blood-stained shirt speaks in the earth’s ears with bruised human lips in open museums under the moon of human times. Also, the speaker becomes soft when one gives words but does not listen to them. Further, the speaker in the poem in poetic language maintains that soft is his storm that rages and rages over silent pages and when the speaker sees the decay of culture, values and believes, it also makes his soft. However, in the second last stanza, the port makes the concerned authorities cautious stating that though everything may seem soft and fine now, it may not be so forever. The speaker further warns them that the time may not go the same and mad time (revolution) can arise any time and all know that the revolution itself is not a small thing but it arises from small things.

In the final stanza, the poem takes an incredible turning. Though the speaker seems to be a revolutionary in earlier stanzas, however here the speaker states that he is not going to initiate any revolution soon since he wants to melt like a rainbow and dance even in a hard time. However, the speaker through the poem ‘Soft Storm’ has left a clear but implicit message that if the chaos and problems of people in the society are not addressed soon, then there can arise great revolution any time soon.

Soft Storm Exercise Solution

Understanding the Text

Answer the following questions.

a.When does the speaker grow soft? Enlist the occasions when he grows soft.

Ans.: The occasions when the speaker grows soft are presented below:

after he hears the tumult and crash on the eerie stillness

when the sky grows like crocuses over stones and becomes five inches taller

when the moon sings of lampposts and gutters in the seamless city

when homeless children cry with hunger

when the speaker returns from the melee

when the words leave deep dents on white sheets

when he sees a forlorn child carrying transistor radio around their neck and running to find his mother

when he sees a man beaten mercilessly for no reason

when one gives their words and forget their promise.

b.What do you understand by ‘this seamless city’? 

Ans: The phrase ‘this seamless city’ in the poem refers to the perfect and quiet city. However, the poem presents this phrase in the poem as irony and it has an implicit meaning in the poem that the city is not seamless, rather it is full of chaos and disorders.

c.Describe the poor children potrayed in the poem.

Ans: The poor children in the poem are expressed as homeless who cry with hunger under the bat-bearing trees of Keshar Mahal.

d.What do you understand by ‘the unwedded gardens of history’? 

Ans.: The phrase ‘the unwedded gardens of history’ refers to the dark and ignored parts of the history (or even the present time) to which none has given adequate attention.

c.Why was the forlorn child wailing? 

Ans: The forlorn child was wailing because he had lost his mother and he has been running wailing in order to find his mother.

f.What do you understand by ‘soft storm”? 

Ans.: The phrase ‘soft storm’ has implicit meaning in the poem. The poet refers to ‘soft storm’ as a type of revolution where there is awareness rather than violence.

g.Why does the speaker call our time ‘mad time? 

Ans.: The speaker calls our time a ‘mad time’ because in this time people do not tolerate discrimination and oppression and can be violent and brutal in order to cope up with the oppression.

h.What does the speaker want to do in ‘hard times’? 

Ans: The speaker wants to melt like a rainbow in the ‘hard times’. This means that though he is not satisfied with the current situation, he does not want to make any quick revolution and be aggressive at the current time.

Reference to the context

a.The poet uses the word ‘soft’ with the words like ‘storm’ and ‘gale’, which generally refer to disorder and violence. What effect does the poet achieve through the use of such anomalous expressions? 

Ans.: The anomalous expression refers to any expression (sentence, phrase and other structures) that deviate from what is standard, normal or expected. In fact, anomalous expression refers to one of the figures of speech that can be widely found in present-day satirical poems. Here, in the poem ‘Soft Storm’ too, the poet has used the word ‘soft’ with the words like ‘storm’ and ‘gale’, which generally refer to disorder and violence. The sole reason the poet has done this in the poem is in order to create some effects among the readers of this poem and the effect is that this makes the poem more meaningful, attractive and attention-catching.

b.What is the speaker’s attitude towards the time he describes in the poem? 

Ans: The speaker in the poem refers to different pictures of the present time. The speaker in the poem has shown his expression and feelings towards the ongoing activities around him. The speaker tells us that he becomes soft after he hears the turnult. He becomes soft when homeless children in Thamel cry with hunger under the bat bearing trees. The speaker again becomes soft when he sees a forlorn child carrying a transistor radio around his neck and wailing to find his mother. He also becomes soft when he sees a man beaten mercilessly for no reason. He also becomes soft when someone does not keep the promise they give. Thus, the speaker’s attitude towards the time he describes in the poem shows that the speaker finds that time has many imperfections and flaws. This shows that the speaker is unsatisfied with the ongoing time.

C.What is the speaker like? Is he a rebel? Why? Why not? 

Ans.: No, the speaker does not present himself as a rebel character in the poem. However, he presents the imperfections and flaws by satires and anomalies. He is not pleased with the current activities that are ongoing around him. At many points, he too expresses all his and anger precisely that it appears as if he is going to be a rebel. But at the end of the poem, it appears like he had changed his ideas about revolution and he says that in these hard times, he just wants to melt like a rainbow and dance in ripples.

d.Explain the stanza below in your own words: 

Ans: I became soft

a blood-stained shirt

speaking in the earth’s ears

with bruised human lips

in the far corner

under the moon of history and dreams playing hide and seek in open museums

of human times.

The given stanza is an extract from the poem ‘Soft Storm’ by Abhi Subedi. In this stanza, the speaker satires the ongoing time with many imperfections and flaws. The speaker of the poem states that he becomes soft even when he sees a blood-stained shirt and a person with bruised human lips speaking to the earth of history and dreams playing hide and seek in open museums of human ties. This shows that the time around the speaker is not too good. and a blood-stained shirt means that there has been violence resulting due to the conflict between the common people and authorities. The hid and seek in the stanza also refers to the good and bad things ongoing at the present time. As states in the excerpt of the poem, we can get insight that though the human has bruised lips and a blood-stained shirt, it shows that one day, he is getting himself out of this dark time and change the history of the nation with his dream.

Reference beyond the text

a.Write an essay, highlighting your dissatisfaction towards social, cultural, economic and political issues prevailing in Nepal at present.

 Ans.: Dissatisfaction is considered to be one of the fundamental reactions of citizens and affects the decisions and operations of institutions. People express their dissatisfaction with different issues from weather to social services or state policy and systems of governance. The major dissatisfactions with several sectors like social, cultural, economic and political issues prevailing in Nepal at present have been discussed below in brief.

Social Issues: A social problem is any condition or behaviour that has negative consequences for large numbers of people. Various types of social problems prevalent in Nepal are caste-based discrimination, gender inequality, illiteracy, dowry system, girls trafficking, gambling, theft, dacoit, vandalism, rape, corruption, bribing, child marriage, etc. The government is implementing several programmes to minimize these, problems but all the resources, budget and time for solving these problems are not being adequate. The beliefs and thoughts of conservative people are still the same despite different programmes and awareness campaigns being launched. This slow progress oriented to solve social issues of Nepal has created dissatisfaction not only to the concerned people.

Cultural Issues: Some cultural malpractices are prevalent and often perceived as traditional and normal in the communities in which they are practised. These practices prevent individuals and groups from reaching their full potential. Many are denied dignity and freedom as a result of such practices. Some cultural malpractices include persistent behaviours that discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, age, caste/ethnicity, language and religion, amongst others. They leave women and people from excluded groups at risk of violence, poorer physical and psychological health, limited educational and economic outcomes, injuries and even death. Notably, harmful practices are not isolated or random; they stem from deeply-rooted patriarchal, social, cultural and religious norms perpetuated throughout centuries that view women, as well as lower caste groups, as inferior.

Political Issues: Continued political instability in Nepal is hampering development initiatives and could worsen humanitarian challenges in the already impoverished Himalayan nation. Over one and half decades have passed since a 10-year civil war between the state and Maoist rebels ended, but the country has been beset with political instability and weak governance. The frequent changes in government in Nepal have badly hampered the country’s development and economic growth. Even after the constitution’s promulgation, there is no sign of political stability in Nepal. The game of government toppling and forming still dominates the national political arena. The so-called political leaders are only showing the people false promises and hopes of political stability and development which has created an extreme level of dissatisfaction among the citizens. Brain drain is another major problem increasing day by day in Nepal due to political instability. Economic Issues: Nepal has historically been among the poorest and most remote countries in the world. The economy of Nepal is largely dependent on agriculture and remittances. Economic development has been complicated and affected by the constant change in political scenarios which has ranged from monarchy to being ruled by the Nepal Communist Party in 2019. Political instability, widespread corruption, landlocked location, difficult topography poor infrastructure, poorly trained and educated workforce and a weak policy and regulatory environment have been some of the key hindrances to economic growth. Besides these, many people are leaving the country for better opportunities and lifestyle and such migration of people encourage other generations to migrate to first world countries, Also, economic hardship is likely to have an impact on income and employment. Despite many plans and foreign investment and aids, the economy of the country is crawling which has created extreme dissatisfaction among citizens.

b.Suppose you are a rebel, who wants to change the society by eliminating malpractices and anomalies prevailing in the society. Draft a speech outlining your vision for change. 


Dear comrades and villagers,

It is a fact that we have encountered a lot of malpractices and anomalies prevailing in society at the present time. Social malpractices and anomalies are the issues that directly or indirectly affect the members of a society and are considered a point of controversy or a problem in regards to moral values. Such common social malpractices and anomalies prevailing in the society are the caste system, poverty, dowry system, gender inequality, illiteracy, patriarchy, etc. The social evils, malpractices and superstitions that dominated the society for over the centuries made social reforms imperative for the development of the society and the masses.

We are discriminating against each other and living miserable life for decades and decades and it’s time to initiate something new. We have decided to end these deeply rooted problems with our new vision. We are a team of highly dedicated and energetic youths who love their motherland more than anything. So, our vision is to eradicate the prevailing problems in society. Our government always comes with plans but never formulates them. So, we cannot rely on the government to do everything. We are rebelling against so-called high caste people and authorities who support such inhumane behaviours. We will be arranging opportunities for informal education for illiterate people. We will raise awareness programs in each village of this district and to the whole country against these prevailing problems. I along with my friends are preparing ourselves with different strategies and plans for the starting of our program. We have some political support and financial help from our helpers who will be a part of our campaign. Some specific details about the different stages of our work plan are as given: Stage 1: Preparing questionnaires and interviews

Stage 2: Field observation where we will take victims reports and problems

Stage 3: Rally preparation and protest against existing malpractices Stage 4: Rally to pressurize the government and concerned authorities

Stage 5: Initiation of basic education programs to illiterate people

Stage 6: Collection of reports

Stage 7: Analysis of reports

Stage 8: Conclusion about the effectiveness of programs

Hence, we can bring change in our society by following the above plans only. So, request all the villagers to cooperate with us to bring the desired changes in our society and make our society ideal and prosperous. Thank you.