The Feed by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi Explanation

The Feed Explanation


Holding a grain of millet in her beak

The mother sparrow has come to feed.

The young ones are so tiny and small

Form head to toe they are beaks.





These verses have been taken from the poem “THE FEED”, which is written by Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi.



In this simple and expressive poem, the poet, through his keen observation, portrays the unfathomable/ boundless love and kindness of a mother for her young ones, who are very small and only few days old, which cannot stand to their feet. The new born are in the nest and the mother sparrow goes out and brings a grain of millet in her beak to be divided among ten chicks / fledglings. The poet marvels at the way the mother sparrow distributes one grain among ten chicks judiciously. A mother is she, who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.




In these verses, Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi demonstrates the way the mother sparrow feeds her chicks. She is holding a grain of cereal and comes to the nest of her young ones, who are tiny, featherless and cannot fly in search of food, so they are entirely dependent on their mother, as a mother understands what a chick does not say. All the young ones are crying with hunger and the mother sparrow has to feed them.

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In this stanza, the poet Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi illustrates the love of mother for her children as she tries her best to provide food to her children or young ones in time. The mother is the symbol of love and blessing on the lips and in hearts of children. It is the courage of a mother who looks after her children throughout the day, until they are mature. In other words, mother is a bank, where we deposit all our hurts and worries.


To whom the mother sparrow should feed?

Conjoining beak with beak,

With whom should she solace?

Fissuring the atom,

You have learnt to weep and wail in a loud tone,

Splitting the grain,

You have learnt to set life on foot.

Could you split the grain?

One grain to be fed to the ten young ones.





When she returns to the nest with grain in her beak , she is perplexed as to whom she should feed first, as all the chicks are joining their beaks with the beak of mother sparrow. They are crying with hunger and impatient to be feed first, and giving tough time to their mother to decide. Her love for every chick is equal and judicious. For her everyone is equally loving and deserving. As a last resort, she splits the grain into smaller pieces and feed all of them at a time. She does not want to reject any one of them. The mother sparrow has also keen observation, whether her chicks have learnt to splits the grain or whether they can stand on their feet. As it is the responsibility of the mother sparrow to train and polish her young ones for practical life. In this stanza the poet illustrate the justice of a mother for her children or young ones. He has portrayed the unique and ideal personality of a mother and highlights the problems which are to be resolved by the mother single handedly. As it is well said:

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Hundreds of dewdrops to greet dawn;

Hundreds of lamps in the purple clover;

Hundreds of butterflies in the lawn;

But only one mother the world wide over.


It is the universal hallmark of the great and unique personality of mother that in this entire cold and hollow world no one possesses deep, strong and deathless love except mother.

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