‘Natural Daintiness’ by Salman Khan is a short eleven stanza poem that is composed of a number of ambiguous statements regarding a “verdurous environment.” There are many lines in this piece that do not have a straightforward meaning or relationship to a larger narrative.
The poem must be read as a description of an emotional experience. The narration jumps from moment to moment, attempting to paint a larger picture and sometimes obscuring itself in its own language.
Summary of Natural Daintiness
The poem begins with the speaker stating that he is in a vibrant and lush landscape. It is, he states, “Entrancing” to the natural heart of the world. It is a place that could rival all others in its beauty and depth.
The second half of the poem describes how the air is tinged with the smell of fruit. Additionally, everything seems to be exactly where it’s supposed to be. The jackfruit is in the jackfruit tree and the palms on the palm tree.
The poem concludes with the speaker stating that the wind is “oscillating” through the land. It is that final element that constructs the world and keeps it in this pristine condition.
Analysis of Natural Daintiness
The speaker begins this piece by stating that he is in the “heart” of a vibrant and lush natural setting. The first lines describe his surroundings with a reverential tone. He seems to worship the world he is existing within.
He states that the “verdurous environment” is an interesting, or “Entrancing Addition.” The speaker is intrigued by the beauty and vitality of the land and sees it not as being the main attraction, but an addition. It is unclear what exactly the land is an addition to. Perhaps it is a positive change from a world that is not quite so “verdurous” or maybe the poet is speaking in a larger sense. The environment could just be an “Entrancing addition” to his own life. Either way, it is located…
In the middle of Natural heart.
Once again, it is not completely clear what it meant by this phrase. Perhaps it could refer to the speaker’s own heart or the heart of the larger ecosystem. It might be the case he has come upon a natural world inside a world. The place the narrator is currently existing in is one which is filled with the…
Scent of ripe fruit in the scent of air.
The smell of fruit is mingling with the more general smells one can pick up within a forested area. This adds a bit more context to the poem and allows one to place the setting in a tropical landscape in which fruit would grow.
The final line of this section is written in the same ambiguous and repetitive way as those which preceded (and will follow) it. He states that,
Seasonal fruits are full of their fruits.
It seems as if the speaker is experiencing the world in vibrant detail. He feels the fruits as an embodied object which hold a worth all their own.
In the second half of the poem, the speaker continues to describe the fruit which populates the trees around him. He specifically mentions “Jackfruits” and how they have done exactly what fruit is meant to do and…
…turned ripe in the Jackfruits tree.
They are there, ready to be picked or preparing to rot on their branches. This might make a reader wonder whether or not there are others around this particular area. Will anyone else come upon the same scene?
In addition to the “Jackfruits” there are palms “in the palm-tree.” Everything is in its place, doing exactly what it should be doing.
In the next lines, the speaker moves away from the fruit and trees. He looks out further into the landscape and sees movement. The speaker realizes that there are “sheeps In a grassland.” The setting continues to develop with the addition of this line. There is not only a forest, filled with fruit, but also a flat open plain on which sheep can happily run. The area he is observing must be quite broad.
The speaker states in the next line that the “motion of sheeps” is…
An excellent natural agreement
Between trees and oxygen—
The life which is contained within the sheep is evidence of the successful relationships on the land. The balance between trees and oxygen must be perfect, otherwise, this scene could not be so pristine.
The last line adds a final detail to the poem. Amongst the frolicking sheep, smell of fruits, and “verdurous environment” there is an oscillating “Zephyr.” The word, “zephyr” refers to light wind. It is blowing in circles through the land, keeping all the good in and all the bad out of this particular ecosystem