I Dream of Spices Poem Summary


In this poem, “I dream of spices”, the poet uses a simple language to describe a boy, whose head filled with imaginations and distractions, dream of spices other than what he has been asked to bring home. 

Stanza 1

My mother would say:
"Little boy Raj.
Go to Muthu's
and get some
cinnamon, betel leaves
and ginger and garlic."

In the first stanza of the poem, Raj’s mother enters and requests her son to go to the market and get some cinnamon, betel leaves and ginger and garlic from Muthu’s. The stanza opens up with the names of various important spices used by women in the kitchen.  

Stanza 2

And so I go to the shops
singing all the way
and when Muthu asks me
what I'd want
I rattle off a list:
"Sesame seeds, onions
tomatoes and pickles"

Raj hops over to Muthu’s shop singing all the way. When the shopkeeper asks him what does he want, he rattle different spices than what his mother initially asked him to bring. Raj ends up saying that he wants to buy sesame seeds, onions, tomatoes and pickles. 

Stanza 3

And back home,
Mother twists my ears

In the final stanza, the poet writes about the fate that meets Raj once he returns home with the wrong ingredients. Raj’s mother twists my ears out of punishment for bringing the wrong ingredients instead of the spices that she wanted. 


The poem talks about the importance of spices which cannot be replaced by onions and tomatoes. Raj, perhaps, gets confused as what differentiates spices from others but his mother knows that the tomatoes and pickles can never replace the taste and flavor of the spices.