Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sarojini Naidu : "Village Song"

When the young Sarojini Naidu showed her early poetic efforts to Edmund Gosse for his comments, perhaps, she did not know that she was in for a shock . His words of admonition have since become part of history . He told her, " What we wished to receive was not a rechauffé of Anglo-Saxon sentiments in an Anglo-Saxon setting , but some revelation of the heart of India'.' "Sarojini Naidu's poetry was never to be the same again . Her mentor's advice sank deep into her mind . It proved to be a turning-point in her poetic career . She was none the worse for it because the glory that is ancient India and the grandeur that is modern India afforded her full scope for the play of romantic imagination with which she was abundantly blessed !

I consider "Village Song" as an authentic revelation of the heart of India as Edmund Gosse would have liked her poetry to be . In this dramatic lyric Sarojini Naidu reveals the heart of an Indian girl . The girl , carrying pitchers of Jumna water on her head, has to trek along a solitary stretch of land amidst thickening darkness . She blames herself for tarrying to hear the boatmen's song .After all, it was not her fault . Their song was so enthralling ! But now she is tormented by fears of all kinds . The cries of white cranes and owls fill her with superstitious fears . For a moment she thinks about her brother and mother who may be wondering about the cause of her delay . Her mind is again filled with fear of snakes and evil spirits . This wild area is prone to thunde-storms at this time of the year . She chants the name of Lord Rama to protect her from all harms .

This short poem reveals Sarojini Naidu's deep insight into the heart of I9ndian women . It points at Indian women's unflinching faith in their mythical heroes After reading the poem every reader might wonder whether the girl would have made it home if she hadn't had that strong enough faith in Lord Rama as her protector . The poem definitely has a symbolic level of meaning, too . The white cranes and owls symbolize the ills that the flesh is enduring in its journey through the world's wilderness . Indian women are sustained and supported in their moments of trials by their firm faith in their gods and goddesses .


  1. Sir thanks for your post. But if it would be more critical as an appreciation it would be much better I think..

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  2. Sir thanks for your post. But if it would be more critical as an appreciation it would be much better I think..

  3. Dear Prof Rajappan, Hope you remember me. I am G Jayachandra Rao, formerly of S.D.College, Alleppey. We used to meet and work together at Valuation Camps.I retired in 1995 and since then I have been living in Kollam. While surfing I came across your blog yesterday. I found your articles most insightful. I am sure the P G students will find them most useful.Please continue your laudable work.
    My e mail id is Kindly text me at your convenience. Warm regards, G J Rao