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What is the theme of the poem: The Soul's Prayer written by Sarojini Naidu

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joykispotta | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 26, 2009 at 11:31 PM via web

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What is the theme of the poem: The Soul's Prayer written by Sarojini Naidu

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 27, 2009 at 12:05 AM (Answer #1)

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"The Soul's Prayer" by Sarojini Naidu is a type of lyrical autobiographical poem.  Naidu writes poetry to reflect times and the essence of many aspects of her own life.  In the poem the person is speaking to God.  She is troubled and sad about life.   The rituals of the fire (being burned after death) represent purity and peace.  The author is a strong believer in Islam and this is reflected in the theme of her poem.  She wants God to give her answers to existence.  She is aware there are different levels to her soul and she is trying to get a better understanding from God as to her own life and death and why suffering exists.

The poetess does not understand why God allows so much pain and suffering.  She is answered by the understanding that it will make her pure and that suffering is necessary for a soul's development.  God has shared with her that life and death are both part of existence as well as suffering and the miseries of the world.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 27, 2009 at 12:30 AM (Answer #2)

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The fundamental theme of the poem lies in the premise of a child, a devotee, speaking to God.  There is a level of purity present between the devotee asking questions of existence to God.  In the metaphysical exchange between God and speaker, the poem's themes lie in the discussion of life and the experience of consciousness.  Seeing that large issues emerge from this discussion, the theme is about the nature of existence.  The last stanza might go far in this when God says that life and death are part of the same experience in consciousness:  "Life is a prism of my light and death the shadow of my face."  In this, the dualistic nature of life, creation and destruction, vitality and mortality seem to exist side by side and work in tandem with one another.  The fundamental theme of the poem is the exploration of this dichotomy in the dialogue between devotee and God.

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