Naidu, Sarojini 1879-1949
Indian poet, lecturer, and politician.
Naidu is remembered as a virtuoso of English metrical forms and romantic imagery in her poetry, which she wrote in English. Her mastery of such difficult poetic constructs as the dactylic prompted the English writers Edmund Gosse and Arthur Symons to praise her work widely and develop friendships with her. Equally concerned with India's freedom movement and women's rights as with writing poetry, Naidu became a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi and lectured on behalf of Indian independence throughout India, Africa, the United States, and Canada. Her political career reached its peak when she was elected the first woman governor of the United Provinces in 1947.
Naidu was born into a high-caste Bengali family in 1879. Her father, Aghorenath Chattopadhyaya, became, after obtaining his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, a distinguished scholar and linguist who founded two Indian colleges, one for women. Naidu's mother, Varada Sundari, was a minor poet and noted singer. Naidu began writing poetry as a child and at the age of twelve passed the matriculation examination for the University of Madras. As a teenager, Naidu fell in love with Govindarajulu Naidu, a doctor who was neither Bengali nor of the Brahmin caste. Hoping to prevent their daughter from marrying outside her social group, her parents sent her to England in 1895. There Naidu attended King's College, London, and Girton College, Cambridge, where she further developed her poetic style and became friends with such well-known English critics and writers as Edmund Gosse and Arthur Symons, who helped her to refine her work. In 1898 Naidu returned to India and married Govindarajulu Naidu despite her family's disapproval. Because of her family's high status, Naidu had access to many of the most prominent thinkers, writers, and political figures of India's modern intellectual renaissance. Her first volume of poetry, The Golden Threshold, was published in England in 1905; with an introduction by Arthur Symons. The book was well-received, and Naidu was encouraged to continue publishing her work until 1917, when she abruptly stopped. At this point, Naidu became active in Indian politics. She had met Gandhi in 1914 and soon decided to join him in the struggle for Indian independence. Naidu's first cause as a political activist was women's rights; she traveled throughout India lecturing on women's educational needs and promoting suffrage, and became the first woman to hold several prominent positions in the Indian government. In 1925 she was elected President of the Indian National Congress, and during the 1920s traveled throughout Africa and North America campaigning for Indian independence. Naidu was arrested and imprisoned for revolutionary activities several times during her career. In 1947-when independence was achieved-Naidu was elected acting governor of the United Provinces. She died in 1949.
Naidu's early poetry evidences the strong Western influence of her Brahmin upbringing. Crafting poems in traditional English metrical forms, she concentrated primarily on Western themes and images. Edmund Gosse, upon reading her work when he met her in London, recognized Naidu's potential but encouraged her to incorporate Indian subjects into her work. Naidu followed Gosse's advice, and her first volume, The Golden Threshold, combines traditional poetic forms with lush images of India. The book achieved popular and critical success in England, where Edwardian readers admired Naidu's deft handling of the English language as well as the native view of Indian exotica it offered them. Naidu's second collection of poems, The Bird of Time (1912), confronted more serious themes such as death and grief as well as containing poems expressing Naidu's patriotism and religious convictions. Gosse provided the forward to this volume, noting Naidu's rich exploration of complex issues in delicate, romantic language. In her third volume, The Broken Wing (1917), Naidu included more poems of patriotism and description of Indian culture. More important, The Broken Wing contains the work many critics consider Naidu's greatest poetic achievement, "The Temple: A Pilgrimage of Love." A series of twenty-four poems, "The Temple" explores the joys, pain, and vagaries of a mature love relationship in graphic, sometimes violent, imagery, and concludes in a meditation on death. The Broken Wing was the last volume of poetry published in Naidu's lifetime. Many critics have wondered about the reason for her apparently sudden departure from literary pursuits to political involvement. Some speculate that her popularity dwindled, particularly in England, when she moved away from the flowery, romantic style of her early poetry to a comparatively morbid and contemplative tone in her later work. Others contend that her preoccupation with patriotic themes caused readers to lose interest. In 1961 Naidu's daughter published a collection of her previously unpublished poems, The Feather of the Dawn, but it met with little critical interest. Her poetry has since undergone reevaluation by Indian critics, many of whom regard her as one of India's greatest twentieth-century poets.
Speeches and Writings (speeches and essays) 1904; revised edition, 1925
The Golden Threshold (poetry) 1905
The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, and Death, and the Spring (poetry) 1912
The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death, and Destiny, 1915-1916 (poetry) 1917
The Soul of India (essays) 1917
The Sceptered Flute: Songs of India (poetry) 1928
Select Poems [edited by H. G. Dalway Turnbull] (poetry) 1930
The Feather of the Dawn (poetry) 1961
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SOURCE: An introduction to The Golden Threshold, by Sarojini Naidu, William Heinemann, 1905, pp. 9-23.
[In the following introduction of Naidu's The Golden Threshold, Symons expresses his strong admiration of Naidu's poetry and relates the friendship he developed with her through letters.]
It is at my persuasion that these poems are now published. The earliest of them were read to me in London in 1896, when the writer was seventeen; the later ones were sent to me from India in 1904, when she was twenty-five; and they belong, I think, almost wholly to those two periods. As they seemed to me to have an individual beauty of their own, I thought they ought to be published. The writer hesitated. "Your letter made me very proud and very sad," she wrote. "Is it possible that I have written verses that are "filled with beauty,' and is it possible that you really think them worthy of being given to the world? You know how high my ideal of Art is; and to me my poor casual little poems seem to be less than beautiful I mean with that final enduring beauty that I desire." And, in another letter, she writes: "I am not a poet really. I have the vision and the desire, but not the voice. If I could write just one poem full of beauty and the spirit of greatness, I should be exultantly silent for ever; but I sing just as the birds do, and my songs are as ephemeral." It is for this bird-like quality of song, it seems...
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SOURCE: An introduction to The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death & Spring, by Sarojini Naidu, New York: John Lane Company; London: William Heinemann, 1912, pp. 1-8.
[In the following introduction to Naidu's The Bird of Time, Gosse remembers his early meetings with Naidu in London and how he encouraged her to write poetry.]
It is only at the request, that is to say at the command, of a dear and valued friend that I consent to write these few sentences. It would seem that an "introduction" can only be needed when the personage to be "introduced" is unknown in a world prepared to welcome her but still ignorant of her qualities. This is certainly not the case with Mrs. Naidu, whose successive volumes, of which this is the third, have been received in Europe with approval, and in India with acclamation. Mrs. Naidu is, I believe, acknowledged to be the most accomplished living poet of India at least, of those who write in English, since what lyric wonders the native languages of that country may be producing I am not competent to say. But I do not think that any one questions the supreme place she holds among those Indians who choose to write in our tongue. Indeed, I am not disinclined to believe that she is the most brilliant, the most original, as well as the most correct, of all the natives of Hindustan who have written in English. And I say this without prejudice to the fame of that delicious...
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SOURCE: A review of 'The Golden Threshold ', in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Vol. X, No. 1, April, 1917, pp. 47-49.
[In the following review of The Golden Threshold, the anonymous critic praises the volume not only for its contribution to Indian literature, but also its contribution to the further development of the English lyric verse.]
Perhaps because one catches flame from Arthur Symons' beautiful introduction, through which shines the radiantly elusive personality of this young Hindu woman, these poems [in The Golden Threshold] are strangely alluring.
They are subtle, delicately-wrought lyrics, self-conscious with the same quiet poise that pervades the Hindu classics, a poise that disregards with mystic certainty the confusing sense of the plurality of the universe which colors so much western thinking, and finds in the simplicity which remains an essense of pure beauty. "We will conquer the sorrow of life with the sorrow of songs," sings the poet triumphantly in one of the most beautiful of these poems, and in the phrase sums up her dream.
The poems are rather unequal in poetic quality, but in the best of them, along with a true lyric cadence, burns an extraordinary vividness of feeling. In the following, called "Ecstasy," this vividness mounts to what Symons happily calls an "agony of sensation":
Cover mine eyes,...
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SOURCE: "The Poetry of Saojini Naidu: A Critical Appreciation," in The Modern Review, Vol. 22, No. 4, October, 1917, pp. 410-16.
[In the following essay, Cousins offers an appreciative overview of Naidu's work.]
The almost simultaneous reception within the pale of English literature of two poets, Indian by ancestry and birth, and acutely Indian in conscious purpose Sarojini Naidu and Rabindranath Tagore is an event that offers a fascinating challenge to the student of literature. The challenge is capable, however, of only a partial acceptance: its full implications and significance remain for the disclosure of the future. One special circumstance in each case makes a complete study at present impossible: the chanting sage of Bengal is probably only probably beyond the period of his greatest utterance, but only a portion of his vast work has been put into English: we have, on the other hand, the complete expression of the Deccan songstress, but it is premature to regard it as her utmost. There is, however, a more radical difference between them: the work of Rabindranath, as it appears in English, is a translation, albeit done by the poet himself, and its title of poetry in the accepted technical sense is a courtesy-title given in recognition of an invincible spirit that sifts the essence of poetry through the medium of rhythmic prose: Sarojini's work is English poetry in form and diction, and, as...
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SOURCE: A review of 'The Sceptered Flute: Songs of India ', in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Vol. XXXV, No. III, December, 1929, pp. 169-70.
[In the following review of The Sceptered Flute: Songs of India, the anonymous critic notes that Naidu's poetry needs further development but nonetheless possesses the qualities of "high inspiration. "]
These songs of India [in The Sceptered Flute: Songs of India] have been transmuted into the language of the western world, and at first glance the imagery and allusions seem no more genuine than those which we have found in many English imitators of oriental mystery and glamour. But a more careful reading will show that behind these quiet reflective lyrics lies a profound native understanding of India, and a poetic insight which is capable of controlling many subtle aspects of mystical experience. The statements and analogies are always quiet, uneventful, subdued to nostalgic melancholy, and hinting most often of the Victorian style of lyric expression. But Madame Naidu shares with Tagore the power to use invocation and familiar references to love, death, sacrifice, etc., eloquently; while she has not achieved Tagore's broad oratorical massiveness or his fine spontaneity of expression, she strikes the key of real poetry too often to prevent our recognizing in her gentle art qualities of high inspiration.
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SOURCE: "Sarojini Naidu," in The Golden Breath: Studies in Five Poets of the New India, John Murray, 1933, pp. 102-21.
[In the following essay, Anand surveys Naidu's life and works.]
Sarojini Naidu is affectionately called by her countrymen "the nightingale of India." A higher compliment than this, implied in the poetess's comparison with the celebrated bird that pervades the whole of Hindustani poetry, could not have been paid, and an apter nickname could hardly be imagined. For Sarojini sings of life as the bulbul of the rose, glorying in all its loveliness, longing to realise its many-coloured forms, and weaving melancholy strains about it when the cold, bare, stark brutality of death has robbed it of its warming glow. And although she has adopted a Western language and a Western technique to express herself, she seems to me to be in the main Hindustani tradition of Ghalib, Zok, Mir, Hali, and Iqbal.
Sarojini Chattopadhyaya was born at Hyderabad on February 13th, 1879, to Dr. Aghore Nath Chattopadhyaya and Shrimati Sundari Devi. Her father was descended from an ancient family of Chattorajes Brahmins well known for their patronage of art and literature throughout Bengal. Dr. Aghore Nath took the degree of Doctor of Science at the University of Edinburgh in 1877 and studied at Bonn. On returning to India he established the Nizam College, Hyderabad.
In her charming...
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SOURCE: "Sarojini Naidu," in Independence and After, The Publications Division: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1949, pp. 399-403.
[In the following essay, which was originally presented as a speech delivered at the Constituent Assembly in New Delhi on March 3, 1949, Nehru eulogizes Naidu, pointing out her social and political achievements.]
It has been my painful duty, Sir, as Leader of this House, to refer from time to time to the passing away of the illustrious sons and daughters of India. Recently I referred to the passing away of a very eminent son of India, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru. Then the Governor of a province suddenly died. He was a very distinguished servant of the State. When we refer to these distinguished sons or daughters of the country, we say often enough that it will be difficult to replace them, that they are irreplaceable, which may be true enough in a partial manner. But, today, I, with your leave, would like to refer to the passing away early yesterday morning of one about whom it can be said with absolute truth that it is impossible to replace her or to find her like.
She was for the last year and a half or a little more the Governor of a great province with many problems and she acted as Governor with exceeding ability and exceeding success as can be judged from the fact that every one in that province, from the Premier and his...
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SOURCE: "Sarojini Naidu," in Indian Writing in English, Asia Publishing House, 1962, pp. 207-225.
[In the following essay, Iyengar provides a biographical and critical sketch of Naidu.]
Like Tagore and Aurobindo, Sarojini Naidu too was more than a poet; she was one of Mother India's most gifted children, readily sharing her burden of pain, fiercely articulating her agonies and hopes, and gallantly striving to redeem the Mother and redeem the time. It was as an English poet Sarojini Naidu first caught the attention of the public, but that was only the beginning. In course of time the patriot exceeded the poet, and Sarojini Naidu came to occupy some of the highest unofficial and official positions in the public life of India.
While it would perhaps be unwise to talk about her poetry without reference to her life, it would be no less unwise to talk at length about her life. Once she wrote to me: "Certainly, you have my blessings for writing about me and for quoting from my letters. But do you know much about me? So few even among those most intimate with me know little more than the bare facts and dates of my life". What really matters to a student of Sarojini Naidu's poetry is her "inner life", and this is largely a closed book to us. The "outer life" is for all to see, and as a last resort one starts guessing, which can be both fascinating and perilous!
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SOURCE: "Sarojini's Art," in Sarojini: The Poetess, Doaba House Publishers, 1975, pp. 120-135.
[In the following essay, Gupta discusses the influence of English Romanticism on Naidu's work.]
One cannot miss in Sarojini's poetry her ease in the English language, her sense of the sounds of English words, and her mastery over the metrical system of English poetry.
Although her life spans across the late Victorian, Decadent, Edwardian and Georgian, and the Hulme-Eliot-Pound, and the Yeatsean, and the Auden-Spender, and the avant garde free verse periods of English poetry, Sarojini, born and brought up in the Romantic tradition, fed on Romantic poetry, tutored by Romantic critics Gosse and Symons, ever remained Romantic, both in her sensibility and art. One could take it as her virtue, or as her defect, according to one's own inclination.
And so, she would never take to free verse; and as to diction, the dry, spare, lean fare of Hulme-Leavis school would not suit her taste; and spontaneous outpouring of feeling rather than an "intellectual exercise' would continue to be her mode, and sensuous and aesthetic perceptions rather than thought, (generally speaking), the contents of her poetry.
Sarojini has composed in various stanza forms and there is no metrical measure...
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SOURCE: "Krishna Motifs in the Poetry of Sarojini Naidu and Kamala Das," in Journal of South Asian Literature, Vol. XIII, No. 1, Fall, 1977, pp. 9-14.
[In the following essay, Blackwell examines imagery used by Naidu and Kamala Das of "the soul's quest for God (Krishna). "]
Let us consider four poems, two each by two Indian poets writing in English. The older of the two is Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949), who is the author of three volumes of poetry: The Golden Threshold (1905), The Bird of Time (1912) and The Broken Wing (1915-1916). This first poem is taken from the second volume:
"Song of Radha the Milkmaid"
I carried my curds to the Mathura fair. . .
How softly the heifers were lowing . . .
I wanted to cry, "Who will buy, who will buy
These curds that are white as the clouds in the sky
When the breezes of Shrawan are blowing?"
But my heart was so full of your beauty, Beloved,
They laughed as I cried without knowing:
Govinda! Govinda!. . .
How softly the river was flowing!
I carried my pots to the Mathura tide . . .
How gaily the rowers were rowing! . . .
My comrades called, "Ho! let us dance, let us sing
And wear saffron garments to...
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SOURCE: "Sarojini Naidu: A Poetess of Sweetness and Light," in Indo-English Literature: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by K. K. Sharma, Vimal Prakashan, 1977, pp. 61-70.
[In the following essay, Mather discusses the delicacy of Naidu's language and imagery.]
John Keats has very beautiful lines:
When old age shall this generation waste
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say't
"Beauty is truth truth beauty," that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need, to know.
These lines are taken from his "Ode on a Grecian Urn". They contain a great philosophy. Many of us think of John Keats as merely sensuous, denied heights of philosophical thoughts. We have been infinitely fascinated by his luxurious line "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." That line is full of luxury of sensuousness, taken away from the context. But if you fit in the line where it occurs the idea communicated is not of sensuous beauty or emotion. The idea is a truth by itself, which proclaims the intensity of his thought. The same truth we find in the lines above given. The burden is "Beauty is truth, truth beauty." And then you have to remember that that is all that you require to know. Poets have sung of beauty but they seldom refer to truth that must be identical with beauty....
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SOURCE: "The Poetry of Sarojini Naidu," in Indo-English Literature: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by K. K. Sharma, Vimal Prakashan, 1977, pp. 61-70.
[In the following essay, Ansari presents an overview of Naidu's poetry.]
"I am not a poet really. I have the vision and the desire, but not the voice. If I could write just one poem full of beauty and the spirit of greatness, I should be exultantly silent for ever, but I sing just as the birds do, and my songs are as ephemeral". This statement of Sarojini Naidu should be examined carefully before it is accepted as a judicious judgment on her poetry. No critical criterion can pronounce any one of her poems as "full of beauty and the spirit of greatness" if we use these words in the same sense in which they are applicable to the poetry of Keats and Shelley, let alone the poetry of such supreme masters as Shakespeare and Goethe. But that her poems are possessed of an individual beauty and are the product of a fine sensibility acutely responsive to the material of art is not only the impression of a casual reader but the verdict of such fastidious and discriminating critics as Sir Edmund Gosse and Arthur Symons. Again, there does not seem to be much scope for dispute on the point that she had complete mastery over that physical medium that is indispensable for communicating the vision to the audience, and which she designates as "voice".
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SOURCE: "Sarojini Naidu: The Poet as a Politician," in Indian and Foreign Review, Vol. 17, No. 6, January 1-15, 1980, pp. 13-15.
[In the following essay, Das Gupta discusses ways in which Naidu's poetic sensibilities affected her political career and actions.]
When John Stuart Mill drew up an antithesis between eloquence and poetry and said that while the one was heard the other was over-heard, he did not add that one could not at once be an orator and a poet. Mill, however, did not know of any fine public speaker who was also a fine poet. The combination of the two in Sarojini Naidu is unique in the history of letters even in the language she used in speech and song.
When the lofty eloquence of Sarojini Naidu's presidential address at the fortieth session of the Indian National Congress held in Kanpur in 1925 drew the applause of the entire audience, Motilal Nehru gently remarked: "but what did she say?' Today, a century after her birth and more than twenty-five years after her death we seem to ask ourselves the same question what did she say in politics and in poetry? The author of the Nehru Report had his own reason to be suspicious of rhetoric, however noble, but he certainly had a fine ear for a fine English sentence and knew that to move a large assembly of Indian listeners to tears by turning out extempore, rolling Ciceronian periods needed a genius of whom any country could be...
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SOURCE: "The Muse's Bower: Sarojini's Poetic Achievement," in Sarojini Naidu and Her Poetry, Kitab Mahal, 1981, pp. 121-144.
[In the following essay, Dwivedi presents an overview of Naidu's career.]
Sarojini's poetic output has been meagre but qualitative. Her early verses were entirely English in form and content, but a timely advice of Sir Gosse turned her to her native land for themes and raw materials. Exquisitely did she sing about the beauty of the Indian landscape, about the common man and woman, about the Hindu-Muslim unity, and about the country's subjection under the Britishers. With a stroke of good luck, she came in touch with such distinguished literary personalities of the day as Edmund Gosse and Arthur Symons, who showed her, as she has confessed, the path to the Golden Threshold of Poetry, the path from which she never swerved. Later, she thrived on her own poetic merits, and not on anyone's recommendations.
Poetry came to Sarojini, as we know, as a natural gift, and she could not help writing it when the mood overpowered her. She had received it by way of inheritance: her parents were also composers of charming verses. The romantic surroundings of Hyderabad and the short stay in England unquestionably quickened Sarojini's poetic perception, and whatever she wrote thereafter reflects the maturity of her mind and the fullness of her heart.
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SOURCE: "The Poetic Outlook," in Sarojini Naidu: The Poet, S. Chand & Company Ltd., 1983, pp. 26-55.
[In the following essay, Khan examines major themes and images in Naidu's work.]
Sarojini was once a name to conjure with. She magnetised and attracted the young.1 The quantity of her verse is not large, but her verse, in her own words, is a treasure "of song and sorrow and life and love."2
VARIETY OF SUBJECTS
Sarojini's poems tell us of her fancies and longings, her moments of ecstasy and moments of loneliness. In her thought-provoking poems she speculated on the transitoriness of life and the caprice of fortune, the purpose of life and the mystery of death. She is attracted to the great religions of the world Buddhism and Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Mythology interests her and she sings of the gods and goddesses of her own ancient land Krishna and Lakshmi and Kali and others. She writes on the distinguished persons of her own day Mahatma Gandhi, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, the Nizam of Hyderabad. In the humblest professions she sees the beauty of life and she writes poems on palanquin-bearers and bangle-sellers, singers and dancers, corngrinders and weavers, gipsies and snake-charmers, fishermen and beggars. When she deals with some social customs of India sati and pardah she gives us a penetrating criticism of life which...
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SOURCE: "Sarojini Naidu: Romanticism and Resistance," in Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, Vol. 17, No. 4, October, 1986, pp. 49-61.
[In the following essay, Alexander examines feminism in Naidu's life and works, noting in particular the conflict between the turn-of-the-century English poetry and lifestyle she absorbed while studying in London and the tumultuous social and political atmosphere of India prior to the country's independence.]
What follows is a brief inquiry into the complex feminism of a woman who lived at the interface of two cultures, that of the Hyderabad she was born into and the colonial culture of British India. She passed through the diction and manners of the latter into a poetry and politics forged, at least in her later years, within the very tumult of Nationalist politics. Yet there are questions to be asked of her life and letters. There seems to be a radical cleft between the intense if imprisoning passions of her poetry and the political life she espoused. Did the female self she discovered in political action successfully subvert the passive if anguished images she picked up from turn-of-the-century English poetry? Or is there a dichotomy between poet and politician scarcely to be explained, pointing towards complicated, covert procedures of creativity? Further, how did the English language, which she was greatly dependent on,...
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SOURCE: "Indian Ethos in Sarojini Naidu's Poetry," in Perspectives on Sarojini Naidu, edited by K.K. Sharma, Vimal Prakashan, 1989, pp. 78-113.
[In the following essay, Raizada discusses Naidu as an Indian poet—rather than an Indian writing English poetry—and reassesses her work in those terms.]
With the change in literary fashions, critical attitudes and critical values also change. The canons of criticism which are highly esteemed in one age are discarded in favour of new ones in another. In the changed perspective, the great writers of the preceding age wane into mediocity in the succeeding one, and old idols become new abhorrences. The new aesthetics which evolved in the wake of modernism in the European literature during the inter-war years, depedastalized many literary demi-gods who were looked upon with awe and inviolable reverence by the earlier generations. Even the greatness of Shakespeare for whom Arnold has asserted: "Others abide our question Thou are free!"1 has to be vindicated by a Wilson Knight on the basis of modern aesthetics.
It is not surprising therefore that now when The Golden Threshold is judged by the touchstone of The Wasteland, "the gifted poetess," the Nightingale of India of yester years, on whom Arthur Symons and Edmund Gosse showered unreserved encomium and about whom that "profound...
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SOURCE: "The Evolution of the Poetic Persona in Sarojini's Poetry," in Perspectives on Sarojini Naidu, edited by K.K. Sharma, Vimal Prakashan, 1989, pp. 114-128.
[In the following essay, Sharma discusses Naidu's poetic persona, which is assessed as "invariably objective, impersonal, or universal. "]
Sarojini Naidu is a powerful exponent of the poetic Persona in her poetic explorations. Undoubtedly, the Persona is the poetic nucleus from which her poetry originates and constitutes its chief motivating force. She (the Persona) is the light of Sarojini's life and is the centre of her existence and vision. The "I" and "Me" are not always personal and can stand for any exploring Self. The egoism of Sarojini is invariably objective, impersonal or universal. She loves to celebrate universal qualities through the seemingly personal ones. The use of the Persona helps Sarojini in the realization of the desired aesthetic distance in her poems. The object of this investigation is to trace the "evolution" of the poetic Persona in Sarojini's four major works, namely, The Golden Threshold (1905), The Bird of Time (1912), The Broken Wing (1917) and The Feather of the Dawn (1961).
The Persona in the poetry of Sarojini Naidu is neither passive nor inert. Her chief beauty lies in resenting detention in any form. As a mobile observer, she has no preplanned destination before...
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Baig, Tara Ali. Sarojini Naidu. Bombay: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1974, 175 p.
Focuses on Naidu's political career.
Dustoor, P. E. Sarojini Naidu. Mysore: Rao and Raghavan, 1961, 54 p.
Brief overview of Naidu's life and works that provides a bibliography and critical assessment.
Sengupta, Padmini. Sarojini Naidu: A Biography. Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1966, 359 p.
Biography focusing on Naidu's work as a writer and a social activist.
Prasad, Deobrata. Sarojini Naidu and Her Art of Poetry. Delhi: Capital Publishing House, 1988, 216 p.
Analyzes major themes and imagery in Naidu's poetry.
Nageswara Rao, G. Hidden Eternity: A Study of the Poetry of Sarojini Naidu. Tirupati: Sri Venkateswara University, 1986, 67 p.
Brief overview of Naidu's poetry; includes a bibliography of selected sources.
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