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To what extent does Sarojini Naidu’s poetry reflect the typical Indian sensibility?

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India is a huge, highly diverse country that has undergone many changes throughout its history, so many people would argue that there is no typical Indian sensibility. Sarojini Naidu was born a Brahman, or member of the highest Hindu caste, so her heritage and upbringing represented a small, elite minority. Naidu also lived most of her life during the era when India was a British colony, lived for long periods and was educated in England, and wrote her poetry in English. All of these factors contribute to making her poetry reflective of a late colonial Indian sensibility. Perhaps because she began writing poetry when she was away from her homeland, her early works are imbued with a nostalgia for ancient Indian culture and an affinity with themes from Hindu texts.

Naidu often tried to capture important elements derived from India’s past. About her first published works, Naidu wrote that her ancestors were “lovers of the forest and mountain caves.” Speaking of “a poet's craving for . . . eternal Beauty,” she conveyed her conviction that nature inspired her passion, which connects her as much with the English Romantics as within Indian poets. Nevertheless, her poems often mention specifically Indian natural features, such as particular birds and flowers.

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