What is the theme of the poem "To India - My Native Land" by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio?

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The theme of the poem "To India - My Native Land" by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio is one of lamenting the loss of national greatness. The loss is the splendor of India, which to the poet, is no longer a part the country's makeup. The poet says that India's glory is in its past, at the time of his writing in the first third of the 1800s.

The poet indicates that India had, in essence, a special glow or light around it, as a halo, and that in fact, the country was looked upon as some sort of god or deity because of its regalness and splendor. However, the poet does not see this in his beloved country as of the time he was writing and he is downtrodden because of this loss of glory.

The poet is likening India, in his time, to an eagle that cannot fly with grace, power, and dignity anymore, like it once could because its wings (pinions) are chained down. To the poet, something is holding his native land down and preventing them from flourishing.

The poet further develops this theme of loss of national greatness by saying he wants to recover some artifacts of this greatness to show the world the former glory of India - to prove how fine the country really was before losing some of their national strength.