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

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"To India -- My Native Land" is an address to India itself by poet Henry Louis Vivian Derozio. Derozio was of Portuguese-Indian descent, but he considered himself strongly Indian, and the themes of this poem are nationalistic. In it, the poet laments the fact that India has fallen under British rule, which he sees as having left it "grovelling in the lowly dust." Derozio compares the "misery" of this fallen state unfavorably to the "wrecks sublime" of India's former great deeds in its "days of glory past."

The overriding themes of this poem, then, are the misery of the subjugated and the loss of glory and independence. The word "glory" is repeated in the poem, emphasizing how great India once was, when "a beauteous halo" encircled it and it was "worshipped as a deity." He states that the country's "eagle pinion is chained down at last." There is very much a sense that something once deserving of reverence has been "chained" like an animal. The "ages" past are now "wrecks," no longer visible to human eye except in "fragments." In being chained in this way, India has fallen from its grace, and Derozio is eager to ensure that those glory days are not completely forgotten.

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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.

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