I would like to have a brief summary on Sarojini Naidu's poem "The Soul's Prayer"

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this poem, the narrator enters into a dialogue with God, asking God in the first stanza to reveal to her the laws of life and death. At this point, the narrator is young, asking "in childhood's pride." In the second and third stanzas, she continues her requests, seeking mystical knowledge and asking that she not be spared whatever pain it takes to attain it. She is willing to embrace both "bliss" and "grief." 

In the last four stanzas, the Lord responds sternly and quietly, saying he will answer her prayer. The narrator will experience "rapture and despair." He tells her she will "drink deep" of love, joy, and fame, but also of a pain that will burn away the "dross," or worthless parts, of her soul. In the sixth stanza he tells her that by the time she is through, she will desire peace. Finally, in the last stanza, he reveals to her that he is the light of life and that death is his shadow: in other words, he is in all things. 

It is hard not to read the poem biographically. Naidu herself experienced joy, love, and fame as a leader of the Indian liberation movement, but also the deep pain of imprisonment and watching the suffering of her people in their struggles. Throughout her entire struggle, it is easy to imagine her learning to value peace. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As the title suggests, the poet's idea is a discussion between the speaker and God about the nature of existence, questions that would be most likely offered during a prayer.  The speaker is searching for "the inmost laws of life and death," seeking answers to questions that strike at the heart of living and consciousness. The answers received from the divine force reveal the nature of suffering, love, and pain.  The poem concludes with a belief that life and death are interlinked between one another, reflecting eachother.  The imagery featured in the responses such as " love burn like a fire" and "pain cleanse like a flame" suggests that interlinked pain and joy within being.