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Sarojini Naidu as Lyrical Poet 

Sarojini Naidu as Lyrical Poet 

Sarojini Naidu as Lyrical Poet 

This article will cover answer to the following questions.

Write a brief essay on the lyric quality or the poetry of Sarojini Naidu.

“Sarojini has been hailed as the Nightingale of Indian song.” Do you agree with this statement ? Give a reasoned reply.

Write an illustrated note on Sarojini Naidu’s handling of the lyric form in English.


Sarojini Naidu is the greatest lyric poet of pre-independence era in Indo-Anglian poetry. Her poetry is marked by intense lyric quality. The great combined Indian themes and perfect melody which have produced wonderful lyric poetry. In this connection the observation of V. N. Bhushan is worthy of consideration. He says “M. Naidu is almost the first Indo — English singer to have wide reputation both here and abroa: And that is because of two prominent characteristics of her poetry. She is first and foremost a melodist of high order – using nothing but winged words and making even ordinary words sound musical by placing them in peculiar context. Combined with this is the pure Indian complexion of her poetry. It was this lyric quality that earned her the title of the Nightingale of India.

Sensuous Quality of Sarojini’s Lyrics-

The lyric of Sarojini Naidu are simple direct and sensuous. Her lyrics touch the very elemental beings in us. Her lyrics have a unique charm and grace because she does not try to convey any message or philosophy through her exquisite lyrics. Sarojini’s aim in the writing of these lyrics had been simple to please. Her fancy is delicate and melody haunting. After the publication of the Golden Thresh-Old she wrote to Arthur Symons that she sang as birds do and that her songs were ephemeral. To this Arthur Symons replied “It is for this bird like quality of song. It seems to that (her song ) are to be valued. They hint. In a sort of delicate evasive way at a rare temperament the temperament of a woman of the East, finding expression through a western language, and partly under western influences. They do not express the whole of that temperament but they express I think its essence and there is an eastern magic in them.

Sarojini incapable of sustained narrative poetry

Sarojini Naidu knew that her genius was not for sustained narrative poetic effort: it was essentially, lyrical. And it must be remembered that all poetic impulse is basically Lyrical. Her poems are therefore short outbursts of emotional exuberance. In this connection the words of K.K. Mehrotra are worthy of consideration the range of Mrs. Naidu’s poetry is limited she covers a restricted field but within that field she is flawless. No deep emotional conflict or spiritual upheaval is the inspiring motive of her poetry. She does not propound or unhold any particular theory or creed. Her heart id touched by the sights around her and her imagination links the experience with the before and the after and the result is perfect lyricism. There is a haunting sense of the days gone by of vanished kings, cultures times and the immediate experience is transformed into something rich tender and sweet. Her work consists of short poems the rendering of single waves of emotion in forms attractive and abiding the momentary thrills of the soul. The tingling of the nerves. The rapturous glow of feeling are the very substance  out of which lyrics are created, and no Indian woman has written so many and such perfect songs of Indian as Mrs Naidu”

Some Significant Lyrics of Sarojini-

Although most of the poems written by Sarojini Naidu are short lyrics. Yet some of them have become very famous and have been again and again anthologized. Some of the more famous of these are ‘Palanquin bearers’, Guerdon “The Festival of Memory “The Buddha Seated on a lotus and Bells ‘Palanquin Bearers’ is a short sweet lyric of just twelve lines, but these have a haunting melody. As the bearers carry the palanquin a soft music leaps up :

Lightly O lightly we bear her along,

She sways like a flower in the wind of our song,

She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream.

She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream.

Gaily, o gaily we glide and we sing,

We bear her along like a pearl on tring

In the same manner the poem Guerdon which will always remain a classic song. Has a tilting music, which is enchanting:

To field and forest

The gift of the spring,

To hawk and to heron

The pride of their wing:

Her grace to the panther,

Her tints to the dove…

For me, o my master,

The rapture of love!


In the end we can quote Narsingh Srivastava who commenting upon the lyric intensity of Sarojini Naidu remarked “Sarojini is most at home in lyries of soft feelings of love and dreamy longings. Her poetry as William Walsh has remarked, blends in the true nineties ways the sweet. The fluent, and the hectic although one cannot subscribe to his view that it is a poetry of emotional tuberculosis. it is true that it is the authenticity of feeling and not of diction that appeals to the readers of her poetry yet there is no excess of emotion”.

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