Sarojini Naidu


Sarojini Naidu, also known as The Nightingale of India, was a child prodigy who began writing poems at the age of 12. She was an activist for Indian Independence, and also a poet.

Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu 

Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925.  In 1947, she also became the first Indian woman to become the Governor of a state, United Provinces and Agra. She was a great patriot, politician, orator and administrator.

Here is a poem by her for you to read and enjoy:

The Cradle Song

From groves of spice,
O’er fields of rice,
Athwart the lotus-stream,
I bring for you,
Aglint with dew
A little lovely dream.

Sweet, shut your eyes,
The wild fire-flies
Dance through the fairy neem;
From the poppy-bole
For you I stole
A little lovely dream.

Dear eyes, good-night,
In golden light
The stars around you gleam;
On you I press
With soft caress
A little lovely dream.

Word Meanings:

  • athwart – across
  • aglint – shining
  • fire-flies – flying insects that emit light at night
  • poppy – a flower, the extract of which makes you sleepy
  • bole – stem

Literary Appreciation:

  1. Note the title – who is the speaker ‘I’ here?
  2. Who is ‘you’?
  3. On what occasion is this poem recited?
  4. What is the setting of this poem – rural (village) or urban (city)?

I hope you enjoyed the poem. If you study literature, you may come across other poems by Sarojini Naidu.

Leave your answers to the four questions above in Comments.

Principal

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35 responses to “Sarojini Naidu

  1. Ans1. I think that ‘I’ is a mother who wants her infant to sleep during night and hence she recites the poem as a lullaby

    Ans2. ‘You’ is the kid in the poem.

    Ans3. It is night and hence the mother wants her child to sleep.

    Ans4. I suppose that it is a village because of the lines ‘from groves of spice over fields of rice’. This kind of scene is more prevelent in rural areas.

    Thank you ma’am for posting I liked this post very much and I m really very eagerly waiting for your next post.

    And wow ma’am your childhood was very good.

    • Good answers. Eshaan, it was my holidays (once annually) that you admire. My childhood was in Kolkata, metro city, all noise, smoke and some nice things as well. I am posting once every day. You will have to keep up with me!

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  4. Reapected mam,
    Ans 4.] Mam, it is in a rural area , because the situation described is very natural. And in urban areas we can’t have such situation , only rural areas can have.
    Mam, others are yet to be found by me, they are too difficult

    • You know, Palak, when I was a child, I would go from Kolkata to visit my grandparents in Jorhat. From electric lights and modern flat to lamps and lanterns, food cooked on wood fires, mud floors and thatched roof, the sound of my grandmother’s weaving loom, my aunt’s ghost stories to all the cousins huddled under one quilt inside the mosquito net, fire-flies in the garden, jackals howling in the distance – it was a magic world, that you are deprived of. Did your grandmother sing you to sleep with loris?

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  10. 1. “I” here is the mother.
    2. “You” in the poem is a kid
    3. The poem is recited when it is night. “Sweet, shut your eyes,
    The wild fire-flies” Fire flies are seen in the dark .
    4. Its set in a rural area(village). The lines are correctly mentioned by Dhruv.
    Ma’am the poem is good and also appeals the reader. Waiting for the next post…

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  17. Ans1. I think that ‘I’ is a mother who wants her infant to sleep during night and hence she recites the poem as a lullaby

    Ans2. ‘You’ is the infant.

    Ans3. It is night and hence the mother wants her child to sleep.

    Ans4. I suppose that it is a village because of the lines ‘from groves of spice over fields of rice’. This kind of scene is more prevelent in rural areas.

    It is a lovely Poem!

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