The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers

The Old Woman

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers: The poem "The Bird of Time" is also from the book. It's a poetry that's full of empathy. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers As the title suggests, the poem is about an elderly woman who was once a wife and mother but has now been forced to begging on the street due to her circumstances. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers The poem's second stanza is notable for its harsh realism and is often regarded as Naidu's most realistic stanza.

Each stanza of the poem contains fourteen lines. Naidu's usage of Arabic in the poem also serves as an excellent example of code mixing. The poem's main foot is Anapest.

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers: Comparing the old woman in this poem to the dancers in the previous poem might be instructive. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers What is striking in this comparison is that the old woman is very sharply portrayed while the dancers are hazy and blurred.

Indian Dancers

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers: This poem is from Naidu's poetry book The Golden Threshold, and it is characterised by an excess of rich and overripe imagery. The poem generates a hypnotic atmosphere and conjures up pictures of a lack of sharpness and clarity.

The poem's major foot is the anapest, which consists of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers An iamb begins each line. Each line has an additional weak tension at the end. The poem's words imply a dancer's physical exertion, and the poet provides a type of break in between beats of four feet to help the dancer overcome this exertion.

The poem creates image after image and still when the poem ends we do not have a very clear picture of dancers. What is get is an impression, an experience but clear picture. The reason for this is that the poem, as has been mentioned, offers lack of clarity for the mood is entranced. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers The idea behind the poem is to create a sense of super sensuality and to blur the boundaries between senses. Words such as ‘ravished’, ‘rapture’, ‘celestially panting’, and ‘passionate bosoms’, create a sense of excess.

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers: Many might consider the aesthetic that informs the poem as escapist or decadent for the reason that poem does not focus on the labour, sorrow, sweat, and degradation of the dancers. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers The poem offers a loss of subjectivity and invites us to experience the sensuality of the dancers into the “voluptuous watches of the night”. The poet warns us against the facile and dismissive judgement by depicting the dancers with excess. It seems that the poet is aware of what she was doing. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers The poet urges her dancers to retain their dignity and not be transformed into a living ghost. This perspective allows us to look at her poetry as a resistance against colonialism and modernity.

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers

The Indian Dancers shows her mastery of ever complex and long metrical structures which are apparent. She has not attempted much in blank verse or in the sonnet form as yet. But, her poems exhibit a marvellous melody and rhythmical grace, and cling to the mind long after they are read. Further, there are beautiful usages of phrase and imaginative temperament that make her illuminate by a single flash of epithet, a world of new ideas and feelings and unfamiliar relations between familiar things and spiritual meanings and joys in facts which convey no messages to ordinary ears.

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers: Sarojini is a poet of extreme lyrical sensibility. She has an eye for the most delicate aspects of beauty, an ear for the music of life and nature and a superb sense of rhythm, rhyme and cadence. The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers She scatters memorable phrases over a page like stars and was so filled with rhythm and romance of life that lyrics sang in her mind and overflowed from her exotic and passionate nature into song. By the use of jewelled phrases and epithets she could throw open a new world of experience and feelings. The ornate adjectives, dreamy similies and liquid phrases enhance the romantic unearthliness of her themes. 

The Old Woman’ and Indian Dancers: This poem is full of compassion. The poem tells us about an old woman, as is clear from the very title, who once was a wife and a mother, but now has been reduced to beg on the street by her extreme circumstances. In the second stanza of the poem Naidu presents the reality of the world to such an extent that it can be said to be the most realistic stanza ever written by Naidu.

There are 14 lines in the each stanza of the poem. Here Naidu also presents a fine example of code mixing through her use of Arabic in the poem. Anapest is the dominant foot in the poem.

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