To Madam Naidu

By Shamik Banerjee
Women’s History Month Poetry Winner

From archives of Indian poetry,
Your Palanquin, sweet accent to me bore,
of strong-led womanhood, Your verse taught me,
of such august life I knew not before.
Valorous daughter of my motherland,
Your enthronement, had all diverseness eased,
Your governance- the first feminine stand,
had women from their impoundment released.
Whether the Dandi March or prison cell,
or repression the British did compel,
none could forfare Your orped Nightangle’s flight,
nor diminish Your literature’s light,
of which, history is enough to tell,
and hearts of your worshippers where you dwell.

About the poem: This Sonnet is dedicated to Sarojini Naidu who was a poet and a freedom fighter during the British rule in India. She was the first female ever to have been elected the governor of a state. She was an upfront feminist and had taken all measures to break the servitude women were oppressed by. She was the chief person to abolish societal differences that existed between different
genders, castes, creeds and other divisions.She had written numerous poems and due to her achievements in the field of lyric poetry, she had earned the sobriquet ‘The Nightingale of India’. One of her very renowned poems, The Palanquin Bearers, has been referenced in this sonnet. She had actively participated in the Salt March (the Dandi March) due to which, had faced incarceration by the British. She had received the fellowship of Royal Society of Literature and had her work published in many journals and famous publications of that period. She is not only observed as the eminence of English Poetry in India but also as a key revolutions of the feminist movement in India and a devoted freedom fighter.

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