Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Lotus

Love came to Flora asking for a flower
That would of flowers be undisputed queen,
The lily and the rose, long long had been
Rivals for that high honour. Bards of power
Had sung their claims. "The rose can never tower
Like the pale lily with her Juno mien" -
"But is the lily lovelier?" Thus between
Flower fractions rang the strife in Psyche's bower.
"Give me a flower delicious as the rose
And stately as the lily in her pride"-
"But of what colour?"- "Rose red," Love first chose,
Then prayed, - "No, lily-white, - or both provide";
And Flora gave the lotus, "rose red" dyed
And "lily white," queenliest flower that blows

By Toru Dutt (1856-1877)

We did this poem in MA-I ....remembered it recently, though I don't quite know why...what I love about the poem then and now, is its sheer simplicity. You'd hardly believe there was a nationalistic strain lying beneath it - oft I wonder if we make too much of the poet's intention. Should we tear apart every literary work to discover the "subverted text" that lies hidden beneath layers? Or simply appreciate the work for what it seems to for art's sake?


Paddy said...

I Love Toru Dutt...She seemed to have mastered something that deeply echoes within me.Even in real life her death was tragically due to consumption....

One mystery though is that I cannot find a poem which has a melcancholy tone about three kids getting around their mom for a bedtime story where she zooms out of the picture and asks the question "Will this ever be the same again?"..I feel emotionally tied to this "mystery" poem because my sis and bro are around Navi Mumbai whereas my parents are out in Hyd'Bad.
Tch Tch....

Paddy said...

BTW for more poems of hers visit

krishna said...

This poem faintly resembles the political situation of karnataka..... BJP reumes power after a long time

varsha said...

i love toru dutt .............poem the lotus it shows invention lotus from lilly and rose silently gives the idea of lotus which lie as the national flower for india.............hats off to toru dutt

varsha said...
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ali said...

it is lovely poem which is full of simplicity.