Critical appreciation of the poem: If You Call Me.

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      Popularly known as the nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu is the most lyrical women poet. She once described herself as a wild force thing of the air like the birds with a songs heart. This self-portrait reveals her essential temperament and lyrical gifts. Spontaneity and naturalness of manners give her poetry a distant bird like quality and melodic beauty. Her lyrics are remarkable for their lucidity of diction, liquidity of movement splendour of simplicity and emotional intensity. They are the poetic cry of joy and sorrow fervour and exultation love and beauty. She deals with love as one of the major theme in her poetry.

      If You Call Me is a short poem describing the intense feeling of love and the beloveds full hearted devotion to her lover.

"If You Call Me I will come swifter o my love

Then a trembling forest deer

Or a painting Dove."


Popularly known as the nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu is the most lyrical women poet.
Sarojini Naidu


      The simplicity of the verse you in harmony with earnestness that resides in the heart. Her response in reply to her lovers call will be instantaneous. She will come swifter than deer, faster than the fastest dove perhaps even swifter than a snake attract by a charmer. In different circumstances the comparison would have stopped here, but here we have a beloved who who suffers from separation no less than Shree Radhe herself. Hence her desire for union is something many times swifter than the swiftest thing on the earth:

"If You Call Me I will come

Swifter then desire,

Swifter than the lightning's feet

Shod with plumes of fire."

      The metrical pattern of alternate trimeter and tetrameter give the poem the easy movement of English rhyme and an overall impression pop song like quality.

      In the conventional Hindu way of life human love is a purely personal emotion not usually expressed freely and frankly. But Sarojini Naidu seems to be aware of the wonderful love would which the mediaeval devotional poets had created through their immortal verse. In poems like If You Call Me there is a fusion of the devotional vaishnavi poetry of sufism of Radha's devotion for Krishna and of Khyam and Rumis glorification of the self negating emotion. It is this fusion that make Sarojini Naidu her upon the self-negating response of the beloved at the lovers call:

"Life dark tides mein roll between

Or death chasms divide

If You Call Me I will come

Fearless what betide."

      In other words we do not find in her poetry the neo-modernist, indulgence in sex nor any Freudian subtle anatomization. Further there may be little of intellectual companionship too, but her vision of love is coloured by Indian tradition of self sacrifice and total surrender in love. As prof A.A Ansari has observed in her love poetry something seems to be precipitated out of the depth of her being which she is unable to suppress or resist. It is the quality of down-night sincerity and deep. Does the poem If You Call Me is a spontaneous expression of the speakers innermost thoughts and feelings. This spontaneity is combined with verbal felicity and the richness of response to sensation of every kind. Though Sarojini Naidu has been criticized for many hyperbolic excesses, it remains no less to that her similes and metaphors pictorial blocks of imaginative perceptions and a new way of organised emotion. Sarojini Naidu is a poet of the romantic Georgian tradition and she should be judged with reference to that tradition and not with reference to the work of such modern poets as Eliot, Auden and others.

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