Sarojini Naidu was a child prodigy, Indian independence activist, and a poet. On the occasion of Naidu's birth anniversary today, let us tell you that she played a pivotal role during the Civil Disobedience movement. She also faced arrest in 1942 during the "Quit India" movement. Post-Independence, Naidu served as the first Governor of the United Provinces from 1947 to 1949 and also contributed to the drafting of the Indian constitution. Sarojini Naidu suffered a heart attack and died on March 2, 1949, at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
Some of her literary works include The Bird of Time: Songs of Life, Death and the Spring, The Broken Wing: Songs of Love, Death and the Spring, Muhammad Jinnah: An Ambassador of Unity, Feast of Youth, The Magic Tree and The Wizard Mask. Other than this, mentioned below are three of her best poems. Read on to find out!
The Gift of India
Is there ought you need that my hands withhold,
Rich gifts of raiment or grain or gold?
Lo ! I have flung to the East and the West
Priceless treasures torn from my breast,
And yielded the sons of my stricken womb
To the drum-beats of the duty, the sabers of doom
The Poet To Death
TARRY a while, O Death, I cannot die
While yet my sweet life burgeons with its spring;
Fair is my youth, and rich the echoing boughs
Where dhadikulas sing.
Tarry a while, O Death, I cannot die
With all my blossoming hopes unharvested,
My joys ungarnered, all my songs unsung,
And all my tears unshed.
Tarry a while, till I am satisfied
Of love and grief, of earth and altering sky;
Till all my human hungers are fulfilled,
O Death, I cannot die!
O YOUTH, sweet comrade Youth, wouldst thou be gone?
Long have we dwelt together, thou and I;
Together drunk of many an alien dawn,
And plucked the fruit of many an alien sky.
Ah, fickle friend, must I, who yesterday
Dreamed forwards to long, undimmed ecstasy,
Henceforward dream, because thou wilt not stay,
Backward to transient pleasure and to thee?
I give thee back thy false, ephemeral vow;
But, O beloved comrade, ere we part,
Upon my mournful eyelids and my brow
Kiss me who hold thine image in my heart.
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