Casuarina Tree

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Dutt's use of descriptive detail in the first two stanzas help to create a uniquely Indian landscape.  Her description of the tree's trunk as a python to open the poem helps to do this in the most immediate of stages.  At the same time, the convergence of different animals around one natural element also helps to do this. There is a certain feel of the poem that brings to the light the idea that a timeless quality of the tree and the world around it possess.  I think that this is what I find the most fascinating about the poem for this might be how India could be described to the West, and given that Dutt was one of the first poets to be read by Western audiences, this could be part of her intent.

I find myself persuaded by the element of nostalgia for the past that is featured in the love of the tree in the poem. In the horrific conditions of what is and the uncertainty of what can be, I think that discovery of these objects, fossils that show a pattern of existence and evidence of life, become extremely important to finding happiness in being.  This is where I think that past time that can no longer be replicated.  It is precisely for this reason that the speaker, Toru Dutt, has nothing but love for the tree.  The tree represents a portal, a door through which some connection with a time that is vastly different from what is and what can be is experienced.  This love of something that has a transformative effect in the subjective of the individual, but nothing in the external is what I find devastatingly beautiful about the vision of the tree in the poem.  It is one in which there is a pain about the past, but only because the past was something of pure joy and bliss.  The tree is seen as a "carousel" of sorts, something that we enter and are transported within its movements to a point in time where we know what it means to love and what it feels like to be loved.  As Toru Dutt has become older, she understands how painful being in the world is without...
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