Derozio’s Sonnets

Topics: Poetry, India, Kolkata Pages: 1 (362 words) Published: August 6, 2011
[Herny Louis Vivian Derozio was born on 18th April, 1809 in Calcutta, died on 26th December, 1831 and was buried in the Park Street Cemetery. His father was Portuguese and mother English. Thus he had no Indian blood in him. But he was born and brought up in India, he taught Indian students in an Indian college and the themes and sentiments of his poetry are purely Indian. So Derozio is, undoubtedly, an Indo-Anglian poet. During his brief but exciting life of twenty-three years he was a clerk, teacher, poet, journalist, free-thinker and social reformer. In 1828 he became an Assistant Master in the Hindu College, Calcutta. However, in 1831 he had to resign the job against accusation by the management that his teaching and influence had corrupted the young minds and that he was a rebel and an atheist. Eight months later, Derozio died.

Derozio wrote lyrics, narrative poems, ballads and sonnets. The present article is an appreciative study of his sonnets though there are references to his other poems also.]
The most well-known among Derozio’s sonnets is the one addressed to the pupils of the Hindu College. Derozio was an Assistant Master of English Literature and History in the Hindu College, Calcutta, from 1828 to 1831. During this brief but eventful period, Derozio acquired such ascendancy over the minds of his pupils that not only in matters academic but also in private concerns they sought his help and advice. Derozio fostered in them a taste for literature and arts and also awakened them against the evils of superstition and prudery. He asked them to pursue knowledge and seek diligently after truth. He was deeply devoted to his pupils and they, in turn, admired him as their friend, philosopher and guide. In “To the Pupils of Hindu College” the young teacher-poet expresses his abiding affection and concern for his pupils, those “young flowers” whose minds are opening “to the freshening April showers of early knowledge,” He urges them to assimilate the “new...
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