India My Native Land

Topics: British Empire, India, Poetry Pages: 8 (2201 words) Published: May 22, 2013

A sonnet of fourteen lines divided between three quatrains and an ending couplet, "To India My Native Land" is a song of love and deep emotion from Henry Louis Vivian Derozio to his "fallen country," India. The poem was published before Derozio's untimely death at the age of twenty-two from cholera in 1831.

The abab abcc dede ff rhyme scheme employed by Derozio is most clearly identifiable as a variation of Edmund Spenser's Amoretti rhyme scheme

Introduction to the Poem

• To India- My Native Land is one of the best known poem of Derozio.

• In This Poem, Derozio expresses his grief over the past glory of India.

• The country has lost it altogether.

• Time was in the past when the country enjoyed lot of respect and

power among the countries of the world.

• She was almost worshipped by others.

• Her greatness was accepted by all.

• But the present appears dark to poet.

• Her former glory has disappeared.

• The monster slavery had devoured everything.

• The poet want the world to know the glorious past of India through his


• In, fact the poem is full of the noble sentiment of patriotism.


• India is a country with a glorious past.

• Once upon a time, she was worshipped by others for her great power

and glory.

• She was like an eagle which is a bird with strong wings and a keen

sight, and which soars high when it flies.

• All her glory and greatness are no more.

• They have been destroyed by the chain of slavery that she is wearing.

• She lies flat, humbled and deprived of self- respect.

• Derozio is anxious to weave a garland of songs of praise for his country.

But when he finds her in her present miserable state, he can only relate

her story of her misery.

• The poet is however, very anxious to sing songs of her glory and

greatness. He is proud of her rich culture an heritage and the noble

spiritual values she up-held in the past.

• Using his poem as the vehicle, he wants to convey to the rest of the

world a true picture of his country’s former greatness.


Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was born in Calcutta [now Kolkata]. He was a teacher, a scholar, a poet and an academic. Though Derozio had very little of Indian blood in him, his upbringing in India greatly inspired in him Indian themes and sentiments. Derozio’s poetic vocation was very brief stretching forth only for about six years. Derozio, who held great promise as poet, regrettably, died untimely at the age of 23 when he was still at his bloom. He is modern India’s first poet to express his patriotism in poetry, the first to verbalise in verse the desire of the Indians for Freedom. Derozio’s poems demonstrate his eager desire to inspire the young Indians to struggle and strive for India’s independence from the clutches of the British imperialism. To India My Native Land is a typical Deroozian poem in its theme and style. The poem laments the degradation and devaluation of India because of her slavery to the British and seeks to regain India’s lost glory and reverence. The poem begins with a grief-stricken utterance My country! that reverberates throughout the poem. The poet, with a heart brimming with sorrow, grieves over the lamentable and nightmare scenario of present India. India is trodden under the British feet.  * My country!

The profound patriotic fervor of the poet finds expression in this passionate address. º       Here, the poet uses the figure of speech - Apostrophe. Apostrophe is rhetorical device that addresses things which are personified; absent people or abstract ideas. Apostrophe is often used to convey extreme emotion. These are examples of Apostrophe from Shakespeare: 

"O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die." Romeo and Juliet “O,...

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