Toru Dutt: Keats of the Indo-English Literature

Topics: Poetry, Literature, Edmund Gosse Pages: 2 (821 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Tour Dutt was born on March 4, 1856 in Bengal and she died on August 30, 1877, in the prime of her youth, at 21. She is often called the Keats of the Indo-English literature for more than one reason - her meteoric rise on and disappearance from the literary firmament, as also for the quality of her poetry. James Darmesteter pays a befitting tribute to her, "The daughter of Bengal, so admirable and so strangely gifted, Hindu by race and tradition, and an English woman by education, a French woman at heart, a poet in English, prose writer in French, who at the age of 18 made India acquainted with the poets of French herself, who blended in herself three souls and three traditions, died at the age of 21 in the full bloom of her talent and on the eve of the awakening of her genius, presents in the history of literature a phenomenon without parallel". Literary Achievements

Toru Dutt’s literary achievements lay more in her poetic works than in her prose writings. Her poetry is meagre, consisting of A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields and Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan. But she "compels attention" as KRS Iyengar puts it. Her poetry has sensitive descriptions, lyricism and vigour. Her only work to be published during her lifetime was A Sheaf, an unassuming volume in its overall get-up. The Examiner in its August 1876 issue published the review of her book. Edmund Gosse, the then reviewer expressed his surprise "To find Miss Toru Dutt translating, in every case into the measure of the original, no less than 166 poems, some of them no less intricate in form than perplexing in matter". He calls it an "amazing feat" and "a truly brilliant success". A review in the Friend of India says. "… the versification is generally good, and the translations, we believe, intelligent and faithful". In selecting poems for translation Toru focused attention on the Romantics of French literature, although she also included Chenier, Courier, Lamartine and a few others...
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