Village Song By Sarojini Naidu- Detailed Summary
About The Poet
Sarojini Naidu is known as the Nightingale of India. Her poetry is a reflection of Indian culture and ideology. Her style of writing is direct and is rich in imagery. She was also a political activist and was the first woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress. She was actively involved in India’s struggle for freedom from British rule.
Brief Summary of the Poem
The poem ‘Village Song’ is in the first person and narrates a young village girl’s thoughts and fears as she is on her way back home, after filling her pitchers with water. The evening has set in and soon it will be night. She is scared at the prospect of walking home all alone in the dark, carrying her heavy load. She is also worried about what her family members might be thinking about her delay in reaching home. She seeks God’s protection in reaching home safely.
Analysis of the Poem:
The poem begins in the first person with a girl saying that her water pitchers are full and she has to carry the water to her home, which is far away. She has a long way to walk and is alone without anyone accompanying her. She had gone to the river side to fetch water. She questions herself on why she got tempted to stay back and listen to the boatmen’s song. This has delayed her trip back home with the water. Even today, many women in rural India have to walk a long distance to fetch water for their households.
It’s almost night time. She can hear the sound of birds and wonders if it is the call of the white crane or the cry of the wild owl.
It is a dark night and there is no moonlight to light the way for her. She ponders the possibility of being bitten by a serpent or an evil spirit striking her with a blow. She calls upon her god and says that she would die if it were to happen so.
Lines 12- 15:
She is concerned about how her family members may react when she does not reach home on time. Her brother might think about why she is taking such a long time to get back. Her mother would patiently wait and start crying worried that her daughter isn’t back yet. She would also pray that the gods bring her daughter home safely and express concern that the waters of the river Jamuna are deep.
The waters of the river Jamuna rush by swiftly. There is a simile used in lines 17 and 18, where shadows of the evening are compared to blackbirds in the sky. It implies the onset of night.
The girl worries what would happen to her if a storm were to set in. She wonders where she would hide from the strike of lightning. She prays to her god for assistance, support, and guidance.
Answers the following questions in one or two words.
1. Who is the poet of the poem “Village Song”?
Ans. Sarojini Naidu, known as the ‘Nightingale of India’ is the poet of ‘Village Song’.
2. What tempted the girl to tarry? 2017
Ans. The alluring song of the boatmen tempted the girl to stay back and listen to their song.
3. Who will smite the village girl? 2017
Ans. The village girl fears being smitten by an evil spirit.
4. What will bite the girl in the darkness?
Ans. The girl fears that a serpent would bite her in the dark.
5. What words does the speaker utter when fear overcomes her?
Ans. When fear overcomes the speaker, she utters the words, “Ram re Ram” to comfort herself.
Answers the following questions in few words.
1. What will be the mother’s reactions?
Ans. The mother will wait for her daughter patiently and weep with worry. She would pray that the gods bring her daughter safely back home, as the waters of the river Jamuna run quite deep.
2. Why will the speaker’s brother murmur?
Ans. The speaker’s brother will murmur because she has been out for a long time to fetch water. It’s night and she still has not returned. Out of concern for his sister and her delay in getting back home he would murmur, “Why doth she linger? “
3. What are the things the speaker is afraid of? 2016
Ans. In the poem, the speaker, a young village girl, is afraid of several things. She is fearful of the dark, serpents, evil spirits, storms and lightning. She is worried that serpents and evil spirits might attack her. She also wonders about where she would take shelter in case a storm broke out and there was lightning.
4. With what are ‘the shadows of the evening’ compared? 2017 2019
Ans. “The shadows of the evening” are compared to the “black birds in the sky”. They can stand for dangers or evils lurking in the way of the girl, as she makes her way home in the dark. It can also signify the anxiety and fear prevalent in the mind of the young girl. The girl is worried that the weather may change leading to a storm and she would not have a place to seek protection from the bolt of lightning, which may strike her.
5. How does the girl realize that night is approaching?
Ans. The girl realizes that night is approaching as she notices the change in the environment around her. The sun has set and the shadows of night are falling. The shadows of the evening are gathering thickly like black birds in the sky.
Answers the following questions briefly in your own words
1. What does the girl in the poem say about her mother and brother?
Ans. The girl is concerned about how her mother and brother would react on her failure to reach home in time before onset of night. She thinks that her brother will murmur because she has been out for a long time to fetch water. It’s night and she still has not returned. Out of concern for his sister and her delay in getting back home he would murmur, “Why doth she linger? “The girl knows that her mother will be more vocal than her brother. She would wait for her daughter patiently and weep with anxiety. Her prayer would be that the gods bring her back safely. She is also concerned that the waters of the river Jamuna run quite deep and can endanger her daughter.
2. What are the birds referred to in the poem symbolized? 2019
Ans. Two birds are referred to in the poem, white crane and owl. The crane is a symbol of happiness and eternal youth. An owl symbolizes wisdom and mystery. When the girl hears the cry of the bird, she wonders if it is a crane or an owl. Normally birds settle for the night and don’t chirp till the break of day. An owl is also known as a night bird. The presence of the owl indicates that night has set in.
3. “Ram re Ram! I shall die” Why does the girl utter those words?
Ans. The girl utters these words twice, at the end of each stanza. The young village girl is on her way home, with her pitchers full of water. She had been delayed on her way back as she stood listening to the song of the boatmen. Now it is dark and almost night. The girl is scared of the dark and imagines being bitten by a serpent or being smitten by an evil spirit. She is also afraid that a storm may break out and there is no place to seek shelter from the lightning. These fears make her cry out to her god in prayer.
Give suitable answers to the following questions
4. Describe the feelings of the girl in the course of the poem. 2018
Ans. The feelings of the girl are predominantly of fear of the dark. The young village girl is on her way home, with her pitchers full of water. She had been to the riverside to fetch water and was delayed on her way back as she stood listening to the song of the boatmen. Now it is dark and almost night. There are no lights on the road and there is no moonlight either to light her way. The girl is scared of the dark and imagines being bitten by a serpent or being smitten by an evil spirit. She is also afraid that a storm may break out and there is no place to seek shelter from the lightning. These fears make her cry out to her god in prayer. Apart from fear, she is also concerned about what her mother and brother might think regarding her delay in reaching home.
5. How does Sarojini Naidu represent the form and spirit of Indian folklore in the poem “Village Song”?
Ans. In the poem ‘Village Song’, Sarojini Naidu depicts life in a small village. Even today women in many parts of the country, in rural areas, have to walk a long distance to fetch water for their households. The river Jamuna flows near the girl’s village and she goes to the side of the river to fill her pitchers with water. The boatmen’s song, that allures the girl, is an example of a folk song. Her belief in evil spirits is an example of how village folk commonly think. Indians are very concerned about their families and this is reflected in the girl worrying about the possible reactions of her mother and brother. She calls out to the Hindu God ‘Ram’ on being scared.
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My name is Santosh Kumar Sah. I am a CA-Finalist as well as a faculty at Dynamic Tutorials and Services. I reside in Tinsukia (ASSAM). I have more than 5 years of experience in teaching. I have written “Alternative English Guide Book for Class 12 -AHSEC” And ” English Guide Book For Class 12-AHSEC”.I love writing that is why i created this blog to help students by providing notes.