Joseph Winters Mrs. Hesse 4 January 2016 Cornerstone English IV Poetry Explication Sarojini Naidu’s poem “Life” is an address to children who may not yet have the maturity to understand the poem’s meaning. The author relates life to images of fleetingness, painting an image of the child as content and still blissfully immune to many of the conflicts and trials that define life. At the beginning of the poem, the speaker makes the poem’s main claim that children have not yet lived. To children, she argues, life is still a wonderment, filled with myriad pleasures and surprises. She uses metaphor to relate life to a “lovely stalactite of dreams” and then to a “carnival of careless joys.” The descriptive languages she uses in relating these metaphors creates in the readers mind a dazzling, insouciant setting in which children reside. She doesn’t yet mention the blindness of this state of being, but her use of the word “seems” in the first line implies that this world of beauty in which children reside is only illusory. In this stanza, the poet uses rhyme to add interest and flow to the poem. “Seems” rhymes with “dreams” and “leap” rhymes with “deep,” starting an AABBC rhyme scheme (the scheme ends with C because “amethyst” doesn’t rhyme with any of the previous lines’ endings). A metaphor carries the message of the stanza beginning with the second line, “Life is a lovely stalactite…” and continuing to the end of the stanza. The author also establishes the poem’s form
as decasyllabic: each line consists of ten syllables. This form continues throughout the entirety of the poem, uniting many of its disparate themes.
- Fall '16
- Poetry, Stanza, Sarojini Naidu