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The Coromandel Fishers -- Sarojini Naidu

Guest poem sent in by Hema Manicka
(Poem #1612) The Coromandel Fishers
 Rise, brothers, rise; the wakening skies pray to the morning light,
 The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all
 Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set our catamarans free,
 To capture the leaping wealth of the tide, for we are the kings of the sea!

 No longer delay, let us hasten away in the track of the sea gull's call,
 The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrades
 What though we toss at the fall of the sun where the hand of the sea-god
 He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives.

 Sweet is the shade of the cocoanut glade, and the scent of the mango grove,
 And sweet are the sands at the full o' the moon with the sound of the voices
we love;
 But sweeter, O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild
foam's glee;
 Row, brothers, row to the edge of the verge, where the low sky mates with the
-- Sarojini Naidu
Sarojini Naidu's "The Coromandel Fishers". I came across this poem the
other day.  One of those long forgotten poems from high school. What
struck me was the lines like "the sea is our mother ...". I have lived
by the sea a long time. The sea, to me, was a friend, a loving and
giving friend. Now, just over a month, after the deadly tsunami, I am
shaken by its fury.


[Martin adds]

Though I used to be quite fond of Sarojini Naidu back in school, I haven't
explored her work in ages. Today's delightfully lyrical poem, rippling as a
wave, gliding like a gull over the water, reminded me just why I enjoyed her
work so much. Such meticulous attention to the musical sound of the words is
becoming increasingly rare nowadays - say what you will about Naidu, but
that is one thing she got absolutely right.


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JOJO said...

I recently found a typed copy of teh poem in an old art book. It is dated 1905 Delmonico's Restaurant, New York. I have contacted the HQ of Delmonico's and sent them a copy as it might be of interest to them. go to my blog

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