From the Jacket
The Lyric Spring offers for the first time an exhaustive and sensitive study of Sarojini Naidu's poetic achievement. The author presents the major themes of Mrs Naidu's poetic world and provides valuable critical explications of many individual poems, showing throughout how the poet's work is unified by a pattern of creative progression as well as an inner consistency of vision. The study clearly bring out how Mrs Naidu's delicate fancy and lyric passion are effectively controlled by her extraordinary grasp of the reality of human emotion and aspiration. By making a forceful case for revising the prevalent opinion of Mrs Naidu as a lost and forgotten poet of India, The Lyric Spring bids fair to be a major publishing event in the criticism of Indian Writing in English.
Dr (Mrs) P.V. Rajyalakshmi was born at Guntur, Andhra Pradesha, in 1942. After obtaining the Four Year Honours Degree in 1964 and the M.A. Degree in 1965 in English Language and Literature at the Andhra University, Waltair, she taught at Deogiri College, Marathwada university, Aurangabad, from 1965 to 1969. in 1969 she joined the English Department of the Andhra University Postgraduate Centre, Guntur, as a Research Fellow, pursuing her research in Indian Writing in English under the supervision of Professor D.V.K. Raghavacharyulu. She was awarded the Ph.D Degree of the Andhra University in 1974. During 1974-75 she was associated with a UGC Book Writing Project on American Literature as a Senior Research Fellow. In July 1975 she joined the English Department at the Postgraduate Centre as a Lecturer. She is currently at work on a study of the Women Writers in Indo-Anglian Literature.
Dr Rajyalakshmi is married to Dr. Venkatacharyulu who lectures in the Physics Department of the Postgraduate Centre (now the Nagarjuna University). They have two daughters and a son.
This book seeks to offer a critical profile of Sarojini Naidu's poetic achievement by making a close study of her poems from a thematic standpoint. In their present collected from, the poet's work gives the impression of many spasmodic outbursts of lyric and song compiled together without any hint of a creative progression. A presentation of the major themes in Sarojini Naidu's poetical works helps modify this impression by revealing an inner consistency of vision as well as an extraordinary grasp of the reality of human emotion and aspiration. The poet's choice of her materials and their imaginative rendering bring out her authenic affinity with the Indian vernacular tradition and her capacity to express the subtlest locutions of feeling through her 'delicate fancy.' Sarojini Naidu's poetic sensibility combines a profound awareness of her Indian inheritance with an openness of response to the Western and Islamic influences which became a part of her personality.
Although Sarojini Naidu's poetry appears to be outmoded by the prevailing fashions in literary taste in our time, it is perhaps not entirely outdated. Her example of aesthetic synthesis and creative integration has not yet been surpassed. our impatience with the luxury of nostalgia, romantic exuberance and weepy sentimentality does not confer on us the right to deny audience to a poet who does in many way represent a true voice of feeling as well as a profound sense of continuity and succession in terms of a meaningful tradition. This study attempts to investigate the patterns of value, and response to human experience implicit throughout Sarojini Naidu's works as she handles such themes as Nature, Love, Life and the Folk Spirit. It is hoped that this would enable more competent scholars to take a fresh look at Sarojini Naidu poetry, before one decides to write her off as India's lost and forgotten poet. Even in the summer of our discontent today, her lyric spring has a charm and a healing power all its own.
The author thanks Professor D.V.K. Raghavacharyulu for the invaluable guidance given to her in writing the book. She gratefully acknowledges the suggestion for improvement offered by Professors K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, William Walsh, Norman Jeffaeres and Arthur Revenscrots; She thanks the Andhra University for permitting her to use extensively the materials contained in her thesis on Sarojini Naidu. She is grateful to Shakti Malik of Abhinav Publications for sponsoring the publication of the book. Lastly, she wishes to thank her husband, Dr. P. Venkatacharyulu, for the constant, unfailing encouragemrnt with which he is supported her in preparing the work for the press.
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