The Lotus by Toru Dutt

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THE LOTUS A poem by Toru Dutt Love came to Flora asking for a flower That would of flowers be undisputed queen, The lily and the rose, long, long had been Rivals for that high honour. Bards of power Had sung their claims. "The rose can never tower Like the pale lily with her Juno mien"-- "But is the lily lovelier?" Thus between Flower-factions rang the strife in Psyche's bower. "Give me a flower delicious as the rose And stately as the lily in her pride"-- "But of what colour?"--"Rose-red," Love first chose, Then prayed,--"No, lily-white,--or, both provide;" And Flora gave the lotus, "rose-red" dyed, And "lily-white,"--the queenliest flower that blows. An Analysis of the Poem 'The…show more content…
After converting his family to Christianity, Govin took them to France and then England before returning to India in 1874. During these travels, Dutt’s writing began to develop. Although she was educated extensively in Europe, Dutt does not abandon her Indian heritage. Instead, she weaves her own culture with the English language, producing a tapestry of lyricism and imagery. Her sonnet, “The Lotus,” is just one example of this young woman’s ability. Notes; 1) As Dr. Mary Ellis Gibson notes in her recent tudy of Toru Dutt, Dutt’s father published most of her poetry after her death, but if she herself titled this poem, the appearance of “Sonnet” in the title plays an interesting role. Because she is writing in English, the declaration of the poem’s form is curious—an English audience would have recognized the poem as a sonnet without her naming it in the title. Poetically, however, the appearance works in several ways: I) it claims the form as hers, thereby making her a “bard of great power,” such as she references in the poem; II) it juxtaposes the most beautiful form of English poetry with the lotus flower itself, reinforcing its unrivaled beauty; III) it poetically expresses both the hybridity of the color of the lotus as well as that of the poet. Toru wrote “Sonnet.—The Lotus” as a Petrarchan sonnet, a form whose structure often informs its content. Petrarchan sonnets are comprised of 14 lines which are divided into an octave and

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