Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Poet Toru Dutt

In the year 1877, on this day, poet Toru Dutt was died. Toru Dutt was an Indian poet who wrote in English and French, and made a mark in literature in spite of her premature death. 

She remained in Calcutta till November 1869, after which, at the age of 13, she and her sister Aru traveled to France, Italy and then England by their father. She went to a school in France for the first time of her life and knew French very well during that period.
After publication of several translations and literary discussions, she published "A Sheaf Gleaned In French Fields", a volume of French poems she had translated into English, with Saptahik Sambad Press of Bhowanipore, Calcutta in 1876.

Though she loved English and French and had embraced Christianity with other members of her family, she felt drawn towards her country and it's rich heritage. She was in a hurry to put in as much work as possible to project ans interpret India's past and glorious tradition to the English-speaking world. She was proud of her Indian tradition. She was proud of India's cultural heritage, folklores, myths and legends, and it's rich classical literature. Though English by education, she was an Indian through and through. E. J. Thompson wrote about her, "Toru Dutt remains one of the most astonishing woman that ever lived fiery and unconquerable of soul. These poems are sufficient to place Toru Dutt in the small class of women who have written English verse that can stand."


"......But not because of its magnificence
Dear is the CASUARINA to my soul:
Beneath it we have played; though years 
                                            may roll,
O sweet companions, loved with love 

"And every time the music rose, - before
Mine inner vision rose a form sublime,
Thy form, O Tree, as in my happy prime
I saw thee, in my own loved native clime"

"Therefore I fain would consecrate a lay
Unto thy honor, Tree, beloved of those
Who now in blessed sleep for aye repose
Dearer than life to me, alas, were they!..."

                                   ~ Toru Dutt

        Born: 4 March 1856
        Died: 30 August 1877   

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