Algebra led to English Poetry (Post No.2980)

sarojini 3

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date:18 July 2016

Post No. 2980

Time uploaded in London :– 8-30 AM

( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to OR



Following piece is an interesting excerpt from a 100-year-old book written by a Muslim scholar: –


Source: Life and Labour of the People of India by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Barrister at Law, London, 1907



“In literature the women of India are specially fitted to excel. If it were permitted to dive into history, Miran Bai might be mentioned among the Hindus and Aurangazeb’s daughter, Zeb-un-Nisa, among the Muhammadans , and a great many other names besides. But to confine ourselves to modern

India, it is a singular circumstance that the only two Indian poets who have really made their name in English literature are girls. Miss Toru Dutts book, “Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindostan”, tells the tales of old India with all the charms of a woman’s style.


Mrs Sarojini Naidu is at the threshold of her career, but with her very first book she has established her reputation as an inspired singer.


Sarojini Naidu, like Pope, lisped in numbers, for the numbers came. “One day, she says, when I was eleven, I was sighing over a sum in algebra; it wouldn’t come right; but instead a whole poem came to me suddenly. I wrote it down. From that day my poetic career began”.


There are journals in India — such as Mrs Sathianathan’s  ‘Ladies Magazine’ in Madras and Mrs Mumtaz Ali’s ‘Tahzib in Niswan’ in Lahore — edited and managed by women. Mrs Sathianadhan is a Master of Arts of the Madras University. All the Indian universities admit women to degrees as freely as men, and in this respect they are certainly more advanced than the older universities”.



sarojini book

“Take the picture of a modern Indian woman of the aristocracy of intellect, as drawn by a modern English man of letters. Describing Mrs Sarojini Naidu as Mr Arthur Symons knew her before she was married, he says, “ To those who knew her in England, all the life of the tiny figure seemed to concentrate itself in the eyes; they turned towards beauty as the sunflower turns towards the sun, opening wider and wider, until one saw nothing but the eyes. She was dressed always in clinging dresses of Eastern silk, and she was so small and her long black hair hung straight down her back, you might have taken her for a child. She spoke little and in a low voice, like gentle music; and she seemed, wherever she was, to be alone.”





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