Indian Weavers Summary
‘Indian Weavers’ is a short but beautiful poem, consisting of three stanzas. The flow of language is full of rhythm and word images. The weavers are busy weaving clothes in different colours throughout the day. Each colour, as well as the timing of the day, symbolises different occasions in one’s life.
In the morning, they weave a bright blue coloured cloth for a newborn baby symbolising birth and happiness. During the day, they weave a bright coloured purple and green cloth for the marriage veil of a queen signifying life’s celebrations. Finally, at night, they weave a white coloured cloth for the shroud of a dead body signifying death.
1. People of different communities usually wear or gift different colours of clothes on different occasions.
2. Colours symbolise different feelings, moods and ideas, e.g. red colour symbolises romantic mood or love and danger.
3. Different times of the day represent different stages of life – morning represents childhood, evening youth and night death, or end of life.
In poetry different literary devices like Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Alliteration, etc. are used to make the expression more effective.
In this poem ‘Simile, Imagery and symbolism’ have been used.
Simile: In a simile, a comparison is made between two different objects which have some common points.
A simile is generally introduced by the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.
1. Blue as the wings of halcyon wild.
2. Bright like the plumes of a peacock.
Imagery: The suggestion of a clear mental picture or image by the use of words is called imagery. It is a suggestive word picture.
A poet can create or suggest beautiful sight-effects and sound-effects by means of words.
‘Weavers weaving at the break of day’
The above expression suggests two images-early morning and weavers weaving cloth.
Symbolism: Poets and writers often use objects or colours or different words to denote an idea. In this poem, the different times of the day and colours of fabric are conveying the idea of a life cycle such as :
Morning: Birth, happiness and hope
Evening: Celebration of life during the youth and middle age.
Night: Represents death
Analysis of Indian Weavers
The poem ‘Indian Weavers’ is developed in three stanzas, in which the first stanza has eight lines, with the rhyming scheme of aa, bb, cc, dd and second stanza have, four-line with the rhyming scheme of ee, ff.
Naidu portrays the Indian weavers while working. As the poem opens weavers are shown to be weaving, at the break of day, beautiful garment of blue colour for a newborn child. The weavers are weaving, in night time, an attractive garment in purple and green colour like the plumes of a peacock, for the marriage veil of a Queen.
Now in the moonlight night, a weaver’s attitude is changed, as they are calm and serious, weaving the cloth of white colours like feather and cloud, for the funeral function of a dead man. The present poem ‘Indian Weavers’ expresses a major theme of human being’s life cycle in a philosophic manner. It begins with a happy or jolly tone and describes childhood with its happy days. The second stage of human life is expressed through marriage which suggests the youth as the golden time of life, enjoyable and attractive.
The last stage of human life is the old age of person which ends at death and is serious. Thus the poem expresses a universal philosophy of human life which starts from birth and ends at death. Another theme is about the life or works of weavers. It is their fate that from morning to night they have to work, though there is happiness, enjoy seriousness around. In the poem, Naidu has used various images and symbols. Naidu has used birds as an image to show different stages of a human being. As in the beginning, she describes the wing of a falcon bird related to the happiness of early childhood. The plumes of peacock are referred to the joy of youth, while a feather, which is of no use when it detaches from wing of bird signifies the old age leading to death. Colour imagery is used to refer the various emotions as the blue colour is referred to happiness, green colour is referred to joy and white colour is referred to serious mood.
The search for Indian identity is continued further in the poem. The weavers tradition was a part of social life of India. But due to industrialization, it was losing its colour and strength. Naidu through her poetic discourse has recreated this folk tradition with great reverence.
Weavers constitute the part of the Economic structure of the rural India and after industrialization was launched by the British, this Indian tradition was on the verge of dying. Naidu rightly captures the spirit of this Indian tradition so it naturally manifests in her poem.
Prof. C.D. Narasimhaiah (1969:22) is highly impressed by the poem, “the poet here is in full possession of rare gifts – a profound awareness of her own tradition admirable poise, economy and an ear, eye for striking rhythm, image and symbol, all used to fine advantage to make the poem most evocative.”
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