The poem Life by Sarojini Naidu is an advice to the children about their upcoming life. The poet tells them that though life may seem to be honey and sugar to them, it is not that easy. They will have to suffer a lot of hardships in future. The poem is a sonnet consisting of three stanzas having 5, 5, 4 lines respectively.

Life by Sarojini Naidu Poem Summary

  • Stanza 1

The poet says to children that they have not lived meaning that they are yet to experience life. It seems to them that life is a lovely stalactite of dreams. The word stalactite means a hanging. The poet says that life might seem to be hanging dream which can be achieved easily.

It may even seem to be celebrations of careless joys which spring and jump in their hearts like clouds that emerge from the flames full of gold and violet fire.

  • Stanza 2

They have not experienced life. A time will come in their lives which will be irresistible. It will make their hearts to wake from these comforting dreams and they will experience hunger and thirst i.e. they will desire for worldly things to live their life.

At such a time, they will have to struggle which will make their eye-brows burn with blood-tears. They will have to suffer a lot.

  • Stanza 3

After having faced grief and fears, and borne the conflict of dream-shattering years and wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife, they will know what life is.

The poet thus gives a glimpse of their future ahead which is quite contrary to their dream-like childhood life. Thus the poem ends with the message that life is full of hardships and one cannot escape that.

It must be noted that Sarojini Naidu took an active part in the freedom struggle of India. In this perspective, we can conclude that Naidu shares her and the other freedom fighter’s sorrowful yet hopeful experience and advises them that there are hundreds of hardship which they may also suffer in their lives ahead and hence should be ready to face them.

Her other poems like Coromandel Fishers, The Gift of India etc also reflect the same theme.

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