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Our Casuarina Tree

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Autor:  Antonio  25 December 2009
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Words: 750   |   Pages: 3
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“Our Casuarina Tree” Toru Dutt: the poetess, while living abroad, is pining for the scenes of her native land and reliving the memories of her childhood. In the first part of the poem the poetess depicts the casuarina tree trailed by a creeper vine like a huge python, winding round and round with the rough trunk, sunken deep with scars. It reached to the height touching very summit near the stars. The casuarina tree stood alone unaccompanied in the compound wearing the scarf of the creeper hung with crimson cluster of flowers among the boughs occupied by the bird and hives of bees humming around. At nights the poetess garden overflowed with the sweet songs of the nestled birds while tired men take rest in its shade. The poetess recalls when the poetess at the dawn used to open the window of her room, her eyes rested upon the casuarina tree and derived a strange kind of delight. And often in the day of winter she happened to see on its crest a gray baboon sitting stunned alone like a statue. It used to wait for the sunrise and its puny kids leapt about and played on lower boughs. Early in the morning the sleepy cows were led to the pastures, and on the way they passed by a broad pond under shadowed by hoar tree, the pond was cover by overlapping and overspreading water lilies flowered like the sheet of snow. The poetess reveals why the casuarina tree was dear to her soul, it was because it she played with her sweet companion and friends whom then the cruel waves of time had scattered like the loosened leaves and she could not see them again; only the sweet memories are left behind; though they are sweet yet painful for those visionary hours can not be fetched back. The poetess grew old but the memories of the sweet moments saved in her mind are still young. The tree is dear to the poetess because it is the sole bond between her past and present, when she recalls it ,a chain of pleasant and poignant memories trains to her mind and again she tastes the flavour of her childhood, in her imagination she again transported to the golden age and hears the same cries, laughter and noise of her sweet departed playmates. And when the revived images engross the poetess, the waves of pain begin to surge and the blurring tears blind eyes of the poetess, they begin to fall in the form of molten drop of pangs. At the same time she hears the dirge-like murmur resembling the sound of the sea breaking on a shingle-beach. At that moment the poetess realizes that it is not the murmur springing up from her inner world but it is the mummer of the tree who had been left behind alone and now long for their company too. The casuarina tree is not a being devoid of emotion but it also responds love in response of love. Reality is that that poetess here becomes too engrossed and visions the tree with the pathetic fallacy. It is the point when her inner world corresponds the outer one. The casuarina tree is the symbol of her happy prime: vivacious childhood, love for the native land and permanence, it perpetuates the memories the real assets of the poetess. At the end of the poem the poetess in imagination visualizes in its shade Fear in the form of trembling Hope, Death in the from of Skeleton and Time in the form of Shadow, and they all portend something evil, perhaps the poetess with the eyes of imagination sees some impeding plights over her beloved land that may erase the bonds of her childhood or bring enormous changes in the environment devastating the cultural ties; that is why the poetess prays, “May Love defend thee from Oblivion's curse.” Language of the poem is embellished, there is dynamic flow in the rhythm, the tone of the poem melancholic, but the theme is universal that is the intense attachment to the native environment of the childhood. The poem replete with the imagery, in the last lines fear, hope, death and time have been personified all roaming under the shadow of the Casuarina Tree which refer that Casuarina is the bigger reality the fear, hope, death and time. the poem was written in the perspective of Indian environment, it has all ingredients that might make one a great work.

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