Celebrate Mother's Day With The Works Of 5 Outstanding Indian Poets

Celebrate Mother's Day With The Works Of 5 Outstanding Indian Poets
L: Europeana R: Craftsman Character Encyclopedia Volume 6 - Visual Arts

A mother's love for her child is the purest emotion to ever exist. It is unconditional and beyond the confines of logic. Its the kind of love that moves mountains and parts the sea into two. And what better way to express this limitless and divine love than through the passionate and sensitive medium of poetry? Today, on Mother's Day, we have hand-picked five poems by Indian poets, exploring the notion of motherhood through diverse expressions:

Sarojini Naidu
Sarojini NaiduEuropeana

I. Cradle Song by Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu, famously known as the Nightingale of India, was an eminent freedom fighter and poet. This poem composed by her is a gentle lullaby that is sung by a mother to send her child to sleep. She uses several beautiful imageries to help the child visualize them and ultimately lull him to the tranquil world of dreams.

From groves of spice,

O'er fields of rice,

Athwart the lotus - stream,

I bring for you,

A glint with dew

A little lovely dream.

Sweet, shut your eyes,

The wild fire - flies

Dance through the fairy neem;

From the poppy - bole

For you I stole

A little lovely dream.

Dear eyes, good - night,

In golden light

The stars around you gleam;

On you I press

With soft caress

A little lovely dream.

Kamala Das
Kamala DasAJ&VG

II. My Mother at Sixty-Six by Kamala Das

Kamala Das's poems are known for their originality, versatility and the indigenous flavour of the soil. She is a sensitive writer who captures the complex subtleties of human relationships in lyrical idiom. This poem is a wonderful example of her style. In this poem, Das is at the airport, on the verge of separation from her beloved aging mother, not knowing if she'll meet her again.

​Driving from my parent’s

home to Cochin last Friday

morning, I saw my mother,

beside me,

doze, open mouthed, her face

ashen like that

of a corpse and realised with pain

that she was as old as she

looked but soon

put that thought away, and

looked out at Young

Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling

out of their homes, but after the airport’s

security check, standing a few yards

away, I looked again at her, wan, pale

as a late winter’s moon and felt that old

familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,

but all I said was, see you soon, Amma,

all I did was smile and smile and


Gieve Patel
Gieve PatelCraftsman Character Encyclopedia Volume 6 - Visual Arts

III. Catholic Mother by Gieve Patel

In this poem, Mumbai's beloved poet Gieve Patel captures a primal situation of helplessness that a mother undergoes when her child is ill. A mother would fight the world for her child but when it comes to illnesses, it is beyond her control. This poem artfully captures a mother's heart-wrenching feeling in a hospital setting.

She’s the youngest of three,' you said,

She's always been so: sickly',

And you smiled; the child

Responded but turned shyly away.

We were all three

Barely perturbed.

And so you were trustful,

Open, not alien to objects,

Touching cups, bottles,

Her hair,

Shared by the sunlight

That was breaking over the weeds,

And peaceful

That your child was breathing in

The quiet afternoon dazzle.

But then when it struck,

When her eyes began

To paper, and drugs

Were ineffective,

The room recoiled

And I saw you become

Private, before relations

Could come

To join into your pain.

I can see that your people

Have more right to you now than I,

Aunts and uncles will be closer,

But before I let you leave, pious woman,

Your weeping soft,


From what perverseness

Do I appose for you

Your simple original trust

Before the present horror?

Celebrate Mother's Day With The Works Of 5 Outstanding Indian Poets
A Poet, Playwright, Painter & Physician: The Legacy Of Mumbai's Very Own Gieve Patel
Sujata Bhatt
Sujata BhattWordPress

IV. 29 April 1989 by Sujata Bhatt

Raising a child requires tremendous labor on the mother's part leaving little to no leisure time to unwind by herself. In this poem, eminent Indian poet Sujata Bhatt explores a particular rainy day when she gets some rare alone time after her three-month-old baby falls asleep. The poet’s thoughts and actions are conveyed through simple and lucid language, creating a vivid sensory experience.

She’s three-months-old now,

asleep at last for the afternoon.

I’ve got some time to myself again

but I don’t know what to do.

Outside everything is greyish green and soggy

with endless Bremen-Spring drizzle.

I make a large pot of Assam tea

and search through the books

in my room, shift through my papers.

I’m not looking for anything, really,

just touching my favourite books.

I don’t even know what I’m thinking,

but there’s a rich round fullness

in the air

like living inside Beethoven’s piano

on a day when he was

particularly energetic.

Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath TagoreFox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

V. I Cannot Remember My Mother by Rabindranath Tagore

Not everyone is blessed enough to have enjoyed the loving embrace of a mother. Rabindranath Tagore, one of the world's greatest poets, lost his mother before he was three. This poem invokes three simple and elegant images of sensation, sight and sound as the poet reminiscences about his mother.

I cannot remember my mother

only sometimes in the midst of my play

a tune seems to hover over my playthings,

the tune of some song that she used to

hum while rocking my cradle.

I cannot remember my mother

but when in the early autumn morning

the smell of the shiuli flowers floats in the air

the scent of the morning service in the temple

comes to me as the scent of my mother.

I cannot remember my mother

only when from my bedroom window I send

my eyes into the blue of the distant sky,

I feel that the stillness of

my mother's gaze on my face

has spread all over the sky.

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