Awake Poem by Sarojini Naidu

Waken, O mother! thy children implore thee,
Who kneel in thy presence to serve and adore thee!
The night is aflush with a dream of the morrow,
Why still dost thou sleep in thy bondage of sorrow?
Awaken and sever the woes that enthral us,
And hallow our hands for the triumphs that call us!

Are we not thine, O Belov’d, to inherit
The manifold pride and power of thy spirit?
Ne’er shall we fail thee, forsake thee or falter,
Whose hearts are thy home, and thy shield and thine altar.
Lo! we would thrill the high stars with thy story,
And set thee again in the forefront of glory.
Hindus: Mother! the flowers of our worship have crowned thee!
Parsis: Mother! the flame of our hope shall surround thee!
Mussulmans: Mother! the sword of our love shall defend thee!
Christians: Mother! the song of our faith shall attend thee!
All Creeds: Shall not our dauntless devotion avail thee?
Harken! O Queen and O goddess, we hail thee!

Summary Of Awake Poem

“Awake” is a patriotic lyric. It is the last poem in the first section of The Broken Wing entitled songs of Life and Death” It is dedicated to Mohammed Ali Jinnah is a trusted friend of Sarojini Naidu. It was recited at the Indian National Congress, Bombay 1915. In it, the worshippers of all Indian religions are brought together to the altar of mother India to hail her as a “queen” and a “goddess”. It conveys the idea that mother India could be awakened from her slumber and emancipated from her bondage by the united efforts of all her sons. To get Independence from the British yoke Indians must forget their religious and communal differences and rise like one against the British tyranny. It is a call for unity and action.
In the first stanza, the poetess speaks on behalf of the Children at India who implore her to awake from her sleep and who worship her and are ready to serve her. She must heed their prayer. The dark night of slavery is now about to end and its darkness is already bright with the hope of freedom “would she still continue to slumber in her bondage of sorrow?” asks the poetess in deep anguish. She must how awake and cut the chains of slavery which cause so much grief to her children their hands by her blessings so that their holy cause may triumph. They are the true children of their beloved Bharat Mata, and they have inherited her own pride and her own moral and spiritual courage. They will never fail to protect her they will never desert her, and they will ever sing the story of her greatness and glory, and by their united efforts make her great and glorious once again, such as the dedication of her children and she must respond to their call.
In the next four lines which follow the followers of different Indian religions assure her that they would serve her with devotion to the best of their ability. The Hindus assure her that they will always worship her as they have been doing so far, the Parsees assure her that the fire of hope which burns in their hearts will be dedicated to her service, the Musalmans assure her that they would defend her with “the sword of their loved”, and the Christians assure her that they will wait upon her with all that faith which they have in Jesus and Marry.
In the last two lines, having assured her separately of their devotion and service the followers of all the different religions call upon their great mother, their queen and their goddess to listen to their prayer and awake from her present slumber. Their fearless united and devoted efforts shall certainly be sufficient to free her from her present bondage.
The lyric is a soul-stirring call for unity and action. It came from the heart of the poetess and so goes straight to the heart of her readers Commenting on it P.V. Rajyalakshmi writes, “In Awake, a patriotic prayer and anthem dedicated to Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Sarojini extends the Vande Mataram” motif towards a point of universality wherein the Hindu, Parsee, Muslim and Christian faiths are urged to pay their united homage to the universal mother. She thus manipulated the folk concept of fusion to counter the historical necessity of cultural fission in contemporary Indian personality.

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