The Harp of India

Colonization is a continuous theme that reoccurs around the world and India going through colonization was another issue that occurred within the poem “The Harp of India” by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio. The first line poses the question “Why hang’st thou lonely on yon withered bough?” The question describes a harp as “withered” something that has been untouched for days and has slowly become dilapidated.

Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;

Thy music once was sweet – who hears it now?

It just shows that there was once this idealistic tone that made the music sound like a beauty. The beauty that was before the arrival of others who wanted to take control of them. They started to feel as if lost by the oppressor and stopped practicing their ideals. It kind of highlights the importance of culture before the arrival of the oppressor. They have their ideals that many people find foreign and different.

Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;

Thy music once was sweet – who hears it now?

Why doth the breeze sigh over thee in vain?

Their culture has been lost and all they can do is adapt to the ways that the settler have brought up to them in order to assimilate. There is nothing left to do but allow themselves to go and strip their identities into that which others are forcing them into. They will become like the oppressor in the sense that they are no longer who they said they were.

Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain;

Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,

Like ruined monument on desert plain:

The “neglected” and “mute” help to highlight the stop the Indian people were unable to regain their lost identity. Instead they are being slowly trained and kept away from the truth that they told themselves. They were saved and transitioned into that type of salvation however they knew they were being brought to ruin. They were starting to become nothing but shells of the things they are trying to contain.

-Alexis Blanco

 

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One thought on “The Harp of India

  1. I think the most original part of this post was the idea of lost identity becoming a source of identity. I think as an improvement I would like to see more about the shells of what they were trying not to be, which you mentioned in the last sentence. What does that mean?

    Like

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