Don’t Cry for Me, Harp India

This poem is a very powerful piece as it calls out to those that have been impacted by the never ending grasp of colonialism. The use of the harp within the piece signifies that the country of India, as described in the poem “The Harp of India” by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, interprets that the country, which was once one of the most beautiful things that the population could enjoy has now been neglected, that it is in tatters due to the mismanagement that it had endured. The poem talks about how how many of the pleasures the harp once brought are now mere memories and that it just stands as a testament to the follies of the imperialists that had resided in India up to that point.

However, there is some semblance of hope within this powerfully poetic piece. At the end of the poem, there is a moment where the speaker, despite his melancholia getting the better of them for most of the poem, has a moment of resolve in their want to improve the country, as is described in line 12-14: “but if thy notes divine/ May be by mortal wakened once again,/ Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!” Even though the reader finds himself to be unworthy of such a task, as he mentions in line 8, he yearns for an age in which he can finally live in a space that was once the strong and proud nation that was before the colonialists had arrived.

This piece was powerful in its message about being in the face of the adversity of colonialism and imperialism that, despite the neglect inflicted upon the population and the country itself, the people strive to claim back their country in any which way, which is exemplified by even just the poem itself.

Alejandro Joseph Serrano

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Cry for Me, Harp India

  1. Your blog post is well written and it’s articulated well. One of my main critiques, however, would be the lack of specificity. I felt as if the thesis was a bit vague and is not phrased as best as it could have been. Overall, the poem was well analyzed but could have had more textual evidence and I suggest explaining the title more. I’m assuming its a reference to “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.” Though, I still believe you did a good job.

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  2. The main idea of this post is that “The Harp of India” illustrates how India is being destroyed by England. The argument is that the negative imagery in the poem reflects the state of India at the time, but that the final lines of the poem show that there is yet hope for establishing the glory of India once again. The most interesting idea presented here is the relation between the harp and the enjoyments of India. Rather than alluding to the freedom of the Indian people, the author chooses to interpret the harp as the culture of the country. This argument would be made stronger with more quotes to hold it up, as there is only one cited in the post.

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  3. I appreciated the author’s connection with the harp to the state of India by England colonialism because I addressed this perspective, too. The argument for the imagery as a representation of India and the hopeful tone in the conclusion is the most compelling point. A piece of advice would be to use close reading of textual evidence.

    – Hongxi Su

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