A Critical Appreciation of To the Moon by Henry Derozio

    Henry Derozio is the first acknowledged poet among the Indo-Anglican poets. He had a tremendous influence from David Drummand at an early age. His poems have an affinity with the English romantic poets in their love for nature. He has also treated the theme of love, patriotism and transitions of life. The Derozio’s poems are often lyrical and have a personal tone. His poetry is rich in Indian myths, imagery and sentiments. He yokes together the English romantic spirit and the Indian myth. One can also notice melancholic strain pervading all his poems.

       Derozio’s “To the Moon” is in the form of a Petrarchan sonnet. The octave (first 8 lines) presents a picture of the moon wandering lonely through the wide sky in a melancholic spirit. The sestet (last six lines) answers the question of the poet regarding the sadness of the moon. The poet imagines the moon wanders lonely on the night sky with “grief upon her cheeks”. He wonders whether the moon is sad because of a sense of guilt at having done a dark deed. He also assumes that the moon is sad because her hopeful dreams have been shattered but the poet realizes that the moon is only sensitive to fret and fever (sorrow) of the human world. The spiritual illness of the earth has indeed touched the heart of the moon. The poet concludes that the sorrow that “inundate this world” have affected the moon and made her “pale with sympathy”.

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