Men That Keep Attention: Life and Contribution of Toru Dutt: First Indian English Poet Extensively to Use Indian Myths

Born in 1856 in a well-known westernized family in Kolkata, Toru Dutt has the advantage of good education and happy family environment. When Trou is six, the entire family embraces Christianity. Luckily, in Taru’s care, the conversion to Christianity is neither violent nor does it result in an automatic rejection to Hindu Culture. Read More Men That Keep Attention  Indeed, Toru may be reedited with being the first Indian English poet extensively to use Indian myths. Occasionally, her Christianity does surface in her renderings, but by and large, it is as a sympathetic insertion Indian Culture that she writes. Toru mainly writes in English and French. H.A.L Fisher writes,"this did of the green valley of the Ganges have by sheer force of native genius earned for herself the right to be enrolled in the great fellowship of English poets.”

Toru Dutt is known to us by her book, The Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan which contains the tragus lotion of ancient myths in to the late 19th century Indian English. Read More Men That Keep Attention Though these are not poems to or about contemporary India as Derozio does, they do attempt to validate present by supplying its past. Again, a complex dynamics of self formation is evident in these poems. Those which are part of ‘Ithaca’, ‘Purina’ and ‘smite’ are difficult to add lyrical grace and a compact story line. Read More Indian English But Toru Dutt has successive in doing so. The politics of these poems is proto nationalist in that they help construct a modern Indian identity in terms of a contumely with its past. The past is revived, repackaged, even distorted, but all to serve the interest of the present. The interest of the present is, of course, to forge a new Indian identity which can withstand and resist colonial aggression.

Toru Dutt
Apart from Indian sensibility and love to mythical figures Toru Dutt is well known for her narrative skill and lyricism. Her notable narrative dexterity in characterization is seen in Savitri, Sita, Dhruva,   Ekalavya etc. Among her lyrics The Tree of Life, Lotus, Our Casuarinas tree etc are par excellent. These are also vivid for their poetic imagery. They are visual-auditory. She chooses the perfect word, the perfect imagery it needs.

Read More Indian English Being born artist, she has an eye for the beauty and grandeur of Nature.  Her natural scenes the depiction of love, Maya: virtue of fate is great autistic skill. At her age how naturedly she says:     “Love at first signet as poets sing, is then no fiction? Heaven above Is whiteness, That the heart is king Finds often like a lighting flash;”

Apart from English her French renderings are A sheaf Gleaned in French Fields, Le journal de Mademoiselle d’Avers and an unfinished Bianca or The Young Spanish Maiden.This unfinished English romantic novel is set in England. Read More Indian English It is believed that Taru Dutt couldn’t finish this novel because it was autobiographical and mirrored the turbulence of her young life and that she was critiquing people close to her in it. Critics have felt it a great pity that the novel is incomplete because as K.S. Ramamurti puts it,  if the novel had been completed, it would have given  us not only the first good Indian novel in English  but a beautiful model for the Indian writers  of English fiction.

Toru Dutt, like Derozio, unfortunately also dies young: moreover, she dies of that disease, consumption, which climes so many precocious and talented artists and poets in the 19th century. Read More Men That Keep Attention Has she lived longer, there is novella what heights of literary achievement she would have scaled. Her writings still inspire, illumine and stimulate us. She is the greatest glory in Indian English writing. Rightly she says, “I long to pour immortal lays Great paeans of perennial truth.”

Ref: 1The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature
      2. Microsoft Students’ Encarta


  1. effective discussion.I have wholly gone through the content.We'll be greatly pleased to have more discussions on important Indo-English authors.Thanks

  2. sir do you take any coaching for net,thank you for all the refined and well reasearched material.


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