Henry Louis Vivian Derozio Poems

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Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (April 10, 1809 – December 23, 1831) was an appointed teacher of the Hindu College of Calcutta and a scholar, poet and academic of Eurasian and Portuguese descent. He considered himself to be an Indian. In his poem To My Native Land he wrote: “My Country! In the days of Glory Past A beauteous halo circled round thy brow And worshipped as deity thou wast, Where is that Glory, where is that reverence now?” Son of Francis Derozio, he was born at Entally-Padmapukur in Kolkata on 10 April 1809. While a student of David Drummond's school at Dhurmotalla, he had had his first lessons in superstition-free rational thinking, apart from the good grounding in history, philosophy and English literature. Drummond was a vastly learned Scottish missionary famous for his free-thinking. He quit education at the age of 14 and initially joined his father’s concern at Kolkata and later shifted to Bhagalpur. Inspired by the scenic beauty of the banks of the River Ganges, he started writing poetry. Some of these were published in Dr. Grant's India Gazette. His critical review of a book by Emmanuel Kant attracted the attention of the intelligentsia. In 1828, he went to Kolkata with the objective of publishing a book of poems. On learning that a faculty position was vacant at the newly established Hindu College, he applied for it and was selected. Amongst his poetic creations Fakir of Jhungeera is famous. It may be recalled that Raja Ram Mohan Roy Bahadur established the Brahmo Samaj in 1828. This event produced a massive commotion and backlash within the orthodox Hindu society. Efforts began to scotch the religious revolt. It is in the perspective of this backdrop that Derozio unleashed his ideas that culminated in what was to become a social revolt.

our casuarina-tree
Like a huge Python, winding round and round
The rugged trunk, indented deep with scars
Up ... [read poem]
love came to flora asking for a flower
Love came to Flora asking for a flower
That would of flowers be undisputed queen,
... [read poem]
a sea of foliage girds our garden round
A sea of foliage girds our garden round,
But not a sea of dull unvaried green,
Sh... [read poem]
the harp of india
Why hang'st thou lonely on yon withered bough?
Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;
... [read poem]
my vocation
A waif on this earth,
Sick, ugly and small,
Contemned from my birth
And rejec... [read poem]
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