Sarojini Naidu’s Poem ‘The Sorrow of Love’ – A Functional Perspective

Prof. K. Ratna Shiela Mani OJS


I have chosen to study Sarojini Naidu’s
poem “The Sorrow of Love” from the point of view of
the functions of language. The experiential subcomponent
is identified in terms of the participants,
circumstances and processes. For example, there are
only two animate participants in the poem – the poet
and her beloved (the addressee). The beloved is the
actor who acts by way of turning his face away. This
however is not merely a physical process for it
symbolizes emotional estrangement.

As for the Interactional subcomponent, the
poem has primarily interrogative clauses with just
one declarative clause. The attitudinal functions are
also studied as expressed in the 3 stanzas, in the
process of which the summative and key words are
identified. In the textual component, functional
prominence with regards to ‘themes’ and ‘news’ is
studied. The universe of the poem is that true love is
unchangeable and admits no impediments. The thesis
is woven in 3 stanzas. Stanzas 1 & 2 question the
lover as to why he turned his face away, citing
possible reasons. Stanza 3 is significantly in the form
of a rhetorical question and asserts that even Sorrow
or Death cannot free their souls ‘from the passionate
bondage of Memory’.


Experiential; Interactional; attitudinal functions; themes and news.

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