WANDERING SINGERS BY SAROJINI NAIDU
The poem “Wandering Singers” by Sarojini Naidu is about a band of folk singers who wander from town to town and village to village to spread the message of love through their singing. The poem depicts the carefree life of contented wandering singers who have no interest in the material world. They sing and play the lute, a musical instrument, as they wander from place to place. The voice of the wind symbolises the warm tone of the song that echoes through the woods and the streets. To them, all mankind is like an extended family, and the world is their home. The wandering singers are living in harmony with everyone around them. They don’t have any personal attachments.
They believe in universal brotherhood and are therefore far above the frustrations and sorrows experienced in human relationships. The songs they sing are about the great battles they once fought, the kings and their conquests, the laughter and the beauty of women long gone. They talk about the simple pleasures and pains of life, too. The wandering singers have no hopes or dreams of their own; they go wherever their life leads them. There is no bond of love that can slow them down. They remain detached from the joys of life. The voice of the wind is the voice of their life and of their destiny. They accept life as a whole and are open to all that fate has offered them.
Questions and Answers
Q.1 Which line tells you that the singers sing as they travel?
Ans-Line which tells us that the singers sing as they travel is ‘With lutes in our hands ever-singing we roam’.
Q. 2 The wandering singers have no permanent homes and families. Do they show any sadness about it? Or do they have a different notion of family and home?
Ans. Although the wandering singers do not have any permanent home or family, they do not show any sadness about it. In the line ‘All men are our kindred, the world is our home’, the wandering singers tell us that they consider everyone their family and the whole world their home. So they feel a bond with everyone and at home anywhere and everywhere.
Q. 3 What do the wandering singers sing about? What might their listeners get from their songs in terms of –
a)knowledge b) mood
Ans The wandering singers sing about cities which were once great and famous, about the laughter and beauty of women who died long ago, old battles and kings and of different happy, simple and sad things.
a. In terms of knowledge, listeners can learn something of history and folklore from the
wandering singers’ songs, as they sing of cities, battles, women and kings from the past.
b. In terms of mood, the listeners can feel fascination, curiosity, admiration, sadness and excitement as they hear about cities that used to be grand, women who were happy and beautiful, battles that were bravely fought and kings who were great, but none of whom exist anymore.
Q. 4 Why do the wandering singers not wait anywhere? Why do they keep travelling?
Ans The wandering singers do not wait anywhere because no close ties or loving relationships make them stay on at a particular place. Their happiness is not associated with a particular place where they might want to wait. Instead, the wind, as it moves freely from one place to another, seems to call to the wandering singers to follow it. The sound of the wind feels like a voice to the singers, calling out to them to travel to one place one day and another place the next day. Their destinations keep changing, like the wind. So they keep moving from one place to another.