Authors: Prof. K. Ratna Shiela Mani
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 sub-component 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 regard 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