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London by Dorothy N. Bonarjee (1894-1933)

Some get fame and some do not, is the thing that seems to apply it here. The ladder of success is not for all. The hall of fame does not admit it all. Some get easy access and some even after being with the streaks of genius fail to make a way. It is but a matter of critics. Some get the posthumous awards, not in their lifetime, but after death and if we cite her example, it will not be an exception. What had she to get in her lifetime? She did not rather was thought to be an Indian. But there is no doubt in it she was very talented.

Her psyche was composed of several identities. She was first a Bengali Brahmin Christian from Bareilly and then one who went thereafter to Wales as for to study and her poems saw the publications in the Welsh journal. She took a degree in law from University College London. When about to return, she married a Frenchman and even after the divorce continued to live in France until her death. Bonarjee, had fame been to, she would have been one of the greatest English poetesses. But bad luck left her not.

Her name is listed in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography. She was awarded the Bardic Chair while a student in Wales. She graduated from the University of Wales in 1916 with a B.A in French too. Again, she enrolled to do her degree from University College London. A contributor to The Welsh Outlook, she wrote too frequently.

Thomas Gray rightly speaks of some endowed with the unrecognized genius of Milton, Cromwell and some more lying buried anonymously under the awkward heaps. Wildflowers too can be ravishingly beautiful. Arnold’s scholars too may be gypsies, quitting pedantry and scholasticism of the campus may opt out of an inhibition for a pastoral and free life.

London as a poem can be contrasted with Blake. Wordsworth and Manmohan’s Londons. Dorothy’s London is so packed with thought, idea, image and imagery.

People are everywhere. Lights are deep orange, yellow and staring white. Again, the sudden banks of gloom and then lights again keep us engaging and swapping positions. The rows of dazzling windows can be seen adding to the space. The thud of the uncountable feet keeps coming and moving away. This is life, pulsation of life. The carriages and cars keep passing through the ways. Can you see one going through the ways? But where are the crowds going finally? How are the snobbery and hypocrisy of the urban people? Where will it lead to finally? The city no doubt throbs with life and myriad reflections of its own, but something holds them back.

Lights deep orange, yellow, staring white
And sudden banks of gloom--- then lights again
And rows of dazzling windows, and vague flight
Of carriages, and rapid furtive cars,
And lamps that flicker past like falling stars,
And people everywhere. A deep refrain,
A solemn, never-ending undertone
And mingled with its roar, in lighter vein
The echo of incalculable feet.
To one who wanders midst the lights alone
There is a power throbbing in the street,
A beauty in the City’s painted face,
And healing in the wisdom of her eyes.
And dear to him is that great, heedless race
In shame and sorrow so forlornly wise
Whose secret good no sin can e’er efface.


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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