British Imperialism In John Leyden's Ode To An Indian Gold Coin

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The richness and strangeness of India had something in store for all the Britishers who resided in India during the Raj. It induced an experience of sublime vertigo in the colonizing minds, an intellectual challenge for the learned and a unique stimulus to the Britishers possessing a literary bent of mind. During this period many Britishers represented India in varied genres. Many British men and women represented India in their poems. This research project has incisively illustrated that colonial British-Indian poets represented India in multiple ways in their poems. They extensively represented spiritual aspects of India, socio-cultural milieu of India and Britishers’ life in India using varied poetic forms and devices.
This study has established
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As argued by Homi K. Bhabha in The Location of the Culture that India by turns appalled and fascinated the Britishers hence surfacing their ambivalent and hybrid identities, it is found that a few colonial British-Indian poets kept jostling between their emotional involvement with India and their ideological commitments to the British Empire. John Leyden’s “Ode to an Indian Gold Coin” presents that he lived in a constant contradiction between British imperialism and his yearning for India. Rudyard Kipling, popularly known as “the bard of Empire” (Sullivan 9), though longed for England at times but he felt at home in India or no where else. This ambivalence is pertinent in some of his poems such as “In Springtime,” “In Partibus” and “The Ballad of East and West” e.g. in “The Ballad of East and West,” he begins by stating “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,/ Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgement seat;” but then immediately adds “But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,/ When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!”
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