Critical Appreciation of If You Call Me by Sarojini Naidu :
If You Call Me is a passionate love poem in which the beloved is impatiently waiting for the call of the lover. A mere call from a soul of her beloved will make her run and fly to him without caring any vastest hindrance (obstacle). She accepts that she will run to her beloved as swiftly as a mountain deer run at the call of a mate or a dove flies fast at the cooing of her companion. The metaphor of “mountain deer” and “dove” are highly romantic and sensuous suggesting a meeting of the lover and the beloved. The cooing of the dove and the running of the mountain deer and the call of her companion are the suggestion of sex symbol and of the physical nearness with each other. They also convey the idea of the inseparableness of lover and beloved. The sexual undertone is also suggested by the two adjective – trembling and panting.
Sarojini Naidu has exploited these gestures (allusion) and sounds to suggest sexual expect of the attraction between the lover and the beloved. Later, T.S. Eliot also adopted the same technique and frequently used the same gesture and sound symbols to suggest sexual undertone. The third images of a snake flying to the charmer thrall are more directly sexual. It suggests the direct attachment of charmer musical sound and micro heart of a snake. The poet says that like the creeping of a snake on the sound of charmers enthralling music of the flute, her beloved call her. She will run to him at his call fearlessly without caring for the worldly or social obstruction.
In the second stanza, the poetess used not the physical but etherial image “desire”, ” lighting”, “life’s dark tides” and “death deep chasma”, with the increase in the intensity in the desire to meet her lover the risk involved in it also become greater and intense. She is ready to meet him even at the cost of her life. She is ready to cross ” the dark tides, and death deep chasma”. If only she received the call from her lover. She is ready to face whatever may befall or betide her. Her intense desire to meet her love has a philosophical dimension too. Her desire of meeting has an element of mystic self-surrender and hence she is prepared even to cross even chasma.
Naidu’s poetry is multidimensional. She beautifully combines her romantic senses sublimity. Her poems are a found Blanding of romance mysticism and mythology. The romantic mystical and mythological are micro subtility in her poetry.
Her love song while on one hand is saturated (considerable) with romance art at the romanticism embodiment in the eternal and mythological love of Radha and Krishna. The desire of the beloved to run desperately to her lover at his call even at her life may also be interpreted as the irresistible desire of the soul to meet the eternal soul. Thus the poem is a typical example of Naidu’s unique literary art and range of feeling.