Saturday, November 7, 2009
An Unsung sacrifice...... A reading of Thomas Campbell's LORD ULLIN 'S DAUGHTER
The poem LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER by Campbell is taught an d read or taught to be read as a tragic ballad of a couple who meet death in the raging sea due to an uncomp romising father who disapproves their rela tionship. His realisatio n cost of his daughter 's life.The focus in rea ding this poem has al ways been seen to be on two areas-one,the loss of life of the inno cent girl and her lover,the consequent sympathy for them and the indignation towards authority;tw o,the realisation of a father who fails to be human and the coloss al loss he incurs.The poem starts when the chieftain with his beloved request the boatman to take them over the stormy sea to escape from Lord Ullin and his men. The girl says, "I'll meet the rag ing of the skies,but not an angry father". The boatman takes th em despite the inclem ent weather but peris h in the middle of the stormy sea.Lord Ullin reaches the shore wit h his men but finds hi s daughter calling for help and drowning in the sea.He forgives he r but realises it is too late.Over and again re peating these two are as in the discussion of the poem, a grave inju stice is done by overlo oking the sacrifice of the boatman who pur ely on humane ground s braves to help the couple.Knowing well about the stormy wea ther and the waves,he keeps his life at stake to aid the couple to th eir destination."It's no t for your silver bright but for your winsome lady".His words vividl y reveal his altruistic concern.At the end of the poem the pitiable plight of the girl and h er lover is highlighted and there is no menti on of the boatman!ho w sad!His sacrifice is no small! Love or love rs in literature and fil ms have always been portrayed keeping it/t hem as the centre rele gating everything else to the periphery.The same pattern is repea ted here too.It is the duty of the readers to read a literary piece from the periphery to o to unravel hidden and unseen perspectiv es which alone can make literature a mea ningful and refreshing experience.Forgetting the boatman after rea ching the other shore is not only an injustice in a piece of art but it reflects a cultural han dicap of ingratitude.