Critical Appreciation of The Poem Fire Hymn
Attempt a critical appreciation of Fire Hymn.
Fire has been an object of worship in many religious communities of the world. It is the subject of many hymns in the Vedas. It is inspiring to find a modem Indian poet, Keki N. Daruwala, to write a fire hymn. It certainly differs from the traditional reverential approach; but in so far as the poem records the scenes of death and destruction and touches upon personal associations it makes us note the supernatural aspect of fire.
A very important thing is the dwelling’ on the Zoroastrian belief in the divinity of fire. The poet remembers the statement of his father. Which is hardly private — it is a reiteration of communal belief. The poet as a child remains unconvinced. But as deaths in the family force him to consign the dead bodies to fire he has a personal experience of the fire’s potency. The rebellious attitude of the poet is no less significant. It cannot be the last statement; but it will certainly let him evolve a more rational view of fire in course of time.
The poem begins with the recollection of a morning walk the poet had taken with his father. They were walking by the river which had a cremation ground by its bank. The father contemplates his own end in the scenes of bones partly burnt by fire.
The man thinks that fire forgets to bum the whole body and so a few half-burnt bones can be seen lying here and there. It is the consignment of his first-born child to the Tower of Silence that fills him with acute suffering. He thinks he can hear fire mocking at his infirmity and helplessness. The poem is a rejection of death. The devotional feeling of the community is ironically treated by the poet.