In the poem In The Bazaars Of Hyderabad, the poet Sarojini Naidu says:

What do you chant, O magicians?
Spells for aeons to come.

Here aeons likely refers to eternal ages and the magicians are likely chanting such spells for the eternity of their visitors.

But I can't understand the significance of the reference to the magicians in the poem.

Can anyone help me with this question?

  • 4
    What makes you think they have any special significance? They are just another set of people you can see on the street / bazaars of Hyderabad, like "merchants", "vendors", "maidens", "pedlars", "goldsmiths", "fruitmen", "musicians" and "flower-girls". Why are you singling out "magicians" as if it's something special? Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 4:16

3 Answers 3


This line is right before the final stanza of the poem. The poem ends:

What do you chant, O magicians?
Spells for the aeons to come.

What do you weave, O ye flower-girls?
With tassels of azure and red?
Crowns for the brow of a bridegroom,
Chaplets to garland his bed,
Sheets of white blossoms new-garnered
To perfume the sleep of the dead.

The last stanza, by mentioning the bed of a bridegroom, and immediately following it by mentioning sheets "to perfume the sleep of the dead," conveys the message that life is short. (Even though the flower-girls are not in fact weaving the chaplets and the sheets for the same person.) This message is further emphasized by the phrase "aeons to come" immediately before this stanza.


Please note: It becomes difficult to predict what exact situation the poet might be referring to since I did not find any authentic source. However, I have compiled the various possibilities and scenarios the poetess might be referring to from this source. Hope it helps.

  1. The poetess's birth city is Hyderabad and as an emotional touch, she has also scribbled a few other poems that describe the Hyderabad of her time. (For example, 'NightFall in the city of Hyderabad'). So, at her time, there can actually be magicians demonstrating various magic tricks to kids in the markets of Hyderabad whose scene was described in the poem, along with others like 'merchants', 'vendors', 'maiden' etc. According to this article published in European Academic Research (vol. 1):

    She had observed minutely the lives of the humble folks of her country and appreciated in her poetry their participation in humble activities of day to day life. Sarojini Naidu painted beautiful picture of various occupations that were prevalent during her time.

    Therefore, in this poem too, she described Magicians as another set of prevailing occupation in her city.

  2. Another deeper meaning of signifying Magicians is best described in here:

    Emotional moods are stirred by the poet, when Naidu makes the readers feel that the bazaar life also witnesses both sorrows and joys. Wedding and festival occasions brings joy in the Bazaar’s life when people buy jewelry, garlands, fruits and children crowding near the magicians. The sorrow and sadness is witnessed when common public kitchens are arranged when the nobles or soldiers die and when flower girls are seen weaving masses of white flowers to be used for the dead people’s grave

  • Let me know how can I improve the answer and what lacked in here..all downvoters :) Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 3:04
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    Your first point is nice, but IMO the second one should be expanded a little more. Wikipedia isn't really a good source, as anyone can edit it; you should either look at the citations for that Wikipedia article (if any are relevant), find more reliable or academic sources for the point(s) you're making, or write out an argument in your own words to support them. That said, I haven't downvoted your answer :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 14:32
  • Okay Noted :) (y) Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 2:31

The poem to me, a genius, I read this and to me it is very clearly and I mean clearly, a what is life about, what is life's meaning poem.

It starts with a beginning, identifying perhaps being born rich is better and moving through potential phases of meaning in ones life, do we finally reach our gold, do we then settle on our laurels and enjoy life, then we die. It identifies that your whole life could be considered and contained in a bazaar.

By putting the magicians so late in the poem, since she see's them as a young girl, means she is wondering if her life is almost over, is there only a get married and die phase for her now.

It is an existential poem that you all missed, every reader of this, or the meaningless meanderings of a simple child's mind, but I choose the former.

  • 1
    Hi and welcome to Literature Stack Exchange. You make several claims about the poem (especially that it's about the meaning of life) without backing that up with reference to the text. Since you say that every reader missed that it is an existential poem, it is important that you provide arguments based on the text.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 11:33

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