I've been reading the poem The Pardah Nashin from the book The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:

HER life is a revolving dream
Of languid and sequestered ease;
Her girdles and her fillets gleam
Like changing fires on sunset seas;
Her raiment is like morning mist,
Shot opal, gold and amethyst.

From thieving light of eyes impure,
From coveting sun or wind's caress,
Her days are guarded and secure
Behind her carven lattices,
Like jewels in a turbaned crest,
Like secrets in a lover's breast.

But though no hand unsanctioned dares
Unveil the mysteries of her grace,
Time lifts the curtain unawares,
And Sorrow looks into her face...
Who shall prevent the subtle years,
Or shield a woman's eyes from tears?

The poem delicately and sensitively portrays the sad existence of a woman who sees the world through a kind of burkha. Lots of women live today in similar situations. I imagine it hasn't gone completely unnoticed, so I would like to know how this poem was received by both critics and the general public. What did reviewers or readers said about it?


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