Naidu suggests that all kinds of clothes are made by the weavers of the Indian subcontinent. They make the soft and comfortable clothes that are suitable for the delicate bodies of new-born babies. They also make heavy and colourful clothes that are worn during happy and auspicious occasions such as a wedding. They even make the final cloth that adorns man’s body at his funeral. Hence the weavers are very versatile and highly skilled in their profession. However, they are not paid well. In fact, they are reeling in poverty. Hence they must work from dawn till nightfall to get one square meal per day. And the greatest tragedy is that they cannot afford the very clothes that they make, and hence they cannot experience the fruits of their own labour.
Each of the three stanzas in the poem follows the same simple rhyme scheme – AABB. However, the simplicity and sing-song rhythm of this rhyme scheme forms a contrast with the actual content of the poem, which is quite serious and solemn.
Apostrophe: This rhetorical device is used when a poet addresses his or her poem to an absent audience. In this poem, the poet uses the device of apostrophe in the second line of every stanza when he asks the weavers why they weave such beautiful garments. The weavers are neither in front of her as she’s writing the poem, nor in front of readers as we’re reading it.
Simile: This rhetorical device is used when an overt comparison is made between two different things. In this poem, the poet uses the device of simile in the third line of every stanza when he compares the colour of the clothes made by the weavers with the wings of a halcyon, with the feathers of a peacock, and with a cloud.
By telling her readers about the plight of the weavers employed in the Indian subcontinent, Naidu is making an indirect appeal to give them a better life. Higher wages and more respect are what they deserve, and the poet firmly...