The Earthen Goblet
by Harindranath Chattopadyaya

O silent goblet! Red from head to heel,
How did you feel
When you were being twirled
Upon the potter's wheel
Before the potter gave you to the world!

       'I felt a conscious impulse in my clay
        To break away
        From the great potter's hand
        That burned so warm,
        I felt a vast
        Feeling of sorrow to be cast
        Into my present form.

'Before that fatal hour
That saw me captive on the potter's wheel
And cast into his crimson goblet sleep,
I used to feel
The fragrant friendship of a little flower
Whose root was in my bosom buried deep.'

        'The potter has drawn out the living breath of me
        And given me a form which is death of me,
        My past unshapely natural stage was best
        With just one flower flaming through my breast.'

Harindranath Chattopadhyay was born on April 2, 1898 and died on June 23, 1990. He was an Indian English poet, an actor, and he was a member of the 1st Lok Sabha from Vijayawada constituency. He was the younger brother of Sarojini Naidu. He is famous for poems like Noon and Shaper Shaped. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1973. The memorable song Rail Daddi sung by Ashok Kumar in the film Aashirwad is his creation.

Chattopadhyay's poetry usually deals with nature and natural way of life. The poem is written as a dialogue between the poet and the goblet. He wants to know how the goblet felt when it was taken from the earth and shaped into a goblet. The answer of the goblet which forms the next three stanzas of the poem is tinged with a sense of sadness and helplessness. 
         "I felt a conscious impulse in my clay, to break away"
The goblet likes its former life with nature:
          "With just one flower flaming through my breast"
These lines evoke the warm and beautiful relationship between the goblet and the flower. The warmth of this relationship is further emphasized by the alliteration of "f" sound in:
           "Fragrant friendship"
and the alliteration in:
           "My bosom buried deep".
The poet draws a contrast between the former life of the goblet with nature.