Bangle Seller

a poem by Sarojini Naidu


“The Bangle Sellers” is about a group of bangle sellers going to the temple fair to sell their bangles. They describe the bangles vividly and urge the passers-by to buy their wares. The bangles also double as a way to explore womanhood and in particular, the transition of a girl into a woman. It talks about the way society treats women and reduces them to the roles of a daughter, a wife, or a mother. A woman has no other role in society.

My Takeaway

employs irony, draws attention to the blatant sexism of patriarchy, how the bangle sellers are selling an illusion, an illusion we buy because we want to believe it too.

first introduces iridescent bangles

then, silver and blue maidenhood/virginity yellow, orange, red wifehood, consummation, marriage, lively purple, gold, grey wisdom, maturity, age, completing ‘duty’

Rainbow-tinted circles of light

For happy daughters and happy wives their position is always in relation to men

Some are meet for a maiden’s wrist, maidenhood; same stanza has many references to a flower (buds, bloom, leaves). Innocence, ‘purity’, and virginity

bangles represent a woman’s life and each color or type of bangle represents each stage of an Indian woman’s life, from puberty to midlife.


sunlit  flame of her marriage fire  hue of heart’s desire bridal laughter and bridal tear

cradled fair sons serves her household worships the gods at her husband’s side

The women are described as
either happy ‘daughters’ or ‘wives.’ fit into boxes made by society poem is ironic

blue and silver (mountain mist), shades of pink (flower yet to blossom) is maidenhood and purity

yellow hope during bridal reds and oranges (flame) passion, consummation wifehood

purple and gold maturity, pride, royalty grey maturity and old age motherhood


The patriarchal ideology lurks beneath the poem’s surface. The women are described as either happy ‘daughters’ or ‘wives.’ Every phase she passes is referred to by a man in her life, father, husband, sons. The women in this poem are fit into boxes that limit their existence to being an object of patriarchy, a mere possession. The poet writes how the society views women. patriarchy

About Author

Sarojini Naidu born in 1879 Indian political activist and poet.

Was an important figure in Indian’s struggle for independence from colonial rule.

Mahatma Gandhi gave her the title “The Nightingale of India”, or “Bharat Kokila” because of the colour, imagery and lyrical quality of her poetry.

Part of the Indian Freedom movement, and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Appointed as the president of the Indian National Congress in 1925. Later, the Governor of the United Provinces in 1947 becoming the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India