The Song of Freedom

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Subramanya Bharati was a freedom fighter, free thinker and reformer. He lived only for 39 years and his life, his patriotism, passion on India nationalism and active participation in independent struggle have left an indelible impression on the hearts of Tamils. He is regarded as one of the greatest poets of India and he always considered Tamil as his mother and India as his mother nation. The poet was able to articulate in popular languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali and English. He was good at both poetry and prose. His poems awakened the freedom fire in the hearts of Tamil mass.

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Concept Map

Text of the poem

Idea of the poem

Core Meaning

Alternative interpretations

Context of the poem

About the Author

Chinnaswami Subramania Bharathi (December 11, 1882 – September 11, 1921) was an Indian writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist and social reformer from Tamil Nadu, India. Popularly known as "Mahakavi Bharathiyar", he is a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry and is considered one among the greatest of Tamil literary figures of all time. His numerous works were fiery songs kindling patriotism and nationalism during Indian Independence movement.

Born in Ettayapuram of the then Tirunelveli district (presently Tuticorin district) in 1882, Subramania Bharati had his early education in Tirunelveli and Benares and worked as a journalist with many newspapers, notable among them being the Swadesamitran and India. Bharathi was also an active member of the Indian National Congress. In 1908, an arrest warrant was issued against Bharathi by the government of British India for his revolutionary activities forcing him to flee to Pondicherry where he lived until 1918.

Bharathi's works were on varied themes covering religious, political and social aspects. Songs penned by Bharathi are widely used in Tamil films and Carnatic Music concerts.

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Transacting the text

Language appreciation

Meaning making

Pictures/ video clips are an interesting way of assisting students to comprehend a poem. A picture helps in creating a visual memory and can also help in understanding new words.


Figures of speech

A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, or personification. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetorical figure or a locution. To know more click

Additional resources

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To know more about other works of C.Subramanya Bharati, click here.


Ask the learners to write a short paragraph using the hints given below.


  • What is the poem about?
  • Which is the most striking image and why?