The Zulu Girl by Roy Campbell: Introduction

The Zulu Girl by Roy Campbell focuses on the pitiable plight of African people who are under domination and exploitation of European Civilization. It evokes the context of one particular African tribe that is "Zulu".

Roy Campbell (1901-1957)

This poem ventures to disclose a terrible plight of a South African tribal woman whose life is spent in poverty and labor. The speaker catches a sight of a girl working in a field in blistering heat, yet looking after other responsibility of nurturing children. He closely examines the activities of the poor, deprived girl and her hungry son and describes them meticulously so as to display a vivid picture of a pathetic yet glorious sight of a woman.

It develops the image of breastfeeding by comparing it with the flow of a stream and then a river into the child’s body; the mother’s image looks like a mountain, and then a cloud to the child. At the end the poet states explicitly that the energy thus transmitted will soon convert itself into a rainy and fertile of a new future for the tribe. It is a revolutionary poem that takes an ordinary situation of a young mother breastfeeding her child to meditate the suppressed energy of the African people, which the poet thinks will inevitably bring about a revolution.

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Sharma, Kedar N. "The Zulu Girl by Roy Campbell: Introduction." BachelorandMaster, 2 Dec. 2013,

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The Zulu Girl: Analysis

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