Friday, June 19, 2009


I belatedly discovered the quiet passing of Kamala Das Suraiyya.

Her poems had been an influential part of my early 20s where I was a bit of a man-hater type feminist.

Perhaps, more than Adrienne Rich, Rachel Carson and Catherine McKinnon, Kamala Das had impacted my young self. The angry young woman phase that I was going through found solace in a woman from a fairly repressive culture - Kamala could boldly explore sexual longing, feminine wiles and freedom. Every word of her poetry reeked with pain and pleasure.

Of course, she has also been contradictory in her ways. In her late age, she took on the burqa which confused and infuriated people. The eloquent Huree Babu explores the Kamala Das phenomenon.

Rest in peace.

When I die
Do not throw the meat and bones away
But pile them up
Let them tell by thier smell
What life was worth
On this earth
What love was worth
In the end

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