This week’s female poet is from India.
Kamala Surayya / Suraiyya also known as Kamala Das was a major Indian English poet. Even though she was born in an aristocratic family and was educated, Kamala went thru an arranged marriage at the age of 15. Madhavikutty – “the child-wife of Madhava,” her pen name, started publishing stories at the early age and used her pen name to avoid family conflicts. Around that time, she also started writing poems in English.
Kamala Das spoke up about racism, sexuality, and women’s rights in India. The Descendants is one of her most famous poetry books.
I am a million, million people
Talking all at once, with voices
Raised in clamour, like maids
I am a million, million deaths
Pox-clustered, each a drying seed
Someday to be shed, to grow for
Someone else, a memory.
I am a million, million births
Flushed with triumphant blood, each a growing
Thing that thrusts its long-nailed hands
To scar the hollow air.
I am a million, million silences
Strung like crystal beads
Onto someone else’s
Indeed, there are lots of great female poets in India. Let us know your favorite one.
Source image: My Poetic Side