A Qest for the Unknown: Kamala Das as a Poet of Body and Sexual Aspirations

A Qest for the Unknown: Kamala Das as a Poet of Body and Sexual Aspirations

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Sex has been one of the most pre-dominant themes in the works of Kamala Das. Time and again she exploits this theme in delineating the relationship between her male female characters. Unlike other Indian women writers, she does not resort to oblique or indirect reference to sex or love-making, rather takes up a bold and hitherto unexploited approach towards sex. As once stated by Wordsworth that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; Kamala Das epitomizes this utterance and let loose a series of emotions which find place not only in her poetic works but also her short stories and novel.
For rendering colour and life to her expressions, Kamala Das chooses words and the language which has a uniqueness of their own. Though, for a first time reader, she may turn out to be more explicit and going little overboard in her treatment of sexual love, a careful and minute study of her works will leave her readers smitten with her charisma. When her autobiography was published in a serialised form in the newspapers, it took the prudish Kerala society by storm and created a lot of furore in the middle class social circles of the time. She was pressurised by the people around her including her father, then the Managing Director of Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi into stalling her publication but our writer was too courageous to be intimidated by these antics. She has a free and indomitable spirit which is truly bent upon asserting her own freedom and creating a considerable and substantial niche among contemporary Indo-Anglian writers.
Kamala Das mentions in her autobiography ‘My Story’, ‘A writer’s raw material is not stone or clay; it is her personali...

... middle of paper ...

...shna, she begins to address her poems to Allah. Thus, we can easily observe that throughout her life, the poet seems to be searching for the ultimate lover, the unknown, who would provide her with the ultimate bliss but time and again fails in accomplishing her goal.


Works Cited

1. Das, Kamala, My Story, New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1988.
2. Das, Kamala Das. “A Losing Battle” in Only the Soul Knows How to Sing. Kottayam: DC Books, 1996.
3. Das, Kamala. “Gino” in Old Playhouse and Other Poems. Madras: Orient Longman, 1973.
4. Das, Kamala. Padmavati, The Harlot & Other Stories. New Delhi: Sterling, 1992.
5. Das Kamala. “I Studied All Men” Love and Friendship (ed.) Khushwant Singh, New Delhi, 1973.
6. Dwivedi, A.N. Kamala Das and Her Poetry, New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 2000.
7. Kohli, Devendra. Kamala Das. New Delhi: Arnold- Heinemann, 1974.

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