Social Concerns in the poems of Kamala Das Essay

Social Concerns in the poems of Kamala Das Essay

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" He ( the poet) is responsible for humanity, even for the animals, he must see to it that his invention can be smelt, felt, heard."
( Arthur Rimbaud)

From the queen of erotica to a poetic pilgrim, the critical nexus on Kamala Das?s poetry has oscillated between opposite poles. These varied critical stances reflect that the genius of the poet refuses to be strait-jacketed into a uniform notion. In this paper, I will attempt to reveal the social issues that imbue the oeuvre of her poetry.

Kamala Das in her much discussed autobiography, My Story , pointed out: ? A poet?s raw material is not stone or clay, it is her personality.?1 In direct contradiction to Eliot?s theory of poetic creation, Mrs. Das asserts that her poetry is subjective and through it she voices forth her strains and stresses. This, however, does not imply a selfish preoccupation with the self but a melioristic vision that is shocked and disgusted at the plight of fellow mortals. Her sensitive soul is deeply affected by the maladies that lie deeply ingrained in the social matrix.

In the poem Afterwards -- no intertextuality with Hardy?s poem -- written when the poet was in her teens, she questions the notions of scientific progress that has ushered the nuclear holocaust:

? Son of my womb,
Ugly ...

... middle of paper ...


Works cited

1. Kamala Das-- My Story, DC Books, Kottayam, Aug. 2004.
2. Kamala Das-- Summer in Calcutta, DC Books, Kottayam, Nov.2004.
3. Kamala Das-- The Descendants, Writers? Workshop, Calcutta, 1991.
4. Kamala Das-- The Descendants, Writers? Workshop, Calcutta, 1991.
5. Kamala Das-- Collected Poems, Vol. I, Navkerala Printers, Trivandrum, 1984.
6. Al Harmony Vol.6, July-Sept,2005.
7. Anthony Perera-- ?Love India, love Sri Lanka?, Sunday Observer, April 29, 1984.
8. Kamala Das-- The Old Playhouse and Other Poems, Orient Longman, 1973.
9. Kamala Das-- Only the Soul Knows How to Sing, DC Books, Kottayam, 1999.
10.Kamala Das-- Only the Soul Knows How to Sing, DC Books, Kottayam, 1999.
11. Presented to the author by the poet as a manuscript.

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