Analysis of the Poetry of Kamala Das

Kamala Das (penname) of Madhavakutti is a celebrated poet and distinguished author. Notable are her poems emanating from her soul and so to speak lofty as a mountain is her autobiography—My Story.
Here are her words: “Why not let me speak in any language I like? The language I speak is my mine, mine alone. It voices my joys, my longings and my hopes.”
In the poem—Dance of the Eunuchs she paints a vibrant picture of eunuchs dancing and making gay. Yet their merriment is tinged with sadness. She uses a simile to describe their limbs—‘their limbs were dry, like burnt logs from funeral pyres’.
The Freaks is a poem of melancholic lust. Kamala describes her lover using the tropes: ‘his mouth is a dark cavern where stalactites of uneven teeth gleam’. The poem talks of a failed love and catharsis of agony. She compares the heart to an empty cistern. Is passion reaching the solitude of death?
The Poem: Words echo some bizarre tropes. The tropes used are unique and flank a stiletto of music. She compares words to growing leaves. Again she paints an analogy of words to paralyzing waves. She propels words and likens it to a knife that will cut deep into veins.
The Poem: Pigeons is a poem where there is the use of personification. She describes the lanes as being fevered. Again the Sun is compared to a swollen fruit.
The Fear of the Dark uses stark and profound tropes. Desire is compared to an idle bed. Dreams thrust their paws. Are dreams that subdue the poetic mind?
The Poem Love voices a paradox, a wanting desire to express lust and at the same time a feeling of aversion for it. The poet personifies the Sun to a burning mouth. She describes pleasure to a deliberate gaiety of trumpets. She observes crows flying like poison on wings. Why does she use an ironic simile? Why does she picture an analogy of a dirge? The pathos of coming to terms with death is so poignantly portrayed. The poet uses a simile in describing how her blood turned cold like the moon. Is the poet coming to terms with her sexuality? The poet uses another simile in describing the head to being darkness into her bedroom and lay it there like a brooding dog.
The poem: The Wild Bougainvillea is picturesque with an army of tropes. The poet is filled with wanderlust and has a restless mind. She compares days passing by to mourners behind a brier. The bed is of no rest for the poet and is compared to a tossing sea. The poet yearns for lovers. The poet is fond of taking walks. The poet is fascinated by the charm of young and old faces. The poet describes walking in the night and seeing whores clamoring for prospective clients.
In the poem: Winter the poet speaks of sensual amorous love. The poet says that she loved his body without shame. The poet personifies cold winds chuckling against window panes.
In the poem relationship: the poet describes her lover who is betraying her. She describes his love as one of being in pulchritude but impure. The poet is in conflict with her body and the mind The poet compares betrayal to death.
In the Poem: An apology to Goutama the poet narrates about a Platonic love with the great Buddha.
The end of spring is an elegy. She talks of her lover calling her on the phone. Then the verses diverge to the depiction of spring. She uses a brilliant trope: a simile to describe the streets. The street outside is moist and dark like the limbs of sleeping girls. Again she describes spring to dehydrated grapes.
The poem –The Flag depicts strange connotations of the flag. Orange is personified as a fire that eats us all. The poet melancholizes the picture into a drain of doom. White in the flag stands for purity and that can never be found. Are we all sin stained people living in the abyss of the earth? Is the poet tuning into her own waywardness? The green in the flag stands for a paradise where even the poor exist. The wheel in the flag stands for a time arrested falsely. The poet uses an interesting personification.
In the poem: Loud Posters, the poet laments at her own expression of her own feelings in verse. The poet is queasy at portraying her lustful amorous nature.
In the poem: Sepia Tree there is desperation and woe in the poet’s verse. The poet laments at the folly of the human race.
In the poem early autumnal nights, the poet uses a variety of tropes. Leaves do not rest but raise themselves to perform and ugly dance. She compares autumnal nights to something that has come soon, parting with the hunger of her lips.
In the poem the Child of the factory: the poet carves a dirge. She is a child who has taken off her clothes and feels catholic and confessional.
In the Poem love, the poet is contented person. She is satisfied with the pleasures of life.
In the poem some on else’s song she compares herself to a million people talking with voices. Is she being coherent? Is her voice vulnerability in streams of consciousness? Again the poet says she is a million deaths and million births and million silences. Is she an ego maniac?
The poem—with its quiet tongue uses an array of interesting tropes. My heart is wretched like pale green mirrors. The poet is sunk in an existential delirium of angst. She talks about what a woman gains in a love affair. Passions are not a death but a sleep. The poet is in a narcissism of sexual lethargy.

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Birds

How they
Float….
An opera
In the sky…
Their wings
Now gently
Gliding as
A poem…
A heart
Is awakening
To the tune
Of love….

Lot’s Wife

In the Old Testament it was mentioned that God raged over the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their immorality and asked Lot and his wife to flee from the city as God would destroy it with fire and brimstone. Lot’s wife turned back when she was escaping and became a pillar of salt. As an idiom, Lot’s Wife means a person who turns back on his or her decisions. As I read my views keep changing and I become a Lot’s Wife.