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Kamala Das

By | September 2012
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Shodh, Samiksha aur Mulyankan (International Research Journal)—ISSN-0974-2832 Vol. II, Issue-6 (Feb.09-April.09)

AGONY AND FRUSTRATION IN THE POETRY OF KAMALA DAS
* Dr. Bhosale B. S.
The poetry of Kamala Das has the unique place in Indian poetry in English particularly written by women poets. She has developed the feminine poetic sensibility. There is an expression of her personal and public experiences in her poetry. The ideas, which she has expressed in her poems and in her autobiography, My Story, appear to be similar. She has written a great deal of inward - looking or ‘confessional poetry’. Her poetry is confessional because therein she has revealed her secret thoughts and feelings. Whatever she has disclosed about herself does not carry any sense of guilt or shame. Disclosure makes her feel easy. In her autobiography, My Story, she says, “I wanted to empty myself of all the secrets” (Das, Kamala, 1988: Preface). She doesn’t like to hide anything. She would like to disclose all her secrets. She feels happy by confessing her secret thoughts and feelings. The opening poem of the first volume of poetry, Summer in Calcutta (1965), is The Dance of the Eunuchs which sets the tone and temper of all the poems of this volume. “‘The Dance of the Eunuchs’ is a poem that successfully delineates the contrast between the superficial joy and the inner depravity. The eunuchs become the objective correlative of suppressed desires” (Datta, Vandana: 1995-96:20). Actually she would like to present her inner feelings of frustration through the dance of the eunuchs. “ ‘The Dance of Eunuchs’ objectifies through an external, familiar situation the poet’s strangled desire within … judgment of the sterile, unfulfilled, eunuchlike desires of the woman within the poet”(Kohli, Devindra, 1968:4). It was the summer season in which Kamala Das was looking at the dance of the eunuchs in Calcutta. The eunuch is incapable of performing the sexual act, therefore, of producing a...
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