The Freaks by Kamala Das

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The Freaks by Kamala Das

By | October 2010
Page 1 of 2
The Freaks
The word 'freak' has the following meanings:
1.A thing or occurrence that is markedly unusual or irregular 2.An abnormally formed organism, especially a person or animal regarded as a curiosity or monstrosity. 3.A sudden capricious turn of mind; a whim.

Here , the first

stands for the sexual act in the poem that is unnatural, simply for the reason that it is not natural(not arising out of love).

The second meaning can be attributed to the object of the act, the poetess herself, an eccentric.

The third implication is responsible for the poem itself as a whole,a sudden whim that results in the poetess' inspiration.

The man in question is described in terms of his unattractive attributes: his sun-burnt cheek,his dark mouth,the uneven teeth that gleam(implying that the person is most probably dark)etc. The poetess begins the poem with "He talks" as he is the supreme authority as in "And God said..."The act of love also has patriarchy reigning supreme. His mouth is a dark cavern of hidden egoistic secrets. The cavern is also a passage for the poetess to reach her love's heart, that she fails to achieve. The teeth hanging from the roof of his mouth appear as uneven as stalactites.The word "stalactites" denotes lack of warmth.

As they tried top pursue the goal of love, they trip over puddles of desire. Note that this is not by accident, as Kamala Das utilizes the word "Idly" .The poetess means to iterate that if the person wanted to really love her, he would have succeeded.That is, if lethargy did not come as a hindrance.

Nimble finger-tips unleash
Nothing more alive than the
Skin's lazy hungers?

He touches her with his fingertips; he touches her superficially without the feeling of affection. It is nothing more than the skin's cravings. The poetess rhetorically poses a question as to who could have helped those lovers who treaded the path of love too long enough and still failed in the blossoming of love.

The heart is...