Kamala Surayya / Suraiyya formerly known as Kamala Das , (also known as Kamala Madhavikutty, pen name was Madhavikutty) was a major Indian English poet and littérateur and at the same time a leading Malayalam author from Kerala, India. Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her oeuvre in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the fiery poems and explicit autobiography.
Her open and honest treatment of female sexuality, free from any sense of guilt, infused her writing with power, but also marked her as an iconoclast in her generation. On 31 May 2009, aged 75, she died at a hospital in Pune, but has earned ... more »
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Kamala Das Poems
I don't know politics but I know the names Of those in power, and can repeat them like Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
The Looking Glass
Getting a man to love you is easy Only be honest about your wants as Woman. Stand nude before the glass with him
Summer in Calcutta
What is this drink but The April sun, squeezed Like an orange in My glass? I sip the
My Grandmother's House
There is a house now far away where once I received love……. That woman died, The house withdrew into silence, snakes moved Among books, I was then too young
O what does the burning mouth Of sun, burning in today's, Sky, remind me….oh, yes, his Mouth, and….his limbs like pale and
The Old Playhouse
You planned to tame a swallow, to hold her In the long summer of your love so that she would forget Not the raw seasons alone, and the homes left behind, but Also her nature, the urge to fly, and the endless
Bereft of soul My body shall be bare. Bereft of body My soul shall be bare.
He talks, turning a sun-stained Cheek to me, his mouth, a dark Cavern, where stalactites of Uneven teeth gleam, his right
A Losing Battle
How can my love hold him when the other Flaunts a gaudy lust and is lioness
The Sunshine Cat
They did this to her, the men who know her, the man She loved, who loved her not enough, being selfish And a coward, the husband who neither loved nor Used her, but was a ruthless watcher, and the band
This love older than I by myriad Saddened centuries was once a prayer In his bones that made them grow in years of Adolescence to this favored height; yes,
The Dance of the Eunuchs
It was hot, so hot, before the eunuchs came To dance, wide skirts going round and round, cymbals Richly clashing, and anklets jingling, jingling Jingling... Beneath the fiery gulmohur, with
Of late I have begun to feel a hunger To take in with greed, like a forest fire that Consumes and with each killing gains a wilder,
All round me are words, and words and words, They grow on me like leaves, they never Seem to stop their slow growing
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
I don't know politics but I know the names
Of those in power, and can repeat them like
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
I amIndian, very brown, born inMalabar,
I speak three languages, write in
Two, dream in one.
Don't write in English, they said, English is
Not your mother-tongue. Why not leave
Me alone, critics, friends, visiting cousins,
Every one of you? Why not let me speak in
Any language I like? The language I speak,
Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses
All mine, mine alone.
It is half English, halfIndian, funny ...