Kamala Das's Poetry

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The mists of silence that have enveloped women and their predicament for centuries are gradually getting cleared away with the winds of time and change. With time women have started realizing that they too are human beings who deserve to live with respect and dignity. They have realized that they cannot live just as appendages to men. Change can very clearly be perceived in terms of the identity of a woman. The identity of a woman which had very deliberately been relegated to the margin of the social fabric since times immemorial now rises in self realization and asserts its rightful place. Women’s Writing, till recent had no place in the literary canon. Critics had been conditioned to receive women’s literary output as that written by the…show more content…
This half-English, half-Indian’ poetic and literary language is now recognized and admired world wide, but in 1965 Kamala Das has to justify herself in using the English language as the medium of her poetry. Kamala Das (b. 1934) stands first in the terrain of post-colonial women poets as she literally mapped out their linguistic, social, as well as emotional credo. The lines quoted above from Das’s poem “An Introduction” are her manifesto and speaks for all of them. It we turn back the pages of the history of Indian women writing poetry in English we come to a halt at Toru Dutt. It was Toru Dutt (1856 - 77) who pioneered the Indian women’s English Literary tradition. Her work depicts archetypes of Indian womanhood such as Sita and Savitri, showing women in suffering, self –sacrificing roles, reinforcing conventional myths in a patriotic manner. Sarojini Naidu (1879 – 1949) was also a distinguished poet, famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India). Naidu’s poetry is lyrical and musical using many types of meter and rhyme and filled with rich imagery. Edmund Gosse remarked about her poetry as “skillful in form, correct in grammar, and blameless in sentiment”, he also felt they were western in feeling and in imagery. One finds in Naidu’s poetry the tone of a bright, tender – hearted, Victorian girl influenced by Tennyson, Shelly, and Elizabeth Barrel Browning. Her poetry deals with life and death, separation and longing, and the mystery of life, all important themes for poetry. There is much rhetorical gesturing, much longing for an ideal past or an ideal
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