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14. The Sunshine Cat

7 December 2023

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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
Of cynics she turned to, clinging to their chests where
New hair sprouted like great-winged moths, burrowing her
Face into their smells and their young lusts to forget
To forget, oh, to forget, and, they said, each of
Them, I do not love, I cannot love, it is not
In my nature to love, but I can be kind to you.
They let her slide from pegs of sanity into
A bed made soft with tears, and she lay there weeping,
For sleep had lost its use. I shall build walls with tears,
She said, walls to shut me in. Her husband shut her
In, every morning, locked her in a room of books
With a streak of sunshine lying near the door like
A yellow cat to keep her company, but soon
Winter came, and one day while locking her in, he
Noticed that the cat of sunshine was only a
Line, a half-thin line, and in the evening when
He returned to take her out, she was a cold and
Half dead woman, now of no use at all to men.

Kamala Das

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Articles
Kamala Das Poems
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A collection of Kamala Das's elite poems.
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3. The Looking Glass

7 December 2023
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Getting a man to love you is easy Only be honest about your wants as Woman. Stand nude before the glass with him So that he sees himself the stronger one And believes it so, and you so much more

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4. An Introduction

7 December 2023
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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

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5. The Old Playhouse

7 December 2023
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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 t

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6. Words

7 December 2023
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All round me are words, and words and words, They grow on me like leaves, they never Seem to stop their slow growing From within... But I tell my self, words Are a nuisance, beware of them, they

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7. The Freaks

7 December 2023
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He talks, turning a sun-stained Cheek to me, his mouth, a dark Cavern, where stalactites of Uneven teeth gleam, his right Hand on my knee, while our minds Are willed to race towards love; But,

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8. Relationship

7 December 2023
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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, It was my desire that made him male And

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9. Love

7 December 2023
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Until I found you, I wrote verse, drew pictures, And, went out with friends For walks… Now that I love you, Curled like an old mongrel My life lies, content, In you…. [From Summer in Calcutt

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10. The Suicide

7 December 2023
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Bereft of soul My body shall be bare. Bereft of body My soul shall be bare. Which would you rather have O kind sea? Which is the more dead Of the two? I throw the bodies out, I cannot stand t

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11. Summer In Calcutta

7 December 2023
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What is this drink but The April sun, squeezed Like an orange in My glass? I sip the Fire, I drink and drink Again, I am drunk Yes, but on the gold of suns, What noble venom now flows through

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12. Punishment In Kindergarten

7 December 2023
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Today the world is a little more my own. No need to remember the pain A blue-frocked woman caused, throwing Words at me like pots and pans, to drain That honey-coloured day of peace. ‘Why don't y

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13. A Losing Battle

7 December 2023
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How can my love hold him when the other Flaunts a gaudy lust and is lioness To his beast? Men are worthless, to trap them Use the cheapest bait of all, but never Love, which in a woman must mean t

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14. The Sunshine Cat

7 December 2023
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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

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15. The Testing Of The Sirens

7 December 2023
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The night, dark-cloaked like a procuress, brought him to me, willing, light as a shadow, speaking words of love in some tender language I do not know ... With the crows came the morning, and my li

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16. My Grandmother's House

8 December 2023
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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 To read, and my blood turned cold l

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17. Forest Fire

9 December 2023
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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, Brighter charm, all that comes my way. Bald child in Open pram,

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18. The Stone Age

9 December 2023
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Fond husband, ancient settler in the mind, Old fat spider, weaving webs of bewilderment, Be kind. You turn me into a bird of stone, a granite Dove, you build round me a shabby room, And stroke my

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