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“Kamala Das: As a Confessional Poet” |

Indu Bala, Dr. Rajinder Pathania, in Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education | Multidisciplinary Academic Research


Women writers in India are moving forwardwith their strong and sure strides, matching the pace of the world, we see thembursting out in full bloom spreading their own individual fragrances. They arerecognized for their individuality, originality and the indigenous flavor of thesoil that they bring to their work. Yes, they are our women writers, writersfirst, I must insist. Gender is only incidental……but, one must admit, it doesspice up their work. We see Indian women writers like Shashi Despande,Arundhati Roy, Anita Desai, Kamala Das and Shobha De, just to name a few whohold their own in the woman writer’s world of initial rejection, dejection,familial bonds, domesticity and what not. It is amazing to note that thesewriters and many more have climbed the ladder of success the slow and painfulway. Kamala Das is beyond doubt the greatest womanpoet in contemporary Indo-Anglian Literature. A confessional poet, she displaysfeminist ethos in her poems. She wrote chiefly of love, its betrayal, and theconsequent anguish, and Indiareaders responded sympathetically to her guileness , guiltless frankness withregard to sexual matters. Kamala has surely out grown Victorian models andaccepted sex and sensuality as an integral part of poetry. Many of her poemsare suffered with warmth and passion, with heat of an unrequited love andunfulfilled desire. According to Dr. V. Alexander Raju, “In the poems of KamalaDas, we find a rare body and its feelings and she seems incapable of thinkingof eternal life as a bodiless existence. This peculiar stance may be the reasonwhy she is drawn to Islamic religion with its different concept of life afterlife.” Frustrated by love and loneliness, she longedfor an eternal life with her body and soul after her life on the earth. Sheloved her body as much as she loved her soul. Since her bodily desires couldnot be satisfied by her life here she wants to achieve it by a life afterdeath. Kamala’s confessional poetry is obsessivelymulling over love and ‘the body’s wisdom’, like Whitman that is why Iyengarcalls her a ‘Femme Fatal’ whose poetry is of pelvic region. In her poetry, loveappears in several roles such as ‘skin communicated thing’, as overpoweringforce, an escape, a longing and a hunger resulting in society.