Guest poem submitted by Vidur:
(Poem #804) 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 So that he sees himself the stronger one And believes it so, and you so much more Softer, younger, lovelier. Admit your Admiration. Notice the perfection Of his limbs, his eyes reddening under The shower, the shy walk across the bathroom floor, Dropping towels, and the jerky way he Urinates. All the fond details that make Him male and your only man. Gift him all, Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts, The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your Endless female hungers. Oh yes, getting A man to love is easy, but living Without him afterwards may have to be Faced. A living without life when you move Around, meeting strangers, with your eyes that Gave up their search, with ears that hear only His last voice calling out your name and your Body which once under his touch had gleamed Like burnished brass, now drab and destitute.
I noticed that you've run a couple of poems by Eunice De Souza but none by the other excellent contemporary Indian woman poet, Kamala Das. This is by far my favourite Kamala Das poem. I'm not terribly good with analyses, but I'll try to express what I like about the poem. Kamala Das, like all good poets, displays excellent control over her words. There's a quiet strength in her verse. And unabashed candour. For instance, I like the way in which she describes human (male) quirks as defining intimacy in a relationship. Even though on the surface the poem appears to encourage submissiveness, it's really about being in control (even with the melancholic end). This underlying message comes through clearly in the lines "... so that he sees himself the stronger one / And believes it so" (i.e., let him believe what pleases him) and "Gift him ... all your / Endless female hungers" (the paradox in "gift" and "your hungers" is particularly good: satisfy *your* needs, it says, and use the essence of being a woman to do so). A brief bio of the poet can be found here: http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/Bahri/Das.html Vidur. [Minstrels Links] Other contemporary Indian poets writing in English include Eunice de Souza: Poem #603, "Marriages are Made Poem #682, "Advice to Women A. K. Ramanujan: Poem #382, "A River" Poem #434, "Extended Family" Nissim Ezekiel: Poem #516, "The Patriot" Poem #579, "The Professor" Poem #714, "Night of the Scorpion" Vikram Seth: Poem #650, "All You Who Sleep Tonight" Poem #754, "Protocols" Poem #460, "Round and Round"