Can Kamala Das be called as a “confessional” poet?
Kamala Das is a contemporary female poet from India. She can most definitely be considered a "confessional" poet, because her poems often focus on her personal life, including many aspects of her life that other people would prefer to keep private.
A good place to start would be Das's poem called, "An Introduction."
Das begins this poem by explaining why she writes in English, and not exclusively in her "mother-tongue," which is the Indian language known as Malayalam. Her reasons are not practical, but personal:
The language I speak,
Becomes mine, ...
All mine, mine alone....
funny perhaps, but it is honest,
It is as human as I am human, don't
You see? It voices my joys, my longings, my
She continues by describing, in rather graphic terms, her puberty:
I was child, and later they
Told me I grew, for I became tall, my limbs
Swelled and one or two places sprouted hair.
She describes her marriage at age 16:
[My husband] drew a youth of sixteen into the
Bedroom and closed the door, He did not beat me
But my sad woman-body felt so beaten.
The weight of my breasts and womb crushed me.
She describes a period of cross-dressing:
Then … I wore a shirt and my
Brother's trousers, cut my hair short and ignored
She admits to adultery:
It is I who drink lonely
Drinks at twelve, midnight, in hotels of strange towns,
It is I who laugh, it is I who make love
And then, feel shame...
This is all personal, highly emotional, and the kind of information that many people would not like to reveal about themselves. It is the exact opposite of poets like T.S. Eliot who described their poetry as an "“an escape from personality."
In short, Das's poetry is confessional.