Discuss Kamala Das as a poet of love.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Das can be considered a poet of love.  This love primarily comes from what it means to be a woman.  Contrary to much of traditional Indian thought, Das revels in being a woman and the experiences of being a woman.  She does not capitulate to the standard depictions of women as victims.  Rather, she is able to assert a sense of identity that exists within women and one that gives voice to them.  In poems as "The Looking Glass," Das takes the idea that women need to revel in what defines them:  "The warm shock of menstrual blood" or "The musk of sweat between the breasts" are instances where being a woman is revered and vaulted.  This might be one of many statements that Das is making about love.  In praising being a woman, Das asserts that if one is to love, then there should be a complete immersion of one's identity and soul within it.  This involves standing naked "in front of the glass" and bathing in what one is.  There is a statement of love and affirmation here, which might be a part of Das' overall body of work.

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