What is a summary and analysis of Kamala Das's poem "In Love"?

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jyurkonis | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Good poems are up to interpretation.  You need to read the poem and interpret it yourself (see the link).  This is my interpretation.  The author may have meant something completely different.  At a different time in my life, I may have interpreted it differently.

The start of the poem compares the heat of a kiss with the heat of the sun on a hot day and the way the warmth reaches out and penetrates through her, exposing the lie she is telling herself.

She then tries to convince the reader, and herself, that it isn't love, it's just the moment and the act itself "... isn't each embrace a complete thing ...", as she tries to ignore her feelings and simply enjoy the moment.

The cruelty of life goes on without him through the day and night (crows like poison on wing, and a funeral procession singing "praise the Lord"), while she can't sleep because of thinking of him.

The poem ends with her realizing that she still doesn't trust herself and what her body is telling her ("... a million questions awake in me, and all about him ..."), so she can not reveal how she feels to him, even though her entire body knows the truth.


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