Can Kamala Das be labeled a "confessional" poet?

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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 
My womanliness

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. 

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Discuss Kamala Das as a confessional poet.

I think that one can consider Kamala Das as a confessional poet.  She wrote for so much in terms of women's conditions and their own point of reference towards the world.  Yet, I think that this was fostered by her own experience, using writing as a way to make sense of her own life and being in the world.  In this, she fulfills several conditions of a confessional poet.  Her own words can assist in this analysis:

If I had been a loved person, I wouldn't have become a writer. I would have been a happy human being...I suppose I started writing because I had certain weaknesses in my system. I thought I was weak and vulnerable. That's why we attempt poetry. Poets are like snails without the shells, terribly vulnerable, so easy to crush. Of course it has given me a lot of pain, each poem. Each poem is really born out of pain, which I would like to share.

In this, Das presents herself as being able to use writing as a way to communicate her own confessional need.  The personal need that inspires her own work is to convey "certain weaknesses" and her own exploration of these are able to connect with both audience and her own sense of identity.  It is here where I think that Das can be seen as a confessional poet.  In doing so, one realizes why her work was so widely accepted and understood in that it spoke of an authenticity and transparency in construction that resonated with many.

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