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Blood, a poem by Kamala Das illustrates the different aspect of a woman. In this piece, the writer talks about her own interpretation of the poem. She reviews in her own words.
This is my very own interpretation of the poem Blood by Kamala Das. I feel that this poem is very feminine, depicting various aspects of women of different ages. I feel that one woman can well understand another because all these traits are there within us; maybe that is why Kamala Das, unlike her brother, could empathize with her grandmother so much.
I have avoided unnecessary explanations of the poem itself in this review as I am primarily interested in examining the minute, unsaid details about the women in the poem. I anticipate that readers would find this new insight into the poem thought provoking.
In a way, the poem Blood written by this Indian English poet and litterateur, clearly depicts the picture of aristocracy of the yesteryear in Malabar, Kerala. At the same time, this poem is a window into a little girl’s heart and how the world moulds her into a butterfly from the naivety of the cocoon.
It must be the 1940’s- Kamala being an inquisitive child, observes nature and tries to draw her fantasies in the sand as she plays with her brother.
It must be the 1940’s- Kamala being an inquisitive child, observes nature and tries to draw her fantasies in the sand as she plays with her brother. Along with the intoxicating serenity of nature at her grandmother’s place, she also comes to experience the anxiety, fear and the agony of her 86-year-old great grandmother about the perishing ancestral house. The conflict between the gratifying fantasies of a child and the bitter realities of her Grandmother must have influenced her in many ways in nourishing her creativity.
The poem illustrates different situations where such conflicts of experience are visible.
The poem narrates the rich past of Kamala’s great grandmother – Jewel box, elephant, sandal oil, which are all symbolic of her extravagant youth and her marriage to a prince, and then the sudden loneliness after his death within a year of their marriage. The poem also hints at how the woman in her grandmother dies along with her husband, if you read these lines from the poem-“God is her only feast; worldly pleasures become mere condiments to her afterwards.”
The poem also illustrates the pride her grandmother has over her blue blood, which she carries to her grave.
The little girl, Kamala could feel all the defeats and miseries her grandmother gave in to and so she promises herself to save the 300-year-old house for her grandmother.
The little girl, Kamala could feel all the defeats and miseries her grandmother gave in to and so she promises herself to save the 300-year-old house for her grandmother. But then again, reality strikes her. She learns as she grows up that making money is not easy. She could feel the old house breaking down, white ants, now fearlessly walking inside their old house – she asks for forgiveness as she is incapable of protecting the house. These thoughts follow her all her life; such is the impact of the childhood experiences.
She feels guilty that she plucked the soul of her grandmother (the house) and flung it into death’s pyre. She too is proud of her royal blood even though she is not powerful enough to renovate the old house, her great grandmother once loved.
Note: For Kamala Das, love is her religion. Her grandmother was her favorite person who taught her to love, forgive and devote oneself for the service of the less fortunate. She was aware of the sorrow of her lonely grandmother. She could empathize with the struggles of everyday women, which came alive in her verses.
Kamala Das image via answers.com
Deepa R Krishnan, a Public Relations professional in Dubai, is an aspiring writer too.Her
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