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I am a million, million people
Talking all at once, with voices
Raised in clamour, like maids
At village-wells.

I am a million, million deaths
Pox-clustered, each a drying seed
Someday to be shed, to grow for
Someone else, a memory.

I am a million, million births
Flushed with triumphant blood, each a growing
Thing that thrusts its long-nailed hands
To scar the hollow air.

I am a million, million silences
Strung like crystal beads
Onto someone else’s
Song.
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Kamala Das

Kamala Das was born in 1934 into an aristocratic and literary Nair family in the Malabar region of Kerala. She was educated at home and at a European Catholic school in Calcutta, and, at the age of 15, underwent an arranged marriage to an economist and banker working in Bombay, Kalipurayath Madhava Das. She published her short stories from an early age, and in 1953, apparently to avoid shocking her grandmother with her romantic flights of fancy, took the pen name Madhavikutty – “the child-wife of Madhava”. It was around this time that she began to write poems in English. It was the language she chose for all six of her published poetry collections. more…

All Kamala Das poems | Kamala Das Books

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"Poetry.net" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Oct. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/>.

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