Meena Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy Poems

Ours is a silence
that waits. Endlessly waits.

And then, unable to bear it
any further, it breaks into wails.
...

I am living on
because providing apologies is easy
...

Non Dualism
Atman Self
Brahman God
Are Equal
...

4.

Black satanic fumes
shroud the blank blue skies
in puffing jet black soot;
few flashy cameras record
...

Algorithm for converting a Shudra into a Brahmin
...

You are possessed.
Witch doctors believe in phantoms,
that cause your illness. But, driving out devils
can be challenging. Spirits are given away—
...

When you called me
To light up your life
I could never refuse.
But, there are things I ask of you.
...

and may be we will
almost fall in love...
I will look into his eyes,
and he into mine—
...

The last thing she does
before she gets ready to die
once more, of violation,
she applies the mascara.
...

My bed smells of textbooks
and it is more than a month or so,
since I dreamt of sunlight and the sky's
embrace. Even a woman's lush vanities —
...

You can do a lot of things
With your left hand.
Besides, fascist Dronacharyas warrant
Left-handed treatment.
...

One sleepy summer afternoon, while helping
myself to a glass of chilled water, I saw a
snake lying curled under the fridge. It could
have been a very poisonous cobra.
...

Helplessly, silent;
we watched it being seized away, all our lands.
The Government—a fulltime bewitching whore
had promised Jobs. Industrialization. Power, Electric.
...

When memory decides
To no longer bear the burdens—
Of pain, or even plain indifference
She has her winsome wicked ways.
...

Morning Song

Wet pink
And dusty grey
The sky begins to blush.
...

It is uniquely easy
For some to sell
Ideals because
Business of absent
...

We understand
why upper caste Gods
and their ‘good-girl’ much-married, father-fucked,
virgin, vegetarian oh-so-pure Goddesses
...

anaconda. candy. cash. catamaran.
cheroot. coolie. corundum. curry.
ginger. mango. mulligatawny.
patchouli. poppadom. rice.
...

S P A C E
is a problem unlike your never-ending
paper or the maddening blankness of
your word processor where you can go on
and on in anguish or insanity or boredom
...

come.
colonise me.

creep into the hollows
of my landscape—my eyes click lock:
...

Meena Kandasamy Biography

Meena Kandasamy is an emerging poet, fiction writer, translator and activist. She is based in Chennai. Her first book, Touch, was published in 2006. Two of her poems have won prizes in all-India poetry competitions. Her poetry has been published in various journals, including The Little Magazine, Kavya Bharati, Indian Horizons, Muse India and the Quarterly Literary Review, Singapore. She edited The Dalit, a bi-monthly alternative English magazine of the Dalit Media Network in its first year of publication from 2001 to 2002. Kandasamy’s translations include the writings and speeches of Thol. Thirumavalavan, leader of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal or the Dalit Panthers of India (Talisman: Extreme Emotions of Dalit Liberation, 2003) and the poetry and fables of Tamil Eelam poet, Kasi Anandan. She is one of the 21 short fiction writers from South Asia featured in an anthology published by Zubaan, New Delhi. At present, she is working on her doctorate on Caste in the Indian Language Classroom. Kandasamy regards her writing as a process of coming to terms with her identity: her “womanness, Tamilness and low/ outcasteness”, labels that she wears with pride. She knew, she says, that “my gender, language and castelessness were not anything that I had to be ashamed of… I wrote poetry very well aware of who I was. But I was also sure of how I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be taken on my own terms… I wanted to be totally bare and intensely exposed to the world through my writings. I wanted it to be my rebellion against the world.” It meant, she adds, consciously deciding that she wasn’t interested in winning “acceptance, or admiration or awards”. Aware that “the site for all subjugation is (at first) at the level of language”, Kandasamy believes that political poetry has the “pressing responsibility to ensure that language is not at the mercy of the oppressors”. The ways of the status quo are insidious, however, and Kandasamy realises that a politically conscious poet has to be true to herself in order to be a genuine voice of dissent and resistance. Her work as the editor of a Dalit magazine and her association with the Dalit Panthers of India (a militant activist Dalit organisation) has further honed her awareness of what it means “to be a woman in a caste-ridden nation”. The result: poetry that arises “not out of mere reading, but out of active engagement”. Given her impassioned politics, it is perhaps not surprising that she wrote her first love poem only two years after she started writing her “angry, militant” verse. The poems in this edition reveal more than militant rage, however. There is fierce and exuberant wit and wordplay which make one look forward to more of Kandasamy’s work in the years to come.)

The Best Poem Of Meena Kandasamy

Aggression

Ours is a silence
that waits. Endlessly waits.

And then, unable to bear it
any further, it breaks into wails.

But not all suppressed reactions
end in our bemoaning the tragedy.

Sometimes,
the outward signals
of inward struggles takes colossal forms
And the revolution happens because our dreams explode.

Most of the time:

Aggression is the best kind of trouble-shooting.

Meena Kandasamy Comments

Siyad Kasim 05 December 2012

Miss Meena, Your boldness, courage, and strength, remembering me as Kamaladas, you are a Little Kamaladas,

10 6 Reply
Tharani Appuswamy 02 February 2014

Being born in a community likely regarded as the so called upper caste Hindus I may not be able to empathize with the plight of those who were unprivileged and were born 'outcasts'. i may not even wholly be able to comprehend their anger, agitation and vulnerability. But as a woman regardless of any community/caste that has been connived to be endowed upon me through hereditary, I too belong to a sect 'marginalized and discriminated'. and i really do believe that every exploitation that births itself by losing humanity finds refugee through corruption; corruption in every field, be it politics, education, or any reputable professions (beginning with drainage cleaners) . Miss Meena's agitation demands an immediate solution and i believe it would be answered only through annihilation of exploitations beginning with corruption. Lets not be hideous when it comes to revealing how the world really works! Ofcourse the world is not fair and square! ! ! Yes corruption in every class, caste, community, race and gender. Money smiles in each and everyone's life; and it smiles brighter upon those who bribe. The ultimate truth though!

9 4 Reply
Ravindran Govindaraju 19 June 2013

incredible.quintessential; of course You saw the secret. Discovered the Hidden. versatile. You are one of the full many flower born to blush and seen. I am proud of you. Now I am not abashed to share for being one among st You. Believe me you are good influencer. God bless you. Kindly keep going.(Article May 2013, India Today 'Woman', page 29 nicely portrays You..)

7 2 Reply
Ayan Ghosh 19 June 2022

genuine talent.

0 0 Reply
Rajnish Manga 20 February 2020

I have read a couple of poems written by Meena Kandasamy and was impressed by the force with which she has treated her subjects- some of which are considered taboo in our society. She represents the woman of today- bold, expressive, demanding parity with men and dignity of a normal human being. She stands against oppression.

2 0 Reply
Madhuri naringrekar 09 March 2019

Can I get the meaning of your poem

1 1 Reply
Basvaraja 15 October 2018

Wonderfull.the .pores.your.meena .kannadasmay

2 0 Reply
Subhas Chandra Chakra 02 April 2018

Dear Meena, I felt a great sisterhood in you the moment I went through your poem. I wish a very long poetic life ahead, which will keep the world of women aware of their power, their weakness and the will.

4 0 Reply

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