Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.

Gold Star - 23,787 Points (June 15,1942 / Aravayal, karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, South India)

Before The Sunset - Poem by Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.

Who said that you are aged?
Why should you fear being caged?
You may be not in prime age
Nor on the verge of bearing age.
The mid-day sun is not yet set.
The browsing cow is still to retreat.
The gooseberry ripens not in haste.
Why should you be steadfast?

With deft hands as you work,
With nimble feet as you dart,
And in soft voice as you talk,
Often with laugh, woven with sparks
Of white teeth, in rhythmic pitch,
You look younger, belying your age.
Friendly nature and sportive posture
Are your treasure, that shade your age.

Past teenage, no more a tendril.
Past twenties, no more a sapling.
A growing tree is as suppler
To a tusker, if not to rabbits or goats.
Five and thirty, still you a beauty,
With sturdy frame and firm cheeks,
Hued with bravado, to the men of choice,
Which you don’t know that you know.

No cosmetics, still striking,
No glamour, yet pleasing,
No vanity, nevertheless modern,
No pomposity, but with simplicity,
You put me blind to your age.
Woman of standing that you are,
A woman outstanding that you are,
It alone is enough to eclipse your age.

‘What can a man do for me,
Other than giving me a kid?
What, if he turns out to be bad? ’
Obsessed and haunted with, you are.
If not to conceive, why’d a flower
Open its lips and exert its nectar?
What for must you stray out?
What, if you lament, when too late?

To a frog heaven is the well
Till it comes out of the well.
Mum is dear only till man takes over.
After mum, if nor him, who’s there?
To a tree, ripe fruits never cling.
As a woman you can’t play a doll
That you had failed to, as a girl.
Sans motherhood, what is womanhood?

Dear, before sunset, step in.
Here, our son is waiting.
1.8.97


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 23, 2010

Poem Edited: Thursday, September 2, 2010


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