Hunger Poem by Jayanta Mahapatra


Rating: 3.2

It was hard to believe the flesh was heavy on my back.
The fisherman said: Will you have her, carelessly,
trailing his nets and his nerves, as though his words
sanctified the purpose with which he faced himself.
I saw his white bone thrash his eyes.

I followed him across the sprawling sands,
my mind thumping in the flesh's sling.
Hope lay perhaps in burning the house I lived in.
Silence gripped my sleeves; his body clawed at the froth
his old nets had only dragged up from the seas.

In the flickering dark his lean-to opened like a wound.
The wind was I, and the days and nights before.
Palm fronds scratched my skin. Inside the shack
an oil lamp splayed the hours bunched to those walls.
Over and over the sticky soot crossed the space of my mind.

I heard him say: My daughter, she's just turned fifteen...
Feel her. I'll be back soon, your bus leaves at nine.
The sky fell on me, and a father's exhausted wile.
Long and lean, her years were cold as rubber.
She opened her wormy legs wide. I felt the hunger there,
the other one, the fish slithering, turning inside

Ajharuddin 06 June 2018

This poem is hert touching poem

5 4 Reply
Chidanand Navi 07 March 2018

Why the father is forcing to have her? If a person feels hungry he/she should follow other way to fulfil their hunger.

6 1 Reply
Sohan jaiswal 23 August 2018

The poem is my heart touching very heart touching

4 2 Reply
Chandana 15 May 2018

Its a great poem. It shows how hunger for food and survival is greater than anything else.

2 0 Reply
Sanat 10 April 2018

Why is called Hunger

1 0 Reply
Subhas Chandra Chakra 23 September 2022

A great poem, describing hunger in its manifold forms.You need to be cool and inside to be able to feel the thread of the kind of poem it is. Such was Jayanta Sir.

0 0 Reply
Sangden 04 March 2020

This one stuck

0 0 Reply
Ruplal 14 March 2019

This is heart touching poem

0 2 Reply
Bijay Kant Dubey 09 March 2019

The poem though highlighting the woman trafficking and flesh trade side by side this poverty and impoverished living conditions of the people living below the poverty line has so much to tell indirectly. Hunger is about sexual gratification, the fulfillment of voluptuous, craving for the body and sexual hunger. It is about life, human conditions, compulsions letting one do.

4 0 Reply
Bijay Kant Dubey 09 March 2019

Hunger as a poem is not all about the hunger of the belly, but about the fulfillment of sexual and greed though not sure of the poetic persona speaking in the writerly self. Who the men in the shadows? In the dark? The fisherman tired of drawing the nets and the load of the poor family living on the sea beach offers his teenage daughter to the stranger customer which is really tragic but with no reactions from the writer.

5 0 Reply
Error Success