A woman, a myth, a deity--
you chose to be a poet.
You sang of magic lore
of ancient times and unknown lands…
the listless strife of womankind-
trudging through the soulless drudgery
of mundane pursuits, slavish concubinage-
cankering the soul, festering the mind.
A rebel, possessed of a unique power-
to silenced utterances, scattered in the wind,
you gave a voice…
rekindled again their hopes—lost so long ago.
They killed you into art…a token woman
an idol, merely, of their designs
yet, rising, phoenix like, you uttered
that supreme truth-‘Soham’-
I am she
universal, supreme, pure
the one and only being
face to face, immanent.
I Am, even I.
*This poem is inspired by Vak, one of the first women poets mentioned in the Rig Vedas, the oldest of the most ancient sacred literature of Hinduism. Vak later came to be deified and worshipped as Devi Saraswati, the goddess of learning and music in the Hindu pantheon. Vak is known to have uttered “Soham”, the main tenet of Vedanta, one of the six orthodox philosophies of Hinduism, chiefly concerned with knowledge of Brahman, the universal supreme pure being.