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The Descendants by Kamala Das

We have spent our youth in gentle sinning
Exchanging some insubstantial love and
Often thought we were hurt, but no pain in
Us could remain, no bruise could scar or
Even slightly mar our cold loveliness.
We have lain in every weather, nailed, no, not
To crosses, but to soft beds and against
Softer forms, while the heaving, lurching,
Tender hours passed in a half-dusk, half-dawn and
Half-dream, half-real trance. We were the yielders,
Yielding ourselves to everything. It is
Not for us to scrape the walls of wombs for
Memories, not for us even to
Question death, but as child to mother’s arms
We shall give ourselves to the fire or to
The hungry earth to be slowly eaten,
Devoured. None will step off his cross
Or show his wounds to us, no god lost in
Silence shall begin to speak, no lost love
Claim us, no, we are not going to be
Ever redeemed, or made new.
The Descendants, whose descendants are we, of love and lust or sin's sons and daughters? Are we of Adam and Eve expelled from the Garden of Eden? How does Milton take to it? How does Kamala relate to? What it in birth and re-birth? Who the teller of it? How the stories of re-birth? How our sin and sinning if we go on committing it engrossed in love and lust? There is something beyond it that we have not come to understand. The tales of birth and re-birth comfort her not. Even the gods have not broken their silence to counsel. There is none to speak. Baser things will return to their base. Our crosses we have to carry it. Who to redeem us? What it in redemption?
The Descendants as a poem is just like A Request, In Love and others where she talks of death, desolation, desertion, destruction and nihilism. A youth given to love, sex and bonding; it passed in delight unawares. The softer beds led to softer climes. None but we were the partakers in. The body was the center of it all. How did the days slide away? We could not guess it about. The poem is like The Ship of Death written by D.H. Lawrence. Rather than being religious, she says it all in her way. None can say it about our next coming.
Just as lovers, we know it not what we have sinned, how sinful is our activity. We keep on ploughing and furrowing our ways. Even though the people say it about, but is redemption possible in the mankind’s lot? Nothing can redeem his fate. The good earth is all that we need to know. Without any spiritual discussion or debate to carry it on or engage into with theological points to prove, we shall return back to by degrees.


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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