(22 October 1928 - / Cuttack / India)

Her Hand

The little girl's hand is made of darkness
How will I hold it?

The streetlamps hang like decapitated heads
Blood opens that terrible door between us

The wide mouth of the country is clamped in pain
while its body writhes on its bed of nails

This little girl has just her raped body
for me to reach her

The weight of my guilt is unable
to overcome my resistance to hug her

User Rating: 3,0 / 5 ( 14 votes ) 6

Other poems of MAHAPATRA (38)

Comments (6)

''The aftermath of rape involves a cluster of acute and chronic physical and psychological effects. It's important that victims receive comprehensive care that addresses both the short and long-term effects of rape as they become apparent. Frequently a victim's intimate relationship, if present prior to the assault, disintegrates within one year after the rape. This only adds to the psychological impact of the rape on the victim. Victims of extremely violent rape, or those who were assaulted repeatedly or at a very young age, may need treatment for the rest of their lives. ''-Samantha Gluck The result of any rape means shame, self-blame, embarrassment, fear, distrust, sadness, vulnerability, isolation, lack of control, anger, confusion, and shock. Moreover, this rape can lead to nightmares, flashbacks, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) , anxiety, eating disorders, phobias, low self-esteem, and many others. The victims need support to understand their symptoms in order to be capable of overcoming those moments of rape and continuing to live in their new, sad world of seconds. I think this poem is a message coming from a sensible poet. Voted 10.
Rape is an evil act! ! Thanks for sharing.
This poem is far more about the suffering of the empathetic on-looker than it is the suffering of the child victim of rape. She is little more than the vehicle for him to explore his feelings. This is both the strength and the failing of the poem. I think it is actually a positive aspect that on-looker does not project himself into the victim and try to imagine something that is unimaginable. That would create a hypothetical and ungrounded exploration of the feelings of the victim. This happens too much in literature already. But the look inward by the witness is cursory and far too flinching to get at the depth of emotions involved. The images invoked are powerful and are excellent as they serve the objective correlatives of his emotional state. But they're also too impersonal in the second and third stanzas. Dare I say those stanzas within the scheme of this poem seem almost decorative to me. The second stanza attempts to close space in to a personal level and the third to open it up to a national or cultural level. Leave them out and the quiet horror is enough for me. The final stanza is so deeply damning of the human condition it shouldn't need the imposed perspective-giving images.
Good expression of poor condition of emotion... It's like a lake lacking for fish.... Thanks for posting...
A bitter truth so well written...I liked it, thanks for sharing.
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