The Sunshine Cat

Poem By Kamala Das

They did this to her, the men who know her, the man
She loved, who loved her not enough, being selfish
And a coward, the husband who neither loved nor
Used her, but was a ruthless watcher, and the band
Of cynics she turned to, clinging to their chests where
New hair sprouted like great-winged moths, burrowing her
Face into their smells and their young lusts to forget
To forget, oh, to forget, and, they said, each of
Them, I do not love, I cannot love, it is not
In my nature to love, but I can be kind to you.
They let her slide from pegs of sanity into
A bed made soft with tears, and she lay there weeping,
For sleep had lost its use. I shall build walls with tears,
She said, walls to shut me in. Her husband shut her
In, every morning, locked her in a room of books
With a streak of sunshine lying near the door like
A yellow cat to keep her company, but soon
Winter came, and one day while locking her in, he
Noticed that the cat of sunshine was only a
Line, a half-thin line, and in the evening when
He returned to take her out, she was a cold and
Half dead woman, now of no use at all to men.

Comments about The Sunshine Cat

Is she reading the pages from Lady Chatterley's Lover? Is she the short story, Sun by Lawrence? The poet is ambiguous with regard to the story told in the poem and makes vague references arousing sexual love. Who the protagonist is? How the husband? What does he want? Why is she confined to a room with books? Is there a cat too? Or, the basking cat is but an imagery?
Very nice poem


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Other poems of DAS

Krishna

Your body is my prison, Krishna,
I cannot see beyond it.

The Looking Glass

Getting a man to love you is easy
Only be honest about your wants as
Woman. Stand nude before the glass with him

Relationship

This love older than I by myriad
Saddened centuries was once a prayer
In his bones that made them grow in years of
Adolescence to this favored height; yes,

My Grandmother's House

There is a house now far away where once
I received love……. That woman died,
The house withdrew into silence, snakes moved
Among books, I was then too young

The Freaks

He talks, turning a sun-stained
Cheek to me, his mouth, a dark
Cavern, where stalactites of
Uneven teeth gleam, his right

Words

All round me are words, and words and words,
They grow on me like leaves, they never
Seem to stop their slow growing