13 March 2006

Buried history

This week, the Poetry International Web features the work of Tamil poet Kutti Revathi:
Supple, fierce and molten, the image clearly plays a pivotal role in her art. “I have been criticised on this count,” she says, but remains unapologetic, viewing the image as an integral part of her seditious poetic enterprise. “As we poke into a word and turn it over,” she writes in her essay, “the history buried in its innards rises up, along with images, memories . . . and poetry too.”

At the same time, she is deeply aware of the power of the image to initiate unexpected inner mutinies. As she remarks in the interview accompanying this edition, “Poetry . . . demands an endless enquiry into the self, and endless cycles of the self’s destruction and renewal [. . .] People always ask my why I do not write poems about societal concerns and issues, as though attempts to bring about inner renewal and inner transformation were not acts of social concern. I use my language only to loosen the fetters that have bound and shrunk a woman’s body.”

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