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THIS PAGE WAS LAST UPDATED ON: 22 JANUARY 2019
While the sun is trapped
in clouds of heaven, tiny guerilla lights
border the moon.
Hardship bends the back of the wind.
Loneliness carves a philosophical man
celebrating his despair. The air
is cruelly shot with the tyrant's glee.
But the day to come crouches, holding
his long spear in the night.
Ah, they hold to prey the man
and his starving child.
Like the bullfrog who croaks, they
bare their teeth and prepare for the slaughter.
While their fangs drip
with the blood of priests and the aborted
day, while yet the lords
of the fallen leaves lie yellow
in their coming and moist rot, while
those with paunches and contented belches polish
the vengeance of heaven waits around
in the shadows.
The sun comes up in a coup
for the golden day.
[From her collection of poems, My Finer Steel Will
Poem from A Leaf in His Ear: Collected Poems by Mahadai
Das, Peepal Tree Press Ltd., United Kingdom, 2010.
While the Sun is Trapped
There is no way Mahadai Das's work can ever be other than
an unfinished project, and I think that readers need to be
trusted to see what is absolutely essential and fully
accomplished in her work, what is the work of a young writer
finding her voice, what was written in politically difficult
times and betrayed by history...
By 1978, [she] was a fierce opponent of the ruling party and
supporter of Walter Rodney and the WPA's attempt to forge
an ethnically united opposition, as the poems in My Finer
Steel Will Grow indicate. [The featured poem comes from that
EXCERPT FROM JEREMY POYNTING'S PUBLISHER'S NOTE TO A LEAF IN HIS
EAR: COLLECTED POEMS BY MAHADAI DAS, PEEPAL TREE PRESS LTD., UK,
Mahadai Das, an
wrote poetry from
her early high school
days. She was a
teacher, and Diwali
She was a volunteer
member of the
Service before she left
Guyana to study for a
Philosophy in the USA.