Breast-giver (a found poem)

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This poem was inspired by the beautiful language and voice of a translation by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak of a story by Mahasveta Devi titled with the same name. (It could also be considered a shape poem). Please consider reading more of these short stories in the collection Breast Stories.

Breast-giver (a found poem)

Beggar-pickpocket-hooker,
breast-giver—she creates in the
blind alleys with chapped feet and
large round breasts. Take your wife,
greedy crow, unthinking bull driven by
lust. You eat rice and stolen samosas by
the oil lamp. Countless beings raised a hue
and cry in deepest night. She creates as mother,
pinched skinny even while your flies were
fat. Her capacious bosom, a seething vat
of milk. Her offspring, a better human
material created by devotion, by
mother’s will. I put flowers on
her belly, her languid-hipped
body, her motherhood.

 

Devi, Mahasveta. “Breast-giver.” Trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Breast Stories: 38-45. Print.

breast stories

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