Monday, February 13, 2023

Top ten love poems

Poet, novelist, activist and translator, Meena Kandasamy has published two collections of poetry, Touch (2006) and Ms. Militancy (2010), and the critically acclaimed novel, Gypsy Goddess. Her second novel, When I Hit You, was chosen as a book of the year by The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, and The Observer and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018. Publishers Weekly called Exquisite Cadavers, her third novel, "bold, inventive... An excellent exercise in form and a deeply evocative love story." In 2022, Kandasamy was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded International Pen’s Hermann Kesten Prize for her work as “a fearless fighter for democracy, human rights and the free word.”

Her latest title is The Book of Desire, Kandasamy's luminous translation of the Kamattu-p-pal, a 2000-year-old song of love and pleasure and the third part of the Thirukkural - one of the most important texts in Tamil literature.

At the Guardian Kandasamy tagged ten favorite love poems, including:
The Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I’m putting this at the top of the list because it is my favourite poem by my favourite poet. Which of us has ever loved without suffering a heartbreak, which of us has loved without realising that our love was a story concocted in our mind? This poem has seen me through many an emotional crash-landing, so here I’m sharing the wisdom.
Read the full poem here.

Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue