Journal article Open Access

A 'Space' of One's Own: Exploring the Language of Resistance in Select Poems of Meena Kandasamy

Suranjana Bhadra

Contemporary women poets in India have re-radicalized the commonplace poetical conventions in order to
subvert prevalent power structures. The self-representation of the cultural ‘other’ in poetry dissolves the
feeling of being an ‘outsider’ as they venture to move beyond boundaries, beyond fixities. The process of
creating a potent voice translates the ‘contact zone’ into the production of meaning. The two places, the ‘I’
and the ‘You’ get mobilized in the passage through a ‘Third Space’, a fusion of the horizons through selfrepresentation.
This dynamic outcome of the ‘war of position’ in the fluid, ambiguous and indeterminate
spaces makes the structure of meanings polysemic.
With the attempt to create a space of one’s own Meena Kandasamy threatens the conspiracy of subjugation
and silence by speaking with her body and recreating her own myths. Her works exemplify the resistance to
the regimes of the normal that makes them ‘queer’. This paper explores the revolutionary language of poetry
of the women poets that breaks out of a hetero normative matrix. Kandasamy asserts that “This tongue allows
me to resist, rape, to rescue my dreams”. Such an assertion from the ‘angry young woman’ not only suggest
the barren, painful lives of women, but also reveal the combined violence of colloquial, slang and mutilated
words to shock the readers. The militant language signifies the feminine body, the exuberance and genuine
emotions, free from all artificial restraints.

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