My new favorite poem: “The Kama Sutra Retold”

So I’ve had Sujata Bhatt’s poetry book “Point No Point” for a while now but I never really got around to reading it. Today, for some reason, I saw the book on my shelf and decided to check it out. This poem’s title caught my attention (for obvious reasons) and I decided to read it. It took me exactly 10 seconds to fall in love with it.

I don’t post other people’s poetry/works on my blog. But I looked for this particular poem online and I couldn’t find it anywhere so I decided to type it out because I really want everyone to read it. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful in its simplicity and I really hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. I can honestly say it is currently my favorite poem. I’ve read it almost 10 times in the last  20 minutes.

Ok, without further ‘ado, I guess I should let you all read it. Again, this is Sujata Bhatt’s work and not mine. Oh, and the parts in italics are my favorite parts of the poem, just in case you’re wondering!

Here you go:

The Kama Sutra Retold, by Sujata Bhatt

Then Roman Svirsky said,
‘it is illegal in Russia to write
about sex
so it is important
for Vasily Aksyonov
to write about it -‘

You laugh,
but I want to know
how would we break the long silence
if we had the same rules?

It’s not enough to say
she kissed his balls,
licked his cock long
how her tongue could not stop.

For he thinks of the first day:
she turns her head away
as she takes off her T-shirt
blue jeans, underwear, bra.
She doesn’t even look at him
until she’s in the lake,
the clear water up to her neck
yet unable to hide her skin.

They swim out
to the islands
but he doesn’t remember swimming;
just brushing against her leg
once, then diving down
beneath her thighs    staying underwater
long enough for a good look,
coming up for air      and watching
her black hair streaming back straight,
then watching her
step over
the stones, out of the water.

She doesn’t know what to say.
He wishes they were swans.
Yeats’s swans
would not need to speak
but could always glide across
other worlds;
magical, yet rustling with real reeds.

The sun in her eyes
so they move closer to the pine trees.
When he touches her nipples
he doesn’t know who is more surprised
(years later he remembers that look,
the way her eyes open wider).
He’s surprised
she wants him
to kiss her nipples again and again
because she’s only 17 he’s surprised
her breasts are so full.
She’s surprised
it feels so good
because he’s only 17 she’s surprised
he can be so gentle
yet so hard inside her,
the way pine needles
can soften the ground.
Where does the ground end
and she begin?
She must have swallowed the sky
the lake, and all the woods
veined with amber brown pathways;

for now great white wings
are swooping through
her thighs, beating stronger
up her chest,
the beak stroking her spine
feathers tingling her skin,
the blood inside
her groin swells

while wings are rushing to get out,
rushing.

Let me know what you guys think (and if I’m crazy for falling in love with it as much as I have!).

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7 thoughts on “My new favorite poem: “The Kama Sutra Retold”

  1. No! You’re not crazy for falling in love with it! It’s a piece of art, really. I like writers who push their boundries. He wrote about a topic he wasn’t supposed to write about, and I think that’s the reason it’s so amazing, because he wanted to prove his point. Good choice!

    Ok, so now I’m gonna go read some of YOUR work ;)

    • Awwh well I’m glad to see you liked it too :D I love it when people appreciate fine writing, it makes me smile <3

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