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'Muliebrity' Poem Analysis

By Sujata Bhatt
by

Lok Bok Chia

on 24 March 2011

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Transcript of 'Muliebrity' Poem Analysis

Muliebrity Analysis Muliebrity

Sujata Bhatt



I have thought so much about the girl

who gathered cow-dung in a wide, round basket

along the main road passing by our house

and the Radhavallabh temple in Maninagar.

I have thought so much about the way she

moved her hands and her waist

and the smell of cow-dung and road-dust and wet canna lilies,
the smell of monkey breath and freshly washed clothes

and the dust from crows’ wings which smells different –

and again the smell of cow-dung as the girl scoops

it up, all these smells surrounding me separately

and simultaneously – I have thought so much

but have been unwilling to use her for a metaphor,

for a nice image – but most of all unwilling

to forget her or to explain to anyone the greatness

and the power glistening through her cheekbones

each time she found a particularly promising

mound of dung – Muliebrity talks about the power women possess and the character of women, who take pride in what they do, even if it is just picking cow-dung. The poet speaks of a girl, who is a representation of village women, who does the tedious job of picking cow-dung outside a temple and the girl is described in a very reverential manner. The connotation of the title, status and power of a woman, is reflected in the poem where the author uses the words '“greatness'” and '“power”'. The poem has a very optimistic tone. This may suggest that the poet's intentions were to convey the importance of womanhood. Furthermore, the poet uses alliteration. She exposes how the 'smells are surrounding' her 'seperately and simultaneousy.' The poet may have used alliteration to add affect to the poem. It creates a smooth flow when reading through and a sense of rhyhm. Moreover, the poet has used repetition. She has done this by using the word 'dung' several times throughout the poem. We can speculate that the poet's intentions
may have been to emphasize the girl's occupation. Likewise, the poet may have also repeated 'dung' to accentuate the disgust felt towards it By Sujata Bhatt Muliebrity's Definition: Womanly Qualities, Womanhood Also, the poet uses senses to describe the scene before her. For example, 'the smell of cow-dung and road-dust and wet canna lillies... the smell of monkey breath and freshly washed clothes and the dust from crows’ wings which smells different –and again the smell of cow-dung as the girl scoops it up.' The poet finds the girl very interesting, even with all the potentially disturbing smells, she is able to focus on only the girl who picks up cow dung.
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