Three poems from World Literature are going to be analyzed here: Mother, What News Shall I Tell?; Like a Silkworm Weaving; and He Bartered My Heart. The first poem was written by an orphan adopted by a rich political family, Basavanna…
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He later went on to become an ascetic and reject the wealth of his new family. “Basavanna, sometimes called Basava or Basaveshwara, was a twelfth century devotee of Shiva…in the Kannada-speaking regions of southern India…[Basavanna] achieved enlightenment at a sacred meeting of rivers. This is why all of Basavanna's poems include a reference to Shiva as ‘the lord of the meeting rivers.’"1 In this poem, Mother, What News Shall I Tell?, Basavanna reveals that a woman is not touched by her husband or lover until she washes from head to toe. Apparently, perhaps this was part of the local culture that absolute cleanliness was necessary before intercourse—not an uncommon cultural norm. In the second poem, the speaker talks about wanting something with a burning desire as he watches the silkworm spin itself into a butterfly. One can only presume that the author is speaking of something sexual, although it need not be interpreted that way. However, the words “burning desire” do give a clue! In He Bartered My Heart, the author speaks as though her body were like car parts to be sold. It’s not sure what the intention of this poem was, but nonetheless, it is disturbing and unusual.
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“World Literature:Reading Response to Three Different Poems Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/other/1421744-world-literature.
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