What She Said by Kacipettu Nannakaiyar

My lover capable of terrible lies
at night lay close to me
in a dream
that lied like truth.

I woke up, still deceived,
and caressed the bed
thinking it my lover.

It’s terrible. I grow lean
in loneliness,
like a water lily
gnawed by a beetle.

From: Cosman, Carol; Keefe, Joan and Weaver, Kathleen (eds.), The Penguin Book of Women Poets, 1978, Penguin Books: London, p. 50.
(https://archive.org/details/womenpoetspengui00vari/)

Date: c50-300 (original in Tamil); 1967 (translation in English)

By: Kacipettu Nannakaiyar (c50-300)

Translated by: Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (1929-1993)

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