The poem muliebrity by Sujata Bhatt, 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 title of the poem muliebrity, suggests womanhood. 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 poet talks about her imperative childhood experiences through her poems, using an optimistic tone, to make it more affective. With a delightful tone, she describes the scenery at the village.
There is use of enjambment in the poem, to stress on how long ago the poet saw the girl and it could also suggest a feeling of nostalgia. A very simple tone and language is used in the poem, to indicate the simplicity of the situation. The poet says that she has thought so much about the girl, suggesting that the poet respects the girl and is in awe of the way the girl holds her head high, despite the fact that she does a menial job of picking dung. The poet ponders on why the girl does something that isnt usually expected to be done by her and stresses on the dignity of labour showing how, even though it is an undermining task, she does it happily. She is impressed by the girls commitment and dedication to her work. A very positive approach is shown towards the work done, as expectations do not stop the girl from doing what she wants to do.
The poet, very intricately describes the feminine movements and attitude of the girl toward her job. she talks about the way she moved her hands and waist, indicating the presence of womanhood in the girl, and even though her job is to scoop dung, which is considered as a very demeaning job, she has retained the femininity in her and still has pride in herself. Even further in the poem, the author depicts the independence of the girl, as she says power glistening through her cheekbones.
The poet also describes the stench of the atmosphere in which the girl has to work, as she says smell of cow-dung and smell of monkey-breath. On the contrary, the smell of freshly washed clothes and of canna lilies is also mentioned, which tells us that though the girls job is not very dignified, the poet approaches the girl very positively. The girl picks up dung outside a temple, which shows that she is serving the society. The poet interprets this job as one which is very respectful. She uses visual imagery, as she describes the surroundings of the girl and the repulsive smells in so much detail, that the audience would be able to imagine the situation. The smells besiege the poet separately and simultaneously, which tells us that though all these smells are present together, she describes them individually so that it has a deeper impact on the readers.
The poet says that she doesnt want to use the girl as a metaphor, and as a role model for every other woman, but she doesnt want to forget the girl, who retained the womanhood in her, irrespective of her job. The poet explores all the feminine qualities of a woman through this poem, elegance, pride, dignity, independence and the way a woman presents herself to the world, having a strong and powerful personality. The poet indirectly conveys to her audience how an ideal woman should be, possessing all the above qualities, and even though the poet mentions that she doesnt want to use the girl as a metaphor, she subtly expresses that every woman should exhibit such traits.
Even as the girl picks up cow dung, she feels good about herself, as she is doing this job for her living, and she takes pride in it, which is what the poet tries to tell the audience. The image of the girl is portrayed very well, and the author uses the girl effectively to explore womanhood.