best to meet in poems - eunice de'souza
Eunice De Souza stands out among the Bombay poets as a writer whose sparse, piercing vision and acerbic wit stripped her poetry of the unnecessary sentimentality of an Indian English idiom that was emerging in the 80s and 90s. From De Souza's writing one could expect a clarity of thought, and wry humour that punctured the religious and moral social codes of the time, as well as the middle class conservatism that sought to restrict womens' freedom "for their own good". Always understated, her silent fury, would leave the reader mildly unsettled, without fully understanding what was bothering them. More often than not, this was the tacit acknowledgement of a truth that one did not want to confront. Quietly breaking set ideas about poetry, Christian self-righteousness and the lies that well meaning protectors of morality and tradition tell us, her poetry shines with a fierce individualism that bows to no god. In this poem, she articulates what I have always felt about artists. and about their art. This is how I have met the poet Eunice - 'in poems' - with a 'sad but distant sea' gently breathing underneath the firmament of her words. Her poem has different implications in an age where one can no longer fall in love with an artist, for fear of being disappointed. As a poet, I recognise, De Souza's possible anticipation of that disappointment, that falling of grace of idols. no, she is not one to idolise. she pre-empts, her sharp gaze catching small inconsistencies, little details that suggest a mismatch - the poet is not worthy of their poetry. she keeps her desire in check, finding beauty and truth in language. and metaphor.