Obscene Words( Poem)/ Teri Vakkukal( Translation)

It is very intriguing to see subversive writing: as in iconoclastic thoughts, sometimes, brilliant writers take an ignored concept and turn it on its head, revealing the world within.

Dr.Clarissa Estes had, in her iconic book, Women Who Run With The Wolves, analysed the etymology of the so called obscene words.

Obscene- from old Hebrew,Ob, meaning a wizard, sorceress.

Dirt: Middle English, drit, probably from Icelandic- excrement. Now extended to obscenity.

To quote Dr.Estes, “…the obscene is not vulgar at all, but rather seems more like some fantastic nature creature that you dearly wish would visit you and be one of your best friends.”

Ahhhhh, serendipity, I murmured when I encountered this poem. Some thoughts, resonate across countries, across genders, across languages and cultures…

The contribution of  ‘Obscene Words’ in a human life, as examined by the Malayali poet Veeran Kutty.



I was trying

to make a


of beautiful words,

Melting them in the heat


Unexpectedly, from somewhere

A word came in:

Copper hair all unruly

Nose dripping

The shirt wrongly buttoned

Seeming  a traveller of many lands, trembling…

Told me, it was an abusive word, driven away by someone

Never invited to a home,

Never allowed entry into writing

I felt like showing it affection,unseen by others.

Abusive word, dear one,

In how many fights, did you make

your presence felt-

Boiling within us?

When you danced on the tongue

The murderous knife,

Turned into one used for filing the nails;

The hand that was about to strike,

Embraced the other instead!

For secrets, which other mother tongue than you?

You unstripped the soul, and laying it down

Lit the fire of lust.

Though I berate you with a thousand tongues

Have prayed often that you will grace me from within.

‘ Enough,..enough…’ it said, as it struggled to get away

‘ You merely praise me thus,

Even you have never given me a space

In your poetry, till now.

The monuments that you build with

Beautiful similes, multi storeyed ones

Will get swallowed by the seas one day

But in hidden places of refuge, my huts shall remain, even then…’

Shouting thus,

With the steps of an ancient creature

It went down into the Forest of Language,

As I stood, watching.





    • Hai Ministhy,
      Its a pleasure to listen a reader and writer like you.l have a facebook page kavimanasu veerankutty.please go through the page if time permits.
      with warm regards


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