Chewing slowly

By Kabir 1440–1518 Kabir

Translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra Read the translator's notes

god my darling
do me a favour and kill my mother-in-law
             —Janabai, tr. Arun Kolatkar

Chewing slowly,
Only after I’d eaten
My grandmother,
Mother,
Son-in-law,
Two brothers-in-law,
And father-in-law
(His big family included)
In that order,
And had for dessert
The town’s inhabitants,

Did I find, says Kabir,
The beloved that I’ve become
One with.

Source: Poetry (March 2011).

Biography

 
Though little is known of the life of the Indian mystic and poet Kabir, it is believed he was born in or near Benares. He grew up in a family of Muslim weavers before becoming a disciple of the Hindu ascetic Ramananda. Kabir is considered both a Sufi and Brahmin saint.
 
Kabir’s poetry draws on both Hinduism and Islam, though he was critical of certain aspects of both faiths. Some of his verses are included in the compilation . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Marriage & Companionship, The Body, The Mind, Relationships, Men & Women, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Love, Desire, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION Asia, South

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.