Village Shakti by Verena Tay


“Village Shakti” by Verena Tay

(for Kamini Ramachandran)


I, woman, dance for me!
My spine snakes into talons,
        your gaze pierced.
My breast-hip curves to heart beats,
        your rhythm smashed.
My feet pound paths fresh,
        your grasp spent.
My smile bites Eve’s apple,
        your words lost.
Sita, I am not!



Published: Frederick Cheng, Lim Qing & Ng Kah Gay. (Eds). Crossing Universes. Singapore: Ethos Books, 2016, p. 31.
Note: This poem was inspired by E Le Guillou (Henry) Emy’s hand-coloured painting, Danseuse de Syngapore (1820s–1840s), that was exhibited at the National Gallery, Singapore, during 2016.



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Verena Tay Artist Statement:

A Singapore-based writer, editor, storyteller and theatre practitioner, Verena Tay (
has published a short story collection, Spectre: Stories from Dark to Light (2012), and three play
collections, and edited various fiction anthologies. During the fall of 2016, she will be starting her PhD
studies in Creative Writing at Swansea University in Wales and her second short story collection,
Spaces: People/Places, will be published.

Author: A Room of Her Own

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