Kamala Das was born in Kerala - India in 1934. She was educated mainly at home. Her short stories and poems are written in Malayalam and in English. She has published a number of books of poems and an autobiography. In many of her poems Kamala Das recalls experiences from her childhood. She was very devoted to the home and the surroundings which she grew up in. However, in this poem she remembers an incident which caused her not joy but pain. Now, in adulthood, she can look back on that day of punishment, detaching herself from the pain-she is not part of it any more. She has found an adult peace with which she can speak about the incident, without becoming upset. When she is describing the time spent at the kindergarten, the past tense is used, but when the poet is speaking about herself as an adult, she uses the present tense.
Words to Know :
Mirth : laughter, merriment
More my own : she is in control of her own life (and emotions)