Kamalakanta Bhattacharya (1769-1821 CE) was a Brahmin priest from Bengal who became famous as a singer poet. HIs songs were made in devotion to Kali, wife of the god Shiva, the black-skinned goddess most often portrayed as a destroyer, with bloodstained lips and a garland of skulls. Syama or Shyama means dark-skinned.
Is my black Mother Syama really black?
People say Kali is black,
but my heart doesn’t agree.
If She’s black,
how can She light up the world?
Sometimes my Mother is white,
sometimes yellow, blue, and red.
I cannot fathom Her.
My whole life has passed
She is Matter,
then complete Void.
It’s easy to see
thinking these things
Translation Rachel Fell McDermott