Discuss thoughts on Nissim Ezekiel as a poet.

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you can make a fairly strong argument as to how Ezekiel represents one of the modern voices of Indian English poetry.  Ezekiel seeks to bring together the domains of the English speaking world in India and the Indian experience that brings out what it means to be Indian.  Both opposing polarities find a home in his poetry.  We can see this in "Night of the Scorpion."  The rationalist father is brought together with the traditional mysticism of the villagers.  Both forms of expression are futile in the face of the scorpion's poison.  In this light, we can see how Ezekiel's poem speaks to different, sometimes even opposing, forms of expression in a common end.  The rural/ urban, the medical/ religious, the Indian/ English are all examples of the dichotomies played with in Ezekiel's poetry, representative of how he sees India and its expression in his work.

vashim's profile pic

vashim | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

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Nissim Ezekiel distinguished himself as one of the poets who sought to represent minute aspects of life without suggesting highly ambitious design. His writings have retained its appeal for his subtle but incisive questioning of life's complexities, even as he worked to an develop idiom that carried the marks of India's myriad experiences. The speculative as well as meditative characteristics of his poetry come together in his quiet reading of selected conditions of contemporary culture. Self evaluation has been one of his important preoccupations, which is often organized through frames that situated and visit a varsity of social conditions.

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