Please explain the poem "Hills" from the collection Jejuri by Arun Kolatkar.

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Arun Kolatkar's poem "Hills" seems to be a rather abstract description of a hostile and rocky desert landscape. Throughout the poem, the eponymous hills appear to be synonymous with "demons." Indeed, every stanza begins with those two words, "hills" and "demons." Sometimes the hills are named first, and sometimes the...

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Arun Kolatkar's poem "Hills" seems to be a rather abstract description of a hostile and rocky desert landscape. Throughout the poem, the eponymous hills appear to be synonymous with "demons." Indeed, every stanza begins with those two words, "hills" and "demons." Sometimes the hills are named first, and sometimes the demons are named first. The fact that the poet continually changes the order of the two words helps to convey the idea that they are synonymous and inseparable. The fact that the final word in the poem, and indeed the final line, is "demons," implies that there is a demonic force within the hills that resonates and endures.

There are also throughout the poem lots of words and images which suggest a hostile, rocky, and perhaps desert landscape. The word "sand" is used twice in the poem, as is the word "cactus." There are frequent references to stone and rock, such as "shale," "ribs of rock," "lime stone," "rock cut steps," "sandstone" and "granite." The frequency of these references suggests a hard, barren, and hostile place. Ostensibly, this does not seem like a place in which life can thrive.

There is also a sense throughout the poem, however, that the landscape is indeed alive or perhaps at least awakening. Indeed, the poet uses personification when he writes that the landscape has "sand blasted shoulders," "ribs of rock," and "thighs of sand stone." This personification implies that this is a landscape imbued with life, and, therefore, with an incipient power. The fact that there is not much movement associated with these signs of life suggests that this life is latent, perhaps beneath the landscape, and perhaps just about to awake.

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