Nissim Ezekiel

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Perpetual Quest for Identity and Commitment in Nissim Ezekiel Poetry Dr.Ratan Bhattacharjee
About the writer:
(Dr.Ratan Bhattacharjee is at present the Chairperson of the Post Graduate Dept. of English and is also associated with teaching in the PG Dept of English of Rabindra Bharati Univesity , both in regular and distance.He is the Executive member in the International Advisory Board of International Theeodore Dreiser Society, USA. (http://uncw.edu/dreiser/) His articles and poems are published in numerous journals and magazines in India and abroad. He was associated with the Indian Association of American Studies (IAAS) as a member of the Executive Body and now he is the Founder Director of the newly inaugurated Dattani Archive and Research Association (DARA) , Kolkata. He edits the Journal VIEW ( Voice of Indian English Writers) . His papers have been accepted for the International Conference at Romania organized by the University of Craiova. His poetry is published in Poemhunter.com and Allpoetry.com.His regular write-ups are there in Merinews.com.(www.merinews.com/cj/drratanbhattacharjee) , boloji.com, (http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Members&sd=Blogger) Voice of Bengal.com and Isahitya.com and in Times of India Timeline)

The Indianness in Nissim Ezekiel’s poetry is nothing but a perpetual quest for identity and commitment .Caught in the vortex of a soulless world of eroding inviduality and purposefulness , Ezekiel gives vent to his dilemma in ever poetic terms as he writes it in his poem ‘The Room’: “…..The door is

always open
but I cannot leave”
He was a foundational figure in postcolonial India's literary history, specifically for Indian writing in English . He is rightly considered to be the Father of post independence Indian verse in English. He was a prolific poet, playwright, critic, broadcaster and social commentator.But as a poet in Indian English Writing Nissim Ezekiel’s contribution is outstanding. It is very much substantial and valuable chiefly because, his poetry contains some of the aspects of Indianness. Indianness lies in Ezekiel’s commitment to this country and in his earnest and sincere desire to bring about some improvement in the conditions of life in this country through his poetry. His poetry reflects his desire to depict the depressing, degrading and disgusting conditions of life in this country. When we study W B Yeats and T.S.Eliot,we talk about the Irish sensibility in Yeats or American influence in Eliot and so on. However the momentwe speak about the reflection of Indian sensibility in Indian English poetry, the first name that comes to our mind is that of Nissim Ezekiel as his poetry reflects his Indianness. Nissim Ezekiel has beautifully used Indian experiences what we call Indianness from his poetry.Ezekiel belongs to a immigrant Jewish family although he himself was born and brought up in Mumbai, and got educated in Mumbai. Besides some trips to various foreign countries, he has lived, worked and earned his livelihood in Mumbai. As a man and as a poet, he has observed and experienced much of Indian life very closely. Taine argued that literature was largely the product of the author's environment, and that an analysis of that environment could yield a perfect understanding of the work of literature. By following Taine’s s three-pronged approach to the contextual study of a work of art, based on the aspects of what he called "race, milieu, and moment". Nissim Ezekiel has beautifully used the long history of Indianness as the socio-cultural identity, its different expressions, and its rich variety in his poetry. Indianness in Indian writing in English, is the sum-total of cultural patterns of Indian and the deep-seated ideas and ideals-political, economic, secular and spiritual-that constitute the mind of India and Nissim Ezekiel has skillfully used most of the aspects of Indian life and cultures in his poetry.As a realistic poet , Ezekiel...
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