Topics: India, English language, Poetry Pages: 6 (2319 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Nissim Ezekiel 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 shows the desire to see better conditions of life in this country . His poems show his love for the country of his adoption. Ezekiel’s poetry contains various aspects of Indianness. Indianness is a vital element in Ezekiel’s thought, feeling and imagery. Indianness has become one of the major themes of Ezekiel’s poetry, which he treats as an intense personal exploration. The thought and feeling are supported by the surrounding atmosphere and characters in the poems which are purely Indian and they follow the Indian way of life as in the poems  ‘Night of the scorpion’ in which the portrait of an Indian mother is ever touching. In  ‘Night of the Scorpion’ Ezekiel narrates the incident of an Indian village  woman stung by a scorpion in the rainy night. The speaker’s mother was stung by a  scorpion one night. Through the  beautiful portrayal of the superstitions and motherly sympathy of particular Indian  village, the poet portrays  the  credulous nature of the rural people. After stinging her, the scorpion had swiftly moved away from her  and gone out into the rain, though it was because of the rain that it had come into the  house. Then the peasants in the neighbourhood, on learning about a woman having been stung by a scorpion, People who had come to the woman to express their sympathy. say:                            “May he sit still, they said                             May the sins of your previous birth                             be burned away tonight, they said.                              May the poison purify your flesh                              of desire and your...
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