Nissim Ezekiel was a prominent Indian poet. He was among the foundational figures in postcolonial India's literary history. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1983 for his poetry collection, Latter-Day Psalms.
It appears that the meaning and worth of his works are still inexhaustible for critical works have been appearing continuously on his poetry. Apart from the existing critical corpus, this book explores Ezekiel's poetry on an entirely different level. It studies his poetry in terms of Indian ethos and culture and tries to discuss it into two phases-the early phase and the recent one. His early phase of poetry includes volumes-Early Poems (1945), A Time to Change (1952), Sixty Poems (1953), The Third (1959), The Unfinished Man (1960), The Exact Name (1965), while his later phase of verse includes Poster Poems (1969), Hymns in Darkness (1976), Latter-Day Psalms (1982), and Collected Poems (1989).
The book, as a ready reader's guide, will be helpful to the students studying New Indian English Poetry, Comparative Literature and Indian Culture in universities and colleges. It will also serve as a reference book to students, research scholars, teachers and critics.
Dr. Sandeep K. Thorat M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. in English has been working as Head, Department of English at S.S.S.K.R. lnnani Mahavidyalaya, Karanja Lad, Dist. Washim, Maharashtra, since 1998. He contributed over 33 research papers in peer-reviewed journals. He presented number of research papers in various conferences, seminars and workshops at national and international levels. He completed his Minor Research Project on the topic Teaching English through Grammar-Translation Method in Rural India Like Washim District: An Analytical Study under UGC, New Delhi.
Besides, he worked as member of organizing committees for the organization of UGC Sponsored National and International Conferences, workshops and seminars. He also rendered his services at College and University levels.
The poetry of Nissim Ezekiel seems to be unexplored with reference to Indian ethos and culture. It is difficult to find a critic who has exclusively been made efforts to discuss Ezekiel's poetry coming in terms of India and its origin, religions, society and its attitudes, problems, poverty, superstitious practices, blind beliefs, happiness and sufferings, etc. in context of Indian ethos and culture. As his poetry continues to be prescribed in University and College syllabi, there seems to be no discontinuity to Ezekiel's critical horizon.
Though Ezekiel seeks continuous flow in his poetry, the present book attempts to find a gradual growth of mature thought towards spirituality and religious aspects from his early poetry to the recent. In the beginning, there is an impact of his immature youth and consequently he composed poetry on the themes like love and sex. An image of a pagan woman predominates his early poetry. On the other hand, his recent poetry reveals influence of his maturity as a man of full experience of all ups and downs of life. His recent poetry expresses the themes like spirituality and religious-philosophical strains. It appears that in his recent poetry he seems to be more philosophical on life and human concerns.
The first chapter of the book, however, attempts to study Indian ethos and culture in brief with the motive of investigating its reflection in Ezekiel' poetry. The second chapter comprises Ezekiel's life, works, initiation and development as a poetic genius. The third chapter explores briefly Indian ethos and culture in contemporary Indian English poetry of some of the major poets. The fourth chapter gives the critical analysis of some of the major early poems of Ezekiel on Indian ethos and culture. In this chapter, an attempt is made to analyze Ezekiel's early poetry from critical point of view to form and confirm a view on his poetry. The fifth chapter analyses the reflection of Indian ethos and culture in poetry written in his recent phase of life. And the last chapter of the book is the conclusion.
Ezekiel really seems to be true representative of Indian society as his themes of poetry are chosen from almost all walks of life. The aim behind selecting the poet for the present study is to discuss the reflection of continuous quest for self and Indian cultural ethos in his poetry. He deals with his own experience through themes like superstitions, blind beliefs, urban India, man-woman relationship, love and sex, illusion with religion and spirituality, and the disillusionment. Making life happy without breaking old morals and values is a striking feature of Ezekiel's poetry. Being modern, the poet feels dissatisfied with the existing morals, and social and religious values. Though, he wrote poetry satirically on domestic quarrels, he was dissatisfied with the depicted codes and conducts of married life.
Indeed, the book provides better opportunities to readers regarding Indian ethos and culture. In fact, it attempts to highlight social, political, and religious aspects of life and, therefore, is of universal importance to everyone.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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