Nissim Ezekiel Essay

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Ironic Mode in Ezekiel’s Poetry





In an earlier time the writers had great crave for using satire and considered it as the greatest literary tool but as they came under the influence of western culture, they felt the need of doing something extra that would be helpful to make them extra-ordinary by making the distance between the writer and his craft. In this reference irony becomes a significant device and confers upon us the finite qualification and discrimination that distinguish a mature experience of the writer.

Irony works with great force and acquires a new meaning in post-modern literature. In fact, irony is the critical device by which a writer or a poet excels all his contemporaries. Ironic mode adds to the dignity and magnitude of the writer or poet’s creative writing technique in handling with the social themes because it helps his experiences an utterly modern shape. Consequently irony becomes one of the most outstanding features of writing. Modern poetry places it first rather than other literary features. Shiv K. Kumar, K.N.Daruwalla,, Nissim Ezekiel, R.Parthasarthy etc. can be counted as the greatest ironists in modern poetry. In this paper we analysis Ezekiel’s poetry in order to know his ironic mode.

Ezekiel’s poetry is ironical and reveals different kinds of ironies such as subtle irony, verbal irony, irony of situation, irony of characters and irony of life. In fact, his irony is direct and woven into the very texture of his poetry. Shiv K.Kumar rightly writes, “his (Ezekiel’s) irony comes through more incisively in his poems written in Indian English, which is a mix of Indian vernacular and half-baked English.”[ 1]

A close study of Ezekiel’s poetry reveals two kinds of irony: “one closely allied to satire where the poet stands at a distance from the object looked at, the other, closely allied to compassion, where the poet examines the experience as if from within.”[2] The first kind of irony can be seen in his early and...

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