Self Portrait A. K. Ramanujan is much simpler poet compared to Mahapatra. He often writes about his family, his being in abroad, and his feeling for his coming back in India.
Self-Portrait is an introspective poetry. By looking at the mirror, in fact the poet is looking at himself. He feels the loss of identity – who am I? – is the question arises from within. He does not recognize himself and poses as a stranger. His looking at the window or the mirror creates the picture of the portrait, like a painting of a stranger.It is obvious that when a painter paints he would give the date to it. But here the date is missing! But the poet finds his father’s signature. The portrait of the stranger is prepared by his father. The poet’s parents are the artist, the creator of his portrait. His father “signed in a corner” of the portrait but still, still he feels the loss of identity. He visualizes an outsider, a stranger within.
A critical analysis The identity crisis in the poetry of the `trans-national’ poet A.K.Ramanujan escapes easy characterization. The poet was born and brought up in a Hindu family and later he went abroad. So his self was formed with the host of incidents from thepast or the memories ,a life to which he belonged at his past .In fact while the Indianor Hindu milieu constitutes the `inner’ substance of Ramanujan’s poetry , the western milieu shapes the `outer’ substance and these two co-exist in his poems as in Self Portrait
Self Portrait identifies the problem precisely when itsuggests that the self is `more an absence than a presence’(Vinoy Dharwadker) . All European artists used to draw their self portraits. Once the poet’s portrait was drawn by his father. The poet on his way watches his self-portrait through ashop-window. But his portrait seems stranger to himself. He cannot recognise hisown portrait. Here the poet is suffering from identity crisis of his own-self. In fact it `illustrates modern man’s concern with the self and provides the...