Nissim Ezekiel Analysis

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CHAPTER – III SENSUOUS EZEKIEL Nissim Ezekiel’s poetry reveals him as a sensual and sensitive individual drawing our attention to the poet’s constant struggle to understand fully the workings of the sensual desires and to grope fully with the power of them. He is a sensualist frankly and minutely recording the wonders of the senses. In poem after poem Ezekiel sings the glory of the senses and unhesitatingly confesses his recognition of the pressures of the senses. In “On Meeting a Pedant” the poet wishes to ‘Send out songs’ (CP: 00)and advises his heart to ‘rest or ride / Superbly with the senses.’ (CP: 00)The poet wishes to be spared of words ‘as cold as print’ and says, ‘Give me touch of men and give me smell of / Fornication, pregnancy and…show more content…
We get two pictures of woman revealed in the poems of Ezekiel. One is that of a domestic woman, woman as a caring mother or a loving wife. The other is that of a beloved. He looks upon woman as an object of desire, as a powerful temptation, as a profound and unfathomable mystery. His attitude is that of awe and wonder. She is an object of desire and an object of fear. She appears to him ‘untamable’ and ‘willing to be tamed’. There is the desire to possess and the fear of the possession also. She haunts him in his dreams and leaves him restless. His attitude to woman is very complex. Woman appears to him as an enigma and a mystery, as intensely irresistible yet frightful in her mystery. In ‘Passion Poems’ No. VIII, ‘The Loss’ he says, “Did I create this woman, / untameable and yet / willing to be tamed?” Ezekiel then unpretentiously adds, “Only Shiva, meditating, / could be immovable / in her moving presence. / As for me, / I hardly meditate at all.” If woman is a mystery and a temptation, she is also an integral part of Ezekiel’s scheme of things. In “A Time to Change” Ezekiel says, “A bit of land, a woman and a child or two / Accommodated to their needs and changing moods / Practicing a singing and a talking voice / Is all the creed a man of god requires”. He has “patiently to build a life with these”. Sex, for Ezekiel, is not just for gratification of carnal desires, though he is not apologetic about that. Sex is more than that for Ezekiel. Sex is instrumental in reaching beyond body; a device to transcend body and reach up to soul. It would be worthwhile to quote his short poem, ‘Cry’ in full: Breathe My

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