Critical Analysis Of Night of The Scorpion-Nissim Ezekiel

Critical Appreciation:

Night of the Scorpion is a narrative poem. It narrates an incident of rural life. The narrator’s mother is stung by a deadly scorpion in a dark room There is a great commotion in the household. Everybody is disturbed. Villagers came crowding like swarms of flies. They recited the name of God in a dooming voice. They suggested various medicines. the holy man chanted prayers. Meanwhile the mother continued to feel extreme pain. Some superstitious villagers thought that the Mother’s suffering was due to her past sins.

But the narrator’s father was a sceptic, a rationalist. He followed modern methods of cure, through sometimes he too in his desperation replace into old methods. Finally, after twenty hours of pain, the sting lost is sting and the mother was releaved of her pain. She thanked God that the scorpion had picked her up and spared her children. The prayer of the mother is a prayer of Universal Motherhood for the welfare of children.

Q. Attempt a note on the trends in modern Indo-Anglian poetry.

Ans. The poet independence generation of Indo-Anglian poets has discarded romanticism, vague mysticism and the ornate diction of early poets. In 1959 appeared Modem Indo-Anglian poetry which summed up the poetic manifesto of the young poets in a set of articles, the prominent of which are –

 (i) We think that poetry must deal in concrete terms with concrete experience. That experience may be intellectual or emotional but it must be precise and lucidly and tangibly expressed.

 (ii) We emphasize the need for private voice. We celebrate the lyric form as best-suited for a capsule-minded public.

Consequently, post-independence poetry in English has acquired a distinct character and voice of its own. Among the noted Indo-Anglian poets we may mention Dom Moraes, Nissim Ezekiel, P. Lal. Karnala Das, Shiv K. Kumar, Keki N. Daruwalla, A.K. Ramanajan pritish Nandy, Jayant Mahapatra etc. what a poet like Kamala Das claims for herself is true for most of these poets-

The language I speak

Becomes mine, its distortions, its queernesses

All mine, mine alone. It is half-English ,

half-Indian, but it is honest

The work of recent Indo-English poets displays the colours of modernity, thematic variety and supert craftsmanship. There is no need for then to emulate Anglo-American models. R. Parthasarathy’s argument has a force-

Also Read : 

How long can foreign poets

Provide the staple of your lives?

Turn inward, scrape the bottom of your past

Keki Daruwalla expresses his sense of emancipation from this foreign influence-

Why should I tread the Kafka beat or the wasteland

When, mother, you are near at hand

One vast, sprawling defeat?

Thus, firmly rooted in their own cultural milieu, the new Indian writers of English poetry delve into the myths, legends, superstitions, and folklore of Indian society to express the contemporary social reality. In this sense they have come closer to writers in other Indian languages. This new poetry is characterized by experimentation and innovation, new imagery and realistic attitude, authentic creative urge and an equally superb craftsmanship. Indo-English poetry has come of age and is taking new directions in the hands of its chief luminaries.

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