Nissim Ezekiel | Background Casually | Analytical Study


Nissim Ezekiel | Background Casually | Analytical Study


Nissim Ezekiel’s Poem ‘Background, Casually’-An Analytical Study

“Background, Casually” by Nissim Ezekiel is a thought-provoking poem that delves into the life of a poet and his journey from a timid and introverted child to a renowned artist. The poem highlights the poet’s struggles, social interactions, and his transformation into a figure of fame, while also exploring the themes of identity and the complexities of artistic expression.

Stanza 1:
The poem begins by describing the poet’s early years. He is portrayed as a fearful and frail child, refusing to eat or sleep, and lacking interest in typical childhood activities. His introverted nature and lack of social skills isolate him, leading him to find solace in reading and introspection. The poet’s mother plays a significant role in his upbringing, guiding and shaping him, but her overprotective love may have hindered his growth.

Stanza 2:
As the poet enters adolescence, he remains reticent and still struggles to connect with others. However, a significant shift occurs when he turns to drink, possibly as a way to cope with his social anxieties or to escape from reality.

Stanza 3:
In this stanza, the poet forms a group of “morons” to perform his poetry. This could be a tongue-in-cheek way of referring to his fellow artists or collaborators. The group helps him gain recognition and success by showcasing his work on stage and TV. Gradually, he gains the support of patrons who appreciate his unique style and are willing to pay for his art, even if it seems absurd to some.

Stanza 4:
The narrator reveals that he first met the poet in 1962 and initially found him reserved and subjected to abuse, possibly from critics or harsh judgments. However, in subsequent encounters, the narrator’s attitude towards the poet becomes less gracious, indicating a change in their relationship.

Stanza 5:
The poet’s fame grows, and he achieves worldwide recognition. The narrator acknowledges that while the poet may not be a sage or a seer, he is undeniably a poet, catering to a specific audience conditioned to appreciate his unconventional and eccentric style. The poet’s success lies in his ability to express profound ideas in absurd and unconventional language, challenging the traditional norms of poetry.

Stanza 6:
The poem concludes with the narrator maintaining an aloof and impartial stance towards the poet. He acknowledges the poet’s talent and the importance of his art to his followers, but he keeps his relationship with the poet distant, perhaps to avoid getting entangled in the complexities of the poet’s fame and artistic world.

in the poem “Background, Casually” the poet Nissim Ezekiel employs several poetic devices to enhance its meaning and create a vivid and engaging poetic experience for the readers. Here are some of the prominent poetic devices used in the poem:

1. Alliteration: The poem uses alliteration to create musicality and rhythm. For example, “poet-rascal-clown,” “his senses were refined by stealth,” and “read a lot and hardly spoke.” Alliteration enhances the flow of the poem and makes it more enjoyable to read.

2. Repetition: The phrase “Goodbye Party for Miss Pushpa T.S.” is repeated in the poem, serving as a refrain and giving the poem a distinct structure. Repetition emphasizes the central theme of the poem and adds a touch of irony to the narrative.

3. Metaphor: The phrase “a spade a spade” is a metaphor used to describe the poet’s straightforward and honest manner of expression. It conveys that he speaks bluntly without hesitation, even if his words may seem absurd to others.

4. Irony: The poem employs irony, especially in the second part, where the narrator sarcastically questions the Indian Consulate’s gesture of giving the poet two hundred dollars and a tie, as if they couldn’t afford to pay for his fare back home themselves. Irony adds a satirical and critical tone to the poem.

5. Imagery: The poet skillfully uses imagery to create vivid mental pictures. For instance, “boy of meager bone,” “he takes pride in calling a spade a spade,” and “knocking people down” evoke strong visual and sensory impressions for the readers.

6. Enjambment: The poem uses enjambment, wherein sentences or phrases flow from one line to the next without a pause, contributing to the poem’s natural and conversational tone.

7. Persona: The poem adopts the persona of a narrator or observer who shares their insights into the poet’s life and journey. This persona allows the poet to present a unique perspective on the subject matter.

8. Wordplay: The poet uses wordplay, like the pun on “pushing anybody” and “knocking people down,” to create a humorous effect and add depth to the poem’s message.

Overall, Nissim Ezekiel skillfully employs these poetic devices to enrich “Background, Casually” with a blend of humor, irony, and vivid imagery, making it a memorable and thought-provoking piece of poetry.

Background Casually” by Nissim Ezekiel offers a captivating insight into the life and evolution of a poet, emphasizing the struggles, triumphs, and complexities that shape an artist’s identity. Through simple language and vivid imagery, the poem explores the poet’s journey from a shy and introverted child to a celebrated artist known for his unconventional and absurd expressions. It encourages readers to appreciate the diversity of artistic expression and the profound impact that art can have on both the artist and their audience.0 0 0.

Nissim Ezekiel Background Casually Analytical Study

N. B. The article ‘Nissim Ezekiel Background Casually Analytical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘Analytical Studies of Selected Indian English Poems‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
  15. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)
  16. Reviews on William Shakespeare’s Works
  17. Reviews of Charles Dickens’ Works
  18. Reviews of John Milton’s Literary Works
  19. Reviews of Some Iconic Travelogues
  20. Shakespeare’s Sonnets-Critical Studies
  21. Analytical Studies of Selected Poems of Sarojini Naidu
  22. Analytical Studies of Selected Poems of Rabindranath Tagore
  23. Analytical Studies of Selected Indian English Poems

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  5. Themes and Characteristics of Nissim Ezekiel’s Poetry
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  7. Poetry of Nissim Ezekiel
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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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