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Night of the Scorpion by Nissim Ezekiel - Critical appraisal

Night of the Scorpion- Critical appraisal.
Night of the Scorpion by Nissim Ezekiel - Critical appraisal

Or, Make an analytical and critical review of Nissim Ezekiel’ verse- narrative, Night of the Scorpion.

Answer: Nassim Ezekiel's Night of the Scorpion poem has been praised both as a general poetic theme and as a well-thought-out technique. The poem is the narration of a verse. Ezekiel has a very simple description with a simple letter. It’s about his own experience of a night, especially during a rainstorm, when his mother was hit by a scorpion and from this perspective, the very title, Night of the Scorpion, seems very apt and thematically explanatory.

However, the description of the verses of Nissim Ezekiel alone does not have a suitable title. It is also an admirable work of art. The narrative is told in a simple, straightforward style of all events, philosophies and activities and other consequential matters. These are related to quite orderly fashion. The poet has expressed his narrative skills with ease and perfection, and here he seems to have imitated as much as possible, as the great English masters of verse description like Chaucer, Pope, Tennyson and Morris seem to have imitated.

In addition to his descriptive skills, Ezekiel also demonstrated the power of his portraits. In this case, it is necessary to mention the presentation of the farmers who came running like a swarm of flies to see his mother. He presents the Indian farmer with the perfect reality, its natural ignorance, superstition and basically good nature. Of course, the portrait of Ezekiel's own father, though very precise, demands a deeper attention. There is a sarcastic touch to the character of the father as a septic, rationalist who ran after everything - curses and blessings - and had no clear consistent view of what should be done as a rational man. The use of the word in this case, ‘hybrid’ is quite meaningful and indicates the hybrid aspect of its attitude

What the poem in particular shows is an authentic representation of Indian rural life. Some of the most distinguishing features of this life - good neighborliness, close family ties, faith with spiritual strength and the idealism devoted to motherhood - are clearly identified by its representation. In fact the narration of this verse by Nissim Ezekiel seems to be closely related to Indian and traditional Indian life on the night of Scorpio.

Ezekiel also patented the genre of poetry. The use of similes in ‘swarms of flies’, onomatopoeia in ‘buzzed’ and the use of asyndeton in ‘more candles, more lanterns, more neighbors’ have been effective. The poem concludes with an epigrammatic emphasis on the mother's feeling of gratitude to the merciful God. The poem has no rhyme plan and these can be taken as writing in blank verse with rare rhymes here and there.

Ezekiel’s poetry, however, reveals his poetic genius in particular, despite the controversial views on the thematic isolation of his poetry, Night of the Scorpion. It has been declared by N.K. Naik as "one of the best poems in recent Indian English literature". The situation is all simple and the story is a matter of a common place, but the poetic entertainment offered here is nowhere near as rare.

*****

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