Sunday, January 5, 2014

Nissim Ezekial's 'The Company I Keep': Summary and Analysis

In his poem 'The Company I Keep' Nissim Ezekial speaks about his contemporaries and the types of poetry that appeared during his age. He expects that a poet must keep up the morale, ethics of the age and people. If a poet cannot keep up that moral, then it shows that the poet has a minor talent in writing poetry. This cannot be called a greater curse but having no talent. Just like - ring refers to the groups of poets who write poems. Millions of people find happiness in writing poetry. He is also one of the poets, who enjoys writing poetry. Ezekiel feels that poets are mixing up metaphors and common thoughts. But poetry is not simply miring up put an expression of deeper thoughts.


Ezekiel, here, tries to condemn outrightly those who just min metaphors and statements and produce bogus poetry. These unfortunate beings exploit others skill and parade themselves as poets. He curses all those who use other's talents for their own selfish purpose. He also includes the publishers of small magazines and broadcasters of small weather woes. The poet in his indignant mood calls them as seducers of experience. By doing so these men show their letter lack of imaginative power. He also condemns such practice by saying that they are the victims of their own spontaneous fraud. Ezekiel asks them their last composition of a real poem. He himself answers that they are in hell and they do not know it. But instead, they will answer that they have been reviewing as compensation. He asserts that he himself belonged once to as advertising offence. Ezekiel finds faults of not knowing the secret of writing and becoming thoughts which cause a variety of disasters to the mind of people through their poems.

This practice is nothing but making the most out of borrowed intelligence, imagination and skill. They really contribute nothing to the world of literature. The occasional rhyme or two coming from such people cannot be a thing of justification at all. This activity is described by the poet as a trail of smoke, that just irritates the people by its small and continuous suffocation. Thus, the poet gives a warning here of such people. In a relentless vein of critical self-awareness and with downright candour Ezekiel denounces all such poetasters:

No greater curse
than a minor talent
in the verse ring bull ring, yet
millions revel in it,
and I am counted
one among them, mixing
metaphors and platitudes...
Damn all you sensitive poets,
seducers of experience,
self-worshippers and publishers,
broadcasters of small weather woes.
Victims of your own spontaneous fraud
Your only achievement is monumentality of vanity.