Abstract

The response of scholars to Ezekiel's 'Indian English' poems has always alternated between amusement and disapproval; very few have taken them seriously enough to see that they bring into sharp focus the sensibility that informs the characteristic Indian modes of thought and behaviour. It seems as if the comedy of the low-grade Indian English employed by the poet as an artistic strategy in these poems has altogether distracted attention away from the underlying purpose. The apparently light-hearted treatment of the subject in them has led scholars to think that the poet has 'quietly gone to seed'.^ Even when occasionally a perceptive scholar like Sivaramakrishna feels that the 'ultimate significance' of Ezekiel's 'Indian English' poems has not often been realised, he merely regards them as symptomatic of the predicament of Indo-English poets 'whoring after English gods'.^ This view leaves much to be said about the 'significance' of these poems.

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