Robert Frost and Nissim Ezekiel, who had no influence on each other, are both poets of man. Although Frost knows humanity without its "company manners," (Untermeyer, 1930), and Ezekiel is "a poet of the city" (Hess, 1976), both capture the various aspects of human relationships that remain unchanged over time, across cultures and continents. When exploring love between man and woman, both poets believe a blend of physical and platonic or spiritual love is essential for harmonious marital relationships. To Frost, when the two forms of love are balanced, the marriage becomes "a stay against confusion." While in Frost's poems marriages fail because of the absence of physical love, in Ezekiel's portrayal, urban marriages crumble because they are often built on physical love and devoid of understanding or caring. When portraying familial love, Ezekiel seems to be constantly engaged in the quest for an ideal woman who would combine a beloved's charm with a mother's tenderness, which according to him is elusive. However, his mother figures are sacrificing and self-denying, just as how Frost's mothers are filled with tenderness and boundless love. Both poets celebrate the importance of family and raising children to bring about self-realization, despite the discord within familial relationships. In terms of societal relationships, both poets declare their love for life despite its imperfections, standing strong in the face of challenges, not wooed by the soothing calls of the next world: "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep." Both poets approve of man's simultaneous isolation from and union with the society. Ezekiel's man is withdrawn into himself, "a single room is all I can love ... but not the world of history." Yet, Ezekiel's man is willing to "close the door and sit alone in kinship with the world. I am near everybody being near myself alone." Frost, too, believes in mending fences, while appreciating each other's differences.
|School:||Madurai Kamaraj University (India)|
|Department:||English and Comparative Literature|
|Source:||MAI 55/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Comparative literature, Asian literature, American literature|
|Keywords:||American poetry, Ezekiel, nissim, Frost, robert, Human relationships, Indian poetry|
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