Nissim Ezekiel and A.K. Ramanujan

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Nissim Ezekiel (December 24 1924 - January 9, 2004 ) was a poet, playwright and art critic. He was considered the foremost Indian writer in English English-language> of his time.
Contents 1 Early life > 2 Career > 3 Books by Nissim Ezekiel > 4 Some of his well-known poems >
Early life
Ezekiel was born in Bombay (now Mumbai Mumbai). Ezekiel’s father was a botany professor and his mother, principal of her own school. He belonged to Mumbai's small 'Bene Israel' Jewish community. In 1947, Ezekiel did his Masters in literature from Wilson College, University of Mumbai. In 1947-48, he taught English literature at Khalsa College, Mumbai and published literary articles. After dabbling in radical politics for a while, he sailed to London in November 1948. He studied philosophy at Birkbeck College. After a three and half years stay, Ezekiel worked his way home as a deck-scrubber aboard a cargo ship carrying arms to Indochina. He married Daisy Jacob in 1952. In the same year, Fortune press (London) published his first collection of poetry, A Time to Change. He joined The Illustrated Weekly of India as an assistant editor in 1953 and stayed there for two years. Soon after his return from London, he published his second book of verse Sixty Poems. For the next 10 years, he also worked as a broadcaster on arts and literature for All India Radio. Career He published his book The Unfinished Man in 1960. After working as an advertising copywriter and general manager of a picture frame company (1954-59), he co-founded the literary monthly Imprint, in 1961. He became art critic of The Times of India The-Times-of-India> (1964-66) and edited Poetry India (1966-67). From 1961 to 1972, he headed the English department of Mithibai College, Mumbai. The Exact Name, his fifth book of poetry was puublished in 1965. During this period he had short tenures as visiting professor at University of Leeds (1964) and University of Chicago (1967). In 1967 while in America, he experimented with hallucenogenic drugs, probably as a means to expand his writing skills. He finally stopped using them in 1972. In 1969, Writers Workshop, Calcutta published his The Three Plays. A year later, he presented an art series of ten programs for Mumbai television. On the invitation of the US government, he went on a month long tour to the US in November, 1974. In 1976, he translated poetry ...

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...Sight may strike you blind in unexpected places. The traffic light turns orange on 57th and Dorchester, and you stumble, you fall into a vision of forest fires, enter a frothing Himalayan river, rapid, silent. On the 14th floor, Lake Michigan crawls and crawls in the window. Your thumbnail cracks a lobster louse on the windowpane from your daughter's hair and you drown, eyes open, towards the Indies, the antipodes. And you, always so perfectly sane. iii Now you know what you always knew: the country cannot be reached by jet. Nor by boat on jungle river, hashish behind the Monkey-temple, nor moonshot to the cratered Sea of Tranquillity, slim circus girls on a tightrope between tree and tree with white parasols, or the one and only blue guitar. Nor by any other means of transport, migrating with a clean valid passport, no, not even by transmigrating without any passport at all, but only by answering ordinary black telephones, questions walls and small children ask, and answering all calls of nature. iv Watch your step, watch it, I say, especially at the first high threshold, and the sudden low one near the end of the flight of stairs, and watch for the last step that's never there.
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