Nissim Ezekiel was born in Bombay in 1924. He was also educated in the same city and in Birbeck College, London. He lives in Bombay,where he teaches American Literature at the University. His woeks include A time to Change (1952), The Unfinished Man (1960). He has had poems published in the London Magazine and The Spectator.
Ezekiel’s poetry is modern and contemporary and yet he has not broken with tradition. He acknowledges Pound, Eliot, Yeats, Rilke and Auden among others as major influences on him. He writes in both treditional verse-forms and free verse. The central themes of his poetry are love, contemporary India and modern urban life. He has an abiding involvement in spiritual values.
Nissim Ezekiel is a Jew and as such is on record saying ‘…..My background makes me a natural outsider’. In ‘Background, Casually’ he states his case. The clear-sighted ‘outsider’ point-of-view gets reflected in ‘Night of the Scorpion’ where the superstitions of India are depicted.
Ezekiel’s development as a poet has followed a clear trajectory. From the external world he depicts in his early poetry he has moved into the mysteries of the human heart, beyond mere meaning and understanding.