Nissim Ezekiel

(16 December 1924 - 9 January 2004 / Mumbai / India)

Night Of The Scorpion - Poem by Nissim Ezekiel

I remember the night my mother
was stung by a scorpion. Ten hours
of steady rain had driven him
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Comments about Night Of The Scorpion by Nissim Ezekiel

  • Rajesh Thankappan (4/4/2017 10:06:00 AM)

    A mother's love for her children is illustrated in the last line of the last stanza. (Report) Reply

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  • Bakuli Bhakali (3/10/2015 12:50:00 PM)

    I like Night of the Scorpion by Nissim Ezekiel. This poem centred around a trivial incident of narrator's mother being bitten by a scorpion and everyone's reaction to it.
    When we read the beginning of the poem we feel the narrator recollecting the memory of a cursed night of his past when his mother was bitten by a little black monster. We could visualise the crowd of peasants gathering around their house on that damp night. Poet here depicts the perfect picture of a rural India where people are ignorant and know nothing much about medicinal science. But they show endless concern if something happens to somebody in their community. If nothing else they can do then they'll seek solace in God, some curse the cause or try to justify it with their superstitious beliefs.
    Even in that dark and the damp night poet could find a ray of positivism in his father who tried his best to lower his mother's turmoil. He tried each and every advice given until she recovered.
    the best part of the poem comes when mother after recovering says Thank God the scorpion picked on me
    And spared my children.
    Within these 50 lines poet analysed human behaviour and their psychology in different situations. The father who is a caring husband to his wife and a symbol of light for the child. On the other hand, the mother who is an epitome of love and sacrifice even in her deathbed didn't forget to thank God for keeping her children safe (although it was at the cost of her own life) . It touched my heart. For a moment, I remembered my mother sacrificing her share of happiness for us.
    This poem also focuses on the life of the peasants living in mud houses. They work day and night to build others house, but confined themselves in the damp mud houses. When rainy days are blessings for some people for them these days unfolds as life-threatening danger in the form of evil scorpions, snakes or any other organism.
    I appreciate Nissim Ezekiel for such a wonderful poem. Anyone with the experience of this life can relate themselves to the poem and the others can experience it through the poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/17/2013 1:25:00 AM)

    One of the poem I read in childhood and I still remember. Absolutely original and unique. A classic poem, which will stand the test of time. (Report) Reply

  • Soulful Heart (3/28/2012 5:54:00 AM)

    so poignantly incident of a scorpion bite turned into an insight of human behaviour.................bravo! ! (Report) Reply

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