Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 5 May 2011
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.





  • E-mail your articles and book-length reports in Microsoft Word to
  • Contributors from South Asia may e-mail their articles to
    B. Mallikarjun,
    Central Institute of Indian Languages,
    Mysore 570006, India
  • Your articles and book-length reports should be written following the APA, MLA, LSA, or IJDL Stylesheet.
  • The Editorial Board has the right to accept, reject, or suggest modifications to the articles submitted for publication, and to make suitable stylistic adjustments. High quality, academic integrity, ethics and morals are expected from the authors and discussants.

Copyright © 2010
M. S. Thirumalai

Custom Search

Cross Cultural Fertilization -
The Influence of Modernism on Indian Poetry in English

Sanjit Mishra, Ph.D. and Nagendra Kumar, Ph.D.

Emergence of New Literature in Post-colonial Era - In Search of New Idiom

Towards the end of Second World War and the decline of colonialism in Afro-Asian countries, there was an upsurge of new literature in English in the erstwhile British colonies of the world. These new literatures were typically characterized by the postcolonial tenets.

In the Indian context , it is important to note that the new poets have always been desperate in their search for an idiom which could be distinctly designated as Indian. However, a close study of these poets reveals that their poetry was greatly inspired by the Western poets. In fact, this cross-cultural fertilisation was fruitful in so many ways.

The present paper intends to highlight these western influences on the poetry of Nissim Ezekiel and Jayant Mahapatra , the two representatives of Modern Indian Poetry in English.

The Emergence of Modern Poetry in England

The modernistic poetry in England was one such influence on the writing of these poets which needs to be discussed here. On account of rising industrialisation, the entire Europe was under the grip of urbanisation and the attendant miseries of such progress were very obvious in different forms. The growing materialism left no room for human values necessary for a peaceful existence of humanity which ultimately pushed the entire world towards the two Great World Wars causing unprecedented loss of life. Apart from this, the upcoming scientific and technological developments made the life still more complex. The Existentialist thinkers were constrained to declare the meaninglessness of life. G S Fraser defines modernism as "an imaginative awareness of the stress of the social change" (Fraser 1970).

To quote R J Quinones (1985):

As a literary movement and broad cultural force, Modernism has made its mark and has its impact. It has entered into history and needs now to be discussed with the same comprehensive scope and yet with the same historical imagination that we might muster in discussing the Renaissance or Romanticism. Certainly the time is long part when distinguished literary historian (who here shall be nameless) could refer to the use of the term 'modernism' as pretentious. Modernism has become, in that celebrated Modernist Phrase, a 'climate of opinion', and now permeates the everyday life and common patois of time, it being with us when we knew it not.

Modernism in India

Modernism as a literary movement and cultural force came to India only after the Indian Independence much after it brought a change the west and perhaps paved the way for post-modernism (Das 1992).

While discarding the poetry of earlier generation of poets like Aurobindo and Sarojini Naidu for their vague poeticism and ideals, P. Lal observes that that poetry must deal in concrete terms with concrete experience. The experience may be intellectual or emotional or historical-tragical-pastoral-comical, but it must be precise and lucidly and tangibly expressed. Lal further adds that it is better to suggest a sky by referring to a circling eagle in it than to say simply 'the wide and open sky'. (Amanuddin 1981)

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Sanjit Mishra, Ph.D.
Department of Paper Technology
Indian Institute of Technology
Roorkee 247 667
Uttarakhand, India

Nagendra Kumar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dept of HSS
Indian Institute of Technology
Roorkee 247667
Uttarakhand, India

Custom Search

  • Click Here to Go to Creative Writing Section

  • Send your articles
    as an attachment
    to your e-mail to
  • Please ensure that your name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and institutional address, and your e-mail address are all given in the first page of your article. Also include a declaration that your article or work submitted for publication in LANGUAGE IN INDIA is an original work by you and that you have duly acknowledged the work or works of others you either cited or used in writing your articles, etc. Remember that by maintaining academic integrity we not only do the right thing but also help the growth, development and recognition of Indian scholarship.