Nissim’s Poem, The Country Cottage, Critical Analysis

“The Country Cottage” is a simple lyric which is collected in Poems (1965-74). Ezekiel poetizes ordinary situations, ordinary human relationships, ordinary men and women, and ordinary creatures. He has composed his very best poetry out of the ordinariness of human life. He also exhibits his inborn love for Indian landscapes, Indian flora and fauna. He has all sympathy with lower creatures. Ezekiel sees inborn kinship between man and nature. Nature is also a good teacher and he finds valuable morals in birds and lizards. Various aspects of nature and lower creatures are used as vivid symbols and images. In this lyric the lizard is graphically described. The poet contrasts human life, which is marked by laziness, aimlessness and want of determination, with that of a lizard that is known for patience, concentration and determination. Man has to learn much even from a lizard.

Nissim’s Poem, The Country Cottage, Critical Analysis
Nissim’s Poem, The Country Cottage, Critical Analysis

“The Country Cottage” is written in four stanzas of five lines each, with varying rhyme scheme. It is written in simple, clear and lucid language. One night in sheer indolence they went to bed before their eyes were heavy. They had no aim or purpose. They were lying with “limbs prepared to stretch or love.” That night a lizard also came into their cottage. It was patient, active, firm in determination and strong in will power: 

"Immobile, tense and grey 
he taught us patience as 
he waited for the dark 
From time to time we could 
not help but glance at him 
and learn again that he 
was more alive than us 
in silent energy, 
though his aim was only 
the death of cockroaches." 

The lizard teaches the lesson of patience. It is more energetic and active than the indolent sleepers in the country cottage. It does its work of eating the cockroaches with tireless energy and patience, and silently goes away when the work is done:

“When we awake the next
Morning we found as we
expected that the job 
was done, clean and complete, 
and the stout lizard gone.” 

We should learn from the lizard that it is only through patient energy that “clean and complete achievement is possible.” 

Saurabh Gupta

My name is Saurabh Gupta. I have designed this blog to help those students and people who are greatly interested to get knowledge about English Literature. This blog provides precious knowledge and information about English Literature and Criticism.

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