Summary of The Professor by Nissim Ezekiel

The Professor by Nissim Ezekiel is a satirical poem written in the form of a conversation between a professor and his student. A satire is way of criticizing a person, an idea or something where the poet uses humour to point out their faults and weaknesses. Here, the professor makes fun of himself by the way he speaks or thinks. A professor is someone who should be proper in his subject or the medium he teaches. But the professor in The Professor is caricatured because of his erroneous dialect. A Professor can also be called a monologue because one can find that the professor speaks but listener does not say a word. The poem is composed in Indian English and the poet mocks Indians who finds prestigious to speak in English, even when they are not so good in it, rather than in their mother tongue.

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POEM IN DETAIL:
(Lines1-11) The poem, The Professor begins with a question, ‘Remember me?’. The question is from a retired Geography professor to one of his former student. He then introduces himself as Professor Sheth who had once taught Geography to that student. Then he describes his current position, his family and his health. He tells him that his wife has passed away few years back and by God’s will, all his children ‘are well settled in life.’ He also mentions that one of his sons is a Bank Manager and another is a Sales Manager. To describe their social and financial condition, the retired professor says they both own cars. Then he mentions about his third son whom he considers as the black sheep of the family.
(Lines 12-21) The professor then talks about his daughters, Sarala and Tarala. He says that they both are married and leading a happy life. His son-in-laws ‘are very nice boys.’ The professor then proudly tells his student that he has eleven grandchildren. He even asks his student how many issues he has. The student probably says three when the professor says people are going in for family planning these days which is good.
The professor keeps on talking. He talks about the changing times and the importance of change. He talks about how the whole world is changing along with India. He then talks about the change in values. Old values are been replaced by new values.
(Lines 22-36) The professor now talks a bit about himself. He says that he hardly go out because of his old age. Then he says his ‘health is O.K’ but he does have usual aches and pains. He is not suffering from diabetes, blood pressure or heart disease. He says proudly that he is healthy because of the good habits that he has cultivated from his youth.
He even enquires about his student’s health and is happy when he comes to know that the student is in good health. The professor reveals his age, he says that he is sixty nine and hopes to live for a hundred years. He jokes with his student that the latter was like a stick earlier but now he has gained weight and become a ‘man of weight and consequence.’ Finally, the professor asks him to pay a visit to his home if he ever comes near to his dwelling place.

ABOUT THE POET:
Nissim Ezekiel (14 December 1924- 9 January 2004) was an Indian Jewish poet, playwright, editor, art critic. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his Poetry collection, ‘Latter-Day Psalms.’

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Trisha
I have done my M.A in English andI love reading good books and sharing knowledge with others. Thanks for appreciating.

39 Comments

  1. brittany rose

    February 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    omg… this is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo boring…. exzs here suck

    • sushant saini

      November 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      thank u so much it gives me a lot of information

    • Smriti

      December 1, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      I agree with you:):)XDXDXDXPXPXP

    • Akshat sharma

      April 26, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Niceeeeee one know

    • rethika

      May 7, 2016 at 6:07 am

      yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa………….true

  2. Shivam Ranakoti

    September 19, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Thank u a ton…..helped me very much in exams…but only a small grudge that u should extend the summary a little more like adding meaning to some difficult words……but again thank u….:)

  3. Nitin

    December 11, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Thank u so much

  4. Fsgssd

    December 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Cool

  5. Pradeep

    January 20, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    This poem gives me a damn….But this site is awesome!…:)

  6. Adithya

    January 28, 2015 at 12:57 am

    It was really helpfull

  7. S Nair

    February 24, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Great website ! thanks a lot! Hope to see some more of each poem/prose like the inner meaning or the type of questions that could be asked for the board exam. Hope this suggestion is considered ASAP.

  8. Prantik

    May 20, 2015 at 8:28 am

    It helped me For the ICSE Project……..

  9. samad

    July 7, 2015 at 11:46 am

    thanks it’s help full for my assignment

  10. Anny

    July 15, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    helped a lot in preparing my ICSE PROJECT….thnx

  11. Roshan chourasia

    July 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    next sunday is my exam in tution and it help me a lot

    thanx………….

  12. Roshan chourasia

    July 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    There is exam in EP nd it help me

  13. Tenzin

    August 19, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Thank u☺☺☺☺it helps me a lot..

  14. sarbojit Datta

    October 5, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    It’s helpful

  15. Emerald

    November 4, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    This was helpfull but could have been explained a little bit more!!! Thanks a lot anyways…

  16. shinjinee

    November 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you for helping me before my exam……

  17. shinjinee

    November 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for helping me before my exam…..

  18. Tejaswini

    November 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    damn informative… dis ssrly helped a lot!!! =)

  19. A. Jagannadha Rao

    November 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I’ve my own analisys of the poem the professor The poem has been started with a question “Remember me?” Usually professors are termed as absent minded. With this question the professor wishes to declare that he is not one. Rather he reminds the reader about his existance. The poet wishes to say that the professor is a person whom almost every person would like to forget. But he is the person who tries ham values in the student. Geography falls in the catagory of humanities. Humanities teach human values. By the change the professor means the human values are changing. In the name of value people are forgetting the old. To support his argument the poet brings in the various diseases prevailing today and the health of the professor. In conclusion the poet advises all to go to the professors to learn the human values. This my interpretation of the poem. If othets have any interpretation pl do not hesitate to convey.

  20. Shreya

    November 30, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Thus has too many grammatical error, just so you know.

  21. Debayana Chakraborty

    December 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    helped me a lot in my last minuit preparation for the exams… u saved me today

  22. SnEha GhOsh

    December 16, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for this lovely summary 🙂

  23. Dalia

    December 17, 2015 at 10:40 am

    It’s really helpful n a nice effort to reach the requirements of the students…but,word meaning or annotations,critical appreciation etc.are needed….

  24. lania

    January 15, 2016 at 11:21 am

    thanks a lot for your summaries they are really great, if you don’t mind can you write summaries for all the other poems and short stories for icse.

  25. Ranya

    January 27, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    This is very good keep it up. Thanks for helping me as well. You’re great.

  26. vrushank

    February 11, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    it helped in my poetry project and i gained 20 marks for it. :-):-):-)

  27. Vinayak Agarwal

    February 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Pleasw tell me the meaning of last line

  28. Suveer

    February 26, 2016 at 9:35 am

    How is there humour in this story?

  29. pranav

    February 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    really nice notes,exact points,good job man!!!!

  30. atharva

    February 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    in the summary there is a misconception and a wrong info is printed. the student does not give the answer that he has three children, it is assumed by the professor that he has three children, he is asking question to his student if he has three children. u can check it by going through the poem. you just need to give a look at that thing, except that every thing is fine. good summary and helpful

    • Aditya Nimesh

      March 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      k

  31. Smriti Sharma

    February 29, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks….its helping me one day before the examination!!!

  32. shanmuga priya.s

    April 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

    hi!summary is fine,but it should be quite big.try to use some difficult words thank you!

    • Smundhra

      May 12, 2016 at 2:05 am

      Thank u so much. It gives me lot of knowledge.

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