The Peacock, Sujata Bhatt: 20 Questions & Answers

1. Who is the poet of "The Peacock," and where is she currently residing?

The poet of "The Peacock" is Sujata Bhatt, and she currently resides in Germany.

2. From which collection is "The Peacock" extracted, and what recognition did the collection receive in 1988?

The poem is from the collection 'Brunizem,' which secured the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Asia section in 1988.

3. What is the central theme explored in "The Peacock" by Sujata Bhatt?

The central theme of the poem revolves around the diasporic experience, cultural longing, beauty, cultural pride, patience, and joyful revelation.

4. How does the poet describe the peacock's call in the opening lines of the poem?

The poet describes the peacock's call as "loud sharp" and seemingly coming from nowhere, adding an element of mystery to its presence.

5. What symbolic role does the peacock play in the context of "The Peacock" by Sujata Bhatt?

The peacock symbolizes cultural pride and the yearning for one's homeland, serving as a metaphor for the poet's connection with her Indian cultural identity.

6. What advice does the poet receive regarding encountering the peacock, and how does she follow it?

The poet is advised to sit in the veranda, read a book with great concentration, and immerse herself inside the book. This advice helps the poet to distract her mind, creating the conditions for the peacock's subtle appearance.

7. When the poet begins to live inside the book, what effect does it have, according to the poem?

When the poet begins to live inside the book, a blue shadow falls over her, marking the moment when the peacock is about to reveal itself.

8. What indications in the poem suggest the imminent arrival of the peacock?

Indications include the change in wind direction, the cessation of the hum of bees in the nearby bushes, and the awakening and stretching of a nearby cat.

9. How does the poet describe the appearance of the peacock when it finally reveals itself?

The poet describes the peacock's appearance as a gathering of its tail, turning away as it shuts its dark glowing eyes, which are violet fringed with golden amber.

10. What significance is attributed to the peacock gathering its tail in the poem?

The gathering of the peacock's tail is portrayed as an intentional act, akin to blinking its "dark glowing eyes," adding a layer of symbolism to the poem.

11. What literary and poetic devices are mentioned in the analysis of "The Peacock" by Sujata Bhatt?

The poem employs rich imagery and symbolism, including personification, allegory, hyperbole, and vivid descriptions creating a visual feast of colors and emotions.

12. What is the significance of the peacock as the national bird of India in the context of the poem?

The peacock symbolizes cultural pride and heritage, representing the beauty of India. Its elusive nature mirrors the poet's struggle to reconnect with her distant homeland.

13. How does the poet create a sense of anticipation in the second stanza of "The Peacock"?

The poet creates anticipation through detailed instructions, such as the change in wind direction, the cessation of the hum of bees, and the awakening of a nearby cat. These build an atmospheric backdrop, emphasizing the elusive nature of the peacock.

14. What is the emotional journey encapsulated in "The Peacock"?

The poem encapsulates the emotional journey of the diasporic experience, where moments of anticipation and patience lead to the revelation of beauty, symbolized by the majestic peacock.

15. What does the poet's advice to "live inside the book" suggest about the significance of literature in the poem?

The advice suggests that literature serves as a distraction and a means to create conditions for the peacock's subtle appearance, emphasizing the role of literature in the poet's experience.

16. How is the poem structured, and what is the significance of its form?

The poem is composed in free verse with no specific stanza form or rhyme scheme. The first stanza introduces the beauty of the peacock, while the second stanza delves into the poet's personal quest, creating a subjective and immersive experience.

17. What role does the peacock's tail play in the poem's conclusion?

The peacock's tail is significant in the conclusion as it gathers to blink, symbolizing the closing of its "dark glowing eyes." This act intensifies the poetic experience and marks the culmination of the poet's patient anticipation.

18. What does the poet convey about her connection with her cultural roots in "The Peacock"?

The poem reflects the poet's deep yearning and emotional connection with her native India. The peacock serves as a symbolic representation of this longing for one's cultural roots.

19. How does the poet use vivid imagery to describe the peacock in the opening stanza of "The Peacock"?

The poet uses vivid imagery to depict the peacock, describing its call as "loud sharp," and its appearance as a "flash of turquoise" against the Pipal tree, creating a regal and captivating image.

20. What emotions does the poem evoke in the reader, and how does the poet conclude "The Peacock"?

The poem evokes a range of emotions, from anticipation and patience to joy and revelation. The poet concludes on a note of joy as she finally beholds the resplendent peacock, symbolizing the rewarding nature of rediscovering one's cultural identity.

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