A Critical Reading of Nabakanta Barua’s “Measurements”

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Sanjeev Kumar Vishwakarma


‘Measurements’ is a poem written by an Assamese poet, Nabakanta Barua. He belongs to the new generation of poets in Assamese Literature. He writes in the modernist tradition of Hopkins (using sprung rhythm), W. B. Yeats (conflict between the romantic and the modern) and T. S. Eliot (material and spiritual hollowness). He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Assamese Literature in 1975. The poem has a good deal of influence of T. S. Eliot. It reminds the beginning of ‘Prufrock’ and depicts the purposelessness, hollowness and faithlessness of modern existence. It bears the influence of the European decadent culture which reveals the inner crisis of the human soul through doubts, apprehensions, boredom and frustration. In this poem Nabakanta Barua talks about city life in which man has to go through an endless process of ‘measurements’ resulting into nothingness. The poem seems to begin with talking about the stitching of clothing in a materialistic sense but, in its deeper meanings, it gives philosophical and spiritual perspectives. Different kinds of metaphors have been used to clarify the situations of nothingness and barrenness.


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Sanjeev Kumar Vishwakarma. “A Critical Reading of Nabakanta Barua’s ‘Measurements’”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 5, no. 1, Apr. 2020, pp. 44-49, doi:10.53032/tcl.2020.5.1.07.


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