‘Self Portrait’ is one among A K Ramanujan’s many poems which deals with identity, here ‘loss of self-identity’. It’s an ‘introspective poem’.
A K Ramanujan penned most of his poems very concise but with interesting play of words. ‘Self Portrait’ is no exception.
SELF PORTRAIT SUMMARY
Self Portrait deals with loss self-identity. The poet deplores that he resembles everyone around him whether it is known or stranger, friends or enemies. He relies on everyone but not himself. He fails to identify his individuality and thereby looses his self-reliance.
When one cannot identify him with himself, he needs self-motivation. Otherwise the whole life seems to him a blank page. The poet here looses his identity to his father and to everyone. The very first line of the poem ‘I resemble everyone’ which constructs the setting of the whole poem. It shows his inability to identify his own individuality.
The poet feels that he is not unique but this makes the poem unique and sensible. As always, this is one of the shortest poems of A K Ramanujan and stands an epitome of his successful poetic career.