Nectar in a Sieve
by Kamala Markandaya
Analysis: What’s Up With the Title?
The line "Nectar in a Sieve" is taken from a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which you can read about in "What’s Up with the Epigraph." Without analyzing the poem, the title alone reflects something of the book: nectar is a lovely liquid that will eventually drain away when put into a sieve (a sifter). The title is a beautiful way to talk about the inevitable draining of life in the face of suffering and death. The events of the novel parallel this theme quite closely. The title cast the beauty and the misery of life next to each other, and raises the question of which has the upper hand, the nectar of life, or the sieve of destruction.