Father to Son by Elizabeth Jennings
A good ppt to explain the poem
The father complains that he does not understand his own child. Though they have lived together for so many years now i.e. since the time of his son’s birth, the father knows nothing of him. The father tries to build up a relationship with his son from the early years, in a manner when his son began to recognize people around, to crawl and to walk in a desperate attempt. The father wonders whether he has destroyed the seed of his off-spring or sown it where the land belongs to his heir and none is his.
Both father and son continue to speak like strangers now and there seem no signs of understanding in the air between the two. In traditional belief, the son is created and born to the likings and designs of his father, yet in this case, the father cannot share what his son loves. Most of the time silence surrounds them. The father’s greatest wish is for his son to be ‘The Prodigal’ son who will very soon return to his father’s house; the home which he always knew. This is definitely the better alternative rather than to see his son move out into the world blindly on his own, by himself and fall into trouble. The father is ready to forgive him at any cost as long as he is able to reshape him up from the long bounded sorrow to a new love.
Both father and son all over the world must learn to live on the same globe and on the same land. The father finally admits that there are times that he cannot understand himself or why his anger grows from grief? However they have learnt to put out each other’s empty hand and with each other’s heart that is longing for something to forgive.