The father to son poem summary is about a father who does not share a warm relationship with his son. His son now becomes a grown-up man and is busy in his own world. The father now realizes the gap between them and feels bad that they do not know much about each other.
He shares his feelings and is distressed about the communication gap between them but now all his efforts go to the drain. They have separated and now it seems nothing can happen.
Father To Son Central Idea
The poem summary of Father to Son for class 11th is written by Elizabeth Jennings. She was born in Boston in 1926 and when she grew 6yrs old she discovered her literary skills in the Oxford University High School. She was also the most renowned poet in England and has released several literary pieces.
Through this poem, she tries to explain a father’s feelings about how he realizes later that his bond with his son is drifting apart.
Father To Son Central Idea
The poem is about an anguished father where he vociferation about his bond with his son who now becomes a grown-up man and is busy in his life. The poet mentions that although they were living in the same house for years, they were apart and shared cold behavior.
The father doesn’t know anything about his son and now even if he tries to know and talk to him he felt a gap between them and all his efforts go in vain. He feels a lack of understanding and they speak like they are unknown people to each other.
The son finally pours his heart out and shares what he feels very sad and disturbed about the distance between him and his father. They want to find a solution to reduce this communication gap between them and forgive each other.
Let’s get a deep analysis of the poem and try to know about a father’s relationship with a son.
Father To Son Class 11 Explanation
Stanza1 I do not understand this child Though we have lived together now In the same house for years. I know Nothing of him, so try to build Up a relationship from how He was when small. Yet have I killed
The above lines explain that how the father shares his feelings about his bond with his son. He says that though they were living together in the same house, he seems to know nothing about his son.
He doesn’t even know his son’s likes and dislikes. Whenever he tries to build his relationship with his son all his efforts go to the drain as his son now has changed so far.
Stanza2 The seed I spent or sown it where The land is his and none of mine? We speak like strangers, there’s no sign Of understanding in the air. This child is built to my design Yet what he loves I cannot share.
In the above lines, the father has used the word ‘I’ to mention his role to bridge the gap between them. He says despite making so many efforts he still unable to know the place his son has gone.
There is no sign of understanding and warmth in their relationship and they share their talks like strangers. He takes after him but still, the father doesn’t know what his son likes and what he does not.
- Sown – do something which will bring a result
Stanza3 Silence surrounds us. I would have Him prodigal, returning to His father’s house, the home he knew, Rather than see him make and move His world. I would forgive him too, Shaping from sorrow a new love.
Silence has enveloped them and now the father wanted that his son should not roam around here and there and should return as soon as possible. He wants bygones to be bygones and tries to build the castle again.
The son was moving freely and spending hefty amounts on useless things. The father wants his son to come back and he is ready to forgive him. The son should also through away his sorrows and reduce the distance between them.
- Prodigal – spending money freely
Stanza4 Father and son, we both must live On the same globe and the same land, He speaks: I cannot understand Myself, why anger grows from grief. We each put out an empty hand, Longing for something to forgive.
The son opens his heart for the first time and explains what he feels about their relationship and their distance. He told that sometimes a point comes where he is unable to understand himself and then his anger comes out as sadness.
He realizes the same frustration is on both sides and both long to forgive each other but they both are not able to find a way to do the same. Both of them lend an empty hand to each other and all their efforts go in vain.
- Grief – sorrow, sadness
NCERT Solutions For Class 11th English Father To Son
Q1. Does the poem talk of exclusively personal experience or is it fairly universal?
The poem is an autobiography and beautifully describes the bond between a father and his son. Their initial personal experience explains that the growing generation gap and lack of communication have widened the gap in them.
Q2. How is the father’s helplessness brought out in the poem?
It is brought about by the circumstances around them. Usually, a father is the best friend of the child and a good advisor of the child but here due to lack of communication between the two has been shown.
Even after they are living under the same roof, they are not sharing a good rapport and always feel helpless that they are unable to share a good bond.
Q3. Identify the phrases and lines that indicate the distance between father and son.
The phrases/lines indicating the distance between father and son are:
“I don’t understand this child.”
“I know nothing of him.”
“We speak like strangers, there’s no sign
Of understanding in the air.”
“..What he loves I cannot share.”
“Silence surrounds us.”
“…see him make and move His world.”
Q4. Does the poem have a consistent rhyme scheme?
No, the poem does not have a consistent rhyme scheme. The first two stanzas have the rhyme scheme abbaba whereas the third and fourth have a slight alteration. The third stanza has abc aba whereas the fourth one has abbcb scheme.
Q5. What does the speaker say about the father-son relationship?
Their relationship is not working and the lack of communication between them has worsened the situation. The father does not crave for his son and never shows or expresses his feelings or care towards him.
They speak informality and the son also never puts any effort to speak or understands his point of view.
Q6. What do you think is responsible for the distance between father and son?
The lack of understanding from the father’s side is the root cause of their distance. The father wants his son to remain at home and be ignorant.
The son is a young man and longs for exposure and seeks fresh and adventurous opportunities. The father finds it difficult to understand and adjust to the progressive changes.
Q7. How can you infer that the father wishes his son to remain at home with him?
Father finds his son a different figure and he feels he is quite different and wants exposure and tries new things one after the other. His father wants him to be homebound and this creates a rift between them.
To conclude, the summary of the poem Father To Son of class 11th revolves around an anguished father and his prodigal son who lives in the same house for years is not in touch. His son now has become an adult and is busy in his own life roaming around.
But the father longs to rebuild the bond between them. The father tries to convey that the son should forget about the past mishaps of their lives and bridge the gap between them. They both wanted to do the same but their efforts seem to go down the drain.