Father Returning Home


‘Father Returning Home’ by Dilip Chitre expresses the generational separation between a “father” and “children” through vivid visuals. The poet Dilip Chitre depicts the picture of his own father a Suburban commuter returning home from work. The father is unhappy in his life. The connection he desires with the children he loves is denied by those very “children.” Alienation is the prominent concept within poem. The father is tired, and he feels trapped in his life due to a lack of control.

The poem has two stanzas of twelve lines each. The tone of the poem is sharply unsentimental. The tone is sad and dull. The language used is contemporary. The poem does not have any rhyme. It is written in the form of a dramatic monologue. The poet has made use of pictorial words to describe the pathetic condition of the father. The vivid phrases help us visualize the picture of the uncared father making his way home. For example, the father’s image on the “train” with “soggy” clothes and a “black raincoat stained with mud” is a defeated and sad visual. Simile, Alliteration, Onomatopoeia are the figures of speech effectively used in this poem. 

Isolation, Alienation is the theme of this poem. When the father comes home after a tiring day at work, there is no one to care for him or engage him in conversation. His tragedy is not unique but one that is seen commonly in cosmopolitan cities. In this teeming city he is friendless and at home too this loneliness finds an echo.

I like this poem for it’s real and brutally honest depiction of modern life. The poem speaks of a classic disconnect between generations. It is expressed from the perspective of a child through the observations of his father. Those recollections from the child end with feelings of sympathy for the father.

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