Short Summary of “Homecoming” by R. Parthasarathy

The agony of ‘home coming’ to the language and its culture is excru­ciating. The language and the culture, both are debased. Yet the poet has to come to terms with them in order to realise himself, as a person and a poet.

11 3-6: A very harsh picture of the state of Tamil as it is debased in the film medium. The images of “bull” and “carcass” are very striking. This “carcass” of the language cannot provide the poet with the tradition he is seeking. Nammalvar was a famous Tamil Vaishnavaite poet, a devo­tional hymnologist of the Eighth Century A.D. His verses formed part of the much-celebrated Nalayira Divya Prabandham. The bull refers here to the Tamil language which Nammalvar handled with ease.

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11 11-16: “Turning inward” for creating poetry is what the poet does in the other poems of this section. Parthasarathy acknowl­edges that he learnt to make poetic use of the past — his childhood — from Ramanujan. “Ramanujan’s repossession, through his poetry, of the past of his family, and of his sense of himself as a distillation of the past, is to me a signal achievement…”

11 16-18: Writing from one’s intimate experiences is the credo of Parthasarathy.