Home -Coming Son Summary Notes

Home -Coming Son About The Poet

Tsegaye Gabre- Medhin was an Ethiopian poet, playwright, art director, no war, and a human rights activist. He was very proud of Ethiopia’s long history of independence and her unique cultural heritage. He constantly insisted that his country needed heroes, and used the theatre deliberately to teach his compatriot to respect the Ethiopian heroes of their past. In the process of welcoming the son back home, the poem portrays the glorious heritage, rich culture, and pride of being black in a place called HOME.

Home -Coming Son Summary

The Ethiopian poet is a pacifist (against war) and is very proud of Ethiopia’s history of independence and unique cultural heritage. He is welcoming the son back home and glorifies the heritage, culture. He feels proud of being black in a place called HOME. The poem talks about an Ethiopian returning home from a foreign land. He is called the unholy stranger as he walks around in his homeland. Ethiopia is a land of eighth harmony (orderly and pleasing place). Such a beautiful place pictured and painted and the masterpiece by the God himself has been portrayed as the black color (negative) even among the rainbow. The country is depicted as the darker side of the beautiful moon. The poet is unhappy because the wrong aspects of the country are being highlighted.

The poet wants the Ethiopian son, the unholy stranger to roam around in his foreign outfit but barefooted only for the ancestor’s buried earth to caress the feet and the motherland to breath kiss (breeze and soothe) his body. The poet is suggesting the unholy stranger walk in peace, walk freely, walk alone without fear but with openness to feel the motherland.

Again with pain and sarcasm, the poet is asking the unholy stranger to watch where he walks. The poet reminds us that the land is his roots – Black. He reminds that the tom-toms (instruments) were beaten and the ancestors enjoyed so much that the vibration shook the mountains and the fearful silence was removed amidst greenery. The place has a history of the ancestors’ joyous moments. So nothing to worry son, the poet encourages and asks him to walk proud and walk to happily know Ethiopia better.

The poet cautions but hopefully to listen to the calls of the ancestors. This unholy son is not resourceful (prodigal). After wasting so many years and bringing down the name of the country, today he has returned and the long waiting is over. The soil welcomes you to home, to the songs of the birds, to the family name. Even the winds whisper the golden names of the primitive tribal warriors who fought for their country. The fresh breeze today is free blowing into your nostrils which actually has taken many lives. You might have gone away but the spirits of the land welcome you.

The poet still is encouraging the returned unholy son to feel himself a part of the masterwork of the art of god (country of Ethiopia is God created) to become one with the country. He can laugh, keep pace and enjoy the rhythm, walk with pride, and be free and walk without fear. Even today when he has returned after a long time, the motherland caresses your body because you have returned to your roots. The body and your soul will surely absorb the brightness, sunshine, and the black color that is the color that god colored in Ethiopia.

Home -Coming Son Glossary

Eighth                   : anything that is pleasing or in order
harmony Outfit    : a set of clothes that are worn together, costume
Caress                  : to touch someone in a gentle way
Tom – toms          : a cylindrical musical drum
Colossus              : a very large
Hum                    : to sing the notes of a song while keeping your lips closed
Prodigal              : carelessly and foolishly spending money, time
Ebony                 : a hard heavy blackish wood

COMPREHENSION

Question 1.
Who is the unholy stranger in the poem?
Answer:
The unholy stranger is the son/person who has returned from a foreign country.

Question 2.
Which is the eighth harmony in the rainbow?
Answer:
The eighth harmony in the rainbow is the color black as a metaphor but it actually is the pleasing order in which Ethiopia too is a pleasing place and with good order in the nation (like how the color blends in a united manner in a rainbow)

Question 3.
What is the unholy stranger wearing?
Answer:
The unholy stranger is wearing a foreign outfit, not the ethnic/traditional Ethiopian.

Question 4.
Why should the stranger walk in peace?
Answer:
The stranger should walk in peace because the place is where his ancestors lived and his motherland where all are supporting him and nothing is foreign here.

Question 5.
What is fearfully silent?
Answer:
The tom-toms vibrated then when the ancestors lived but today it reverberates in the minds where the surrounding mountain is fearfully silent.

Question 6.
How are the bodies of the mountains?
Answer:
The bodies of the mountains are colossal (huge and enormous)

Question 7.
Who welcomes the prodigal son home?
Answer:
A native citizen, an elderly man welcomes the prodigal son (who is carelessly spending the resources of his motherland but living in a foreign land)

Question 8.
The wind whispers the golden names of your:

  1. Friends
  2. Ancestors
  3. Political leaders
  4. Tribal warriors

Answer:
4. Tribal warriors

Question 9.
Which is the root of the person wearing the foreign outfit?
Answer:
The root of the person wearing the foreign outfit is Ethiopia.

Question 10.
What should the naked skin absorb?
Answer:
The naked skin should absorb the warmth of the sun and the people’s spirit in Ethiopia.

Question 11.
How does the poet call back the son who has, abandoned his home?
Answer:
The poem ‘Home Coming Son’ by TsegayeGabre- Medhin is about a citizen who has left the nation Ethiopia and has returned after some time. The poet is trying to tell the person that he should be in his homeland to understand and appreciate the spirits in Ethiopia and also to reap the benefits of the nation. But as the person only returned from a foreign land in a foreign dress, the poet calls him an unholy stranger in a place that is harmonious and in good order. The poet greets him into God’s master stroke called Ethiopia on earth.

Question 12.
Bring out the characteristics of the home/native land as portrayed in the poem?
Answer:
The poem ‘Home Coming Son’ by TsegayeGabre- Medhin is about a citizen who has left the nation Ethiopia and has returned after some time. The poet is trying to tell the person that he should be in his homeland to understand and appreciate the spirits in Ethiopia and also to reap the benefits of the nation. Ethiopia is God’s master-stroke place, so beautiful and natural. It is peaceful here among the mountains, the songs of birds, the fresh breeze, the laughter of the ancestors and the protection that caresses its citizens. One needs to feel free and proud to enjoy the valley and the golden names that the tribal warriors have left behind.

Question 13.
What does the expression of your foreign outfit signify and why is the poet asking him to come out of his outfit? Explain.
Answer:
The poem ‘Home Coming Son’ by TsegayeGabreMedhin is about a citizen who has left the nation Ethiopia and has returned after some time. The poet is trying to tell the person that he should be in his homeland to understand and appreciate the spirits in Ethiopia and also to reap the benefits of the nation. In to this nation, a son who had returned in a foreign outfit is roaming. The advice for that unholy stranger is to remove the foreign outfit meaning not to look or judge the motherland with foreign spectacles. If the unholy stranger removes ’ hostility and looks around he can feel, enjoy and also be proud of his motherland which is rich in resources and the spirits of the ancestors who have fought for Ethiopia.

Question 14.
Why does the poet call his motherland a work of art? Discuss.
Answer:
The poem ‘Home Coming Son’ by TsegayeGabre- r Medhin is about a citizen who has left the nation Ethiopia and has returned after some time. The poet is trying to tell the person that he should be in his homeland to understand and appreciate the spirits in Ethiopia and also to reap the benefits of the nation. The poet calls Ethiopia God’s art because Ethiopia has beautiful physical features, natural resources, the great tribal warriors have held the spirits of the nation and there is the harmony that can be seen in the rainbow. It is well in order but the foreigners and also its own citizens who have abandoned it will have to change their perception to appreciate it.

Question 15.
“In the process of welcoming the son back home, the poet highlights the pride of the rich heritage, glorious culture, and black identity.” Substantiate
Answer:
The Ethiopian poet is a pacifist (against war) and is very proud of Ethiopia’s history of independence and unique cultural heritage. He is welcoming the son back home and glorifies the heritage, culture. He feels proud of being black in a place called HOME. The poem talks about an Ethiopian returning home from a foreign land. He is called the unholy stranger as he walks around in his homeland. Ethiopia is a land of eighth harmony (orderly and pleasing place). Such a beautiful place pictured and painted and the masterpiece by God himself has been portrayed as the black color (negative) even among the rainbow. The country is depicted as the darker side of the beautiful moon.

The poet is unhappy because the wrong aspects of the country are being highlighted. The poet reminds the unholy stranger to remove the foreign outfit and walk the motherland barefoot. Then the unholy son can feel the cool fresh breeze, the tom-toms in the valley, the chirping of the birds, the harmony, and the proud names of the tribal worriers. The poet says that even in Ethiopia, there is rhythm, resources, and spirits to be talked about but it is the natives who are projecting it in the wrong light. He takes pride in the rich heritage, glorious culture and black identity which gels well with the masterstroke by the god himself on the canvas called the earth.

Question 16.
The poem is a welcome note to the “unholy stranger/lost son” to the holy land called native. Explain.
Answer:
The Ethiopian poet is a pacifist (against war) and is very proud of Ethiopia’s history of independence and unique cultural heritage. He is welcoming the son back home and glorifies the heritage, culture. He feels proud of being black in a place called HOME. The poem talks about an Ethiopian returning home from a foreign land. He is called the unholy stranger as he walks around in his homeland. Ethiopia is a land of eighth harmony (orderly and pleasing place). Such a beautiful place pictured and painted and the masterpiece by God himself has been portrayed as the black color (negative) even among the rainbow.

The country is depicted as the darker side of the beautiful moon. The poet feels sad for the lost son who is only a visitor today and that too already he has accepted the foreign aspects. So, the poet calls the stranger unholy, the son who is careless about the spirit and the resources of his own native land. By making the lost son, walk around naked, the poet is hoping to retain the son or make the son understand to be appreciative of it if not proud. The poet is concerned about the loss of identity that the country is experiencing because of its own citizens who are going out wasting the resources in it. The poet calls such people prodigal and careless.

JOB SKILLS

AN INTRODUCTION TO ACADEMIC WRITING

Question 1.
What is academic writing?
Answer:
Academic writing is any writing that one does for academic purposes. This could include

  • letters, especially formal letters requesting leave, change, of course, an extension of dates, etc.
  • notes that one prepares while listening to lectures but especially notes made while and after reading different texts
  • reports, projects, essays written for assignments and. exams
  • thesis, dissertations, and articles or papers for publication

Good writing comes with practice. Writing skills can be practiced by anyone and awareness about the skills required for effective writing helps one become better at writing. Any writing involves planning, actual writing which involves structuring and organizing, and finally revising. These steps are inevitable in almost any kind of writing except maybe creative writing.

In the previous semesters, you have already practiced some writing skills like making notes by identifying main points and supporting details, paragraph writing, summary writing, and essay writing. All those skills will come in handy when you start preparing yourself for some serious academic writing.

What to write about?
When you want to write, the first question that emerges is What to write about?;! The topic is sometimes already decided for you when you write an assignment or a project work report. However, there may be situations when you have to arrive at a topic to write about especially while writing research papers for seminars and conferences. In recent years, several universities expect students to write research papers and either present them or publish them even at the undergraduate level. So it becomes imperative for a graduate student to also write research papers on an area of study chosen by them or in some cases, on the theme chosen for the conference. The conference brochure mentions the themes and sub-themes on which papers are invited and one can choose a suitable area for study based on them.
Once the area is chosen, the more difficult tasks follow. The steps given below provide some guidelines as to how to write an essay for an assignment or a research paper for presentation or publication.

Step 1: Deciding upon the topic and title

Once you know the theme, you need to specifically mention the title of your paper or assignment. The themes and sub-themes could be broad while your title is very specific and helps you focus on any particular aspect. Study the following example:
Theme: Educational Studies in Mathematics
Area of Study: Teaching and Learning of Mathematics
Sub Topics: The Effect of Educational Research on the Teaching of Mathematics, The Importance of Motivation, Problem Solving Activities, etc.
Title of the Paper: The Impact of Problem Solving Activities in the Teaching of Mathematics

Based on the theme, the area of study is further elaborated. You also choose a few sub-topics if they are not already given. Once the subtopic is chosen, the paper can be titled. Deciding upon the title for your assignment or paper is a crucial step. Most of the titles for assignments and papers will have the following terms: define, discuss, compare, contrast, evaluate, trace, analyze, describe, state, examine, suggest, summarise, relate, etc.

It is important to know the meanings of these terms before you use them.

Word

Meaning

Define Define  describe the meaning, nature, and scope
State express something definitely or clearly
Describe explain in detail
Summarise briefly explain the main points
Examine inspect thoroughly in order to determine the nature or condition
Trace find or discover by investigation
Compare and contrast to look for similarities and differences
Relate make or show a connection between
Analyze examine methodically and in detail in order to explain and interpret it
Suggest to mention something as a possible thing to be done

Each word has a different expectation in the title. So your assignment/ article should specifically focus on what is asked of you. If you are asked to relate you need to make a connection between the concerned things and. if you are asked to compare and contrast, you need to find similarities and differences between them. In several cases, students have been found to write summaries even though what is expected of them is clearly given in the title. Hence read and understand what is expected of you and specifically focus on it.

Step 2: Finding Resources

Once the topic and title are decided upon, the next step is to identify the resources. You could pick up the sources for reference from your library or the internet. While searching for relevant material from books, you could use the title, subtitle, contents page, and index page to find out if a particular book is suitable for your topic. Similarly, several resources on the internet like Bibme, Citation Machine, and Easy Bib allow you to search for sources like books, journals, online resources, etc., and also to make a list of the relevant sources. Your bibliography can thus be made either manually through bibliography cards where you write the author’s name, the title of the book, name of the publisher, and place of publication and date of publication following either the MLA or APA conventions or digitally using a program available on the internet.

Writing a bibliography in the MLA/APA format

The MLA in the MIA format translates into Modern Language Association and the APA stands for American Psychological Association. Both these styles and formats are universally accepted styles of writing and formatting academic documents.

They specify two different ways of citing the sources that you refer to and also the formatting style for your paper — font size, spacing, indent, margins, etc. The MLA Handbook and the Publication Manual of the APA are a must-have for any academic writing. The following two examples show you how to cite a book using these two formats. You could follow anyone’s style depending upon the requirements of the work.

MLA Format

Name of the Author (last name first), Title of the book, Place of publication, Publisher, Date of Publication. Allen, Thomas B. Vanishing Wildlife of North America. Washington, D.C: National Geographic Society, 1974.

APA Format

Name of the Author (last name first), Date of Publication. Title of the book, Place of publication, Publisher, Allen, T. (1974). Vanishing Wildlife of North America.Washington, D.C: National Geographic Society

Step 3: Reading and making notes

Your reading starts after your bibliography is made. You start reading the texts and marking out the ones useful to you. While reading, you make note of key ideas and concepts; paraphrasing, summarizing, or even quoting from the texts you are reading. Your practice of note-making skills will come in handy here. You need to exercise caution at this stage to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is when you copy from the book as it is without mentioning that you have copied. It is intellectual dishonesty to copy ideas from others and pass them as your own. To ensure that you are not accused of plagiarism, you need to have your endnotes, quotations, and references in place.

Step 4: Writing the Paper

Now the actual task of writing your essay/ paper begins. The first thing to do at this stage is a brainstorming exercise and writing down all your thoughts in relation to the topic based on your reading. Once you arrive at a final list of points you want to include, you could bring in your references and notes at the right junctures. You will be using your references to support and strengthen your own observations about the topic. An example is given below:

Home -Coming Son Summary Notes chapter 1 img 1

Step 5: Organizing the Paper

The next step is to go through what you have written and see if you can identify a proper introduction, body, and conclusion in your writing. Organize your thoughts from step 4 into introduction, body, and conclusion by elaborating on them and adding your references.

Introduction: The introduction in any writing is meant to capture the attention of the reader. However, in academic writing, an introduction has an important function to perform. It shows the relevance and importance of the chosen topic. You could give some background information on the topic in general and then move on to your specific topic highlighting your purpose in writing the assignment/ paper and its importance. You could also use the introduction to define or explain any new terms you might be using in your assignment/ paper.

Main Body: The main body of your assignment/paper can be divided into several paragraphs. However, you need to ensure that within each paragraph, the sentences are logically linked to each other and also coherent. Also do not include too many ideas in one paragraph. Ideally, each paragraph should introduce a new idea and support it with references and logical arguments. You can begin each paragraph by using linking words: likewise, so, therefore, etc. if the paragraph is linked to the earlier one or words like however, on the other hand, etc. if the paragraph is presenting a contradictory idea to the previous one. Besides these words, firstly, next, also, finally, etc. also help you link the paragraphs. Borne specific assignments, research papers, and dissertations may follow a specific format which includes literature review, methodology, findings/results, conclusion, case study, etc.

Conclusion: Though it is not compulsory to have a conclusion in all kinds of academic writing, it surely helps to tie up loose ends. A conclusion, besides summarizing the main ideas provides scope for you to mention your limitations in doing the assignment or paper. It also provides you the opportunity to give suggestions for further study in the chosen area.

Step 6: Editing

Finally, when your essay/paper is ready, you need to re-read it again to get the whole picture. Here, you will be able to see if you have answered the question correctly or if you have stayed within the topic. In case you have deviated from the topic, you can rectify it. Besides these, now is the time to check your writing for redundancy, spelling errors, and grammatical accuracy. You can also tighten your writing by removing unnecessary and long quotations by paraphrasing them wherever required.

Step 7: Formatting

The last step is to present your paper in the right format as specified. Most assignments and research papers specify the font size, paper size, margins, indent, paragraph spacing, etc. Specific formats for your Works Cited or References which is the last part of your paper are also mentioned. Several tools help you do this last part effectively and save time.

Thus Academic Writing, when perceived differently and seriously can be considered a skill that can be acquired through consistent and repeated practice. Several courses online some of which are also free help you develop this skill. Some websites also provide free resources to help you practice this skill. One of the best websites in this regard is the OWL Purdue Writing Lab which is exhaustive in its approach towards this skill. Newer interactive tools are also made available for you through Google.

English Summary

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