The Last Visit by Taufiq Rafat – Poem Summary and Analysis

Read our detailed study guide on the poem The Last Visit by Taufiq Rafat. Our notes cover the poem’s detailed summary and analysis.

The Last Visit: The Poem

We were having tea. I remember, my father and I, that morning and talking of nothing in particular, when he said ”We will go now.”

It did not occur to me to ask where.

He put on his best sherwani and turban and new pumps. We left the warmth of the room for the rawness I and bluster of the porch, where his ninety years swayed in the wind.

Halfway there. 1 realized

we were off to the ancestral place.

The relatives who still live in

the house in which he was born

were surprised, and peeved. We had tea

and fifteen minutes of apologies.

Then further up the lane to visit

his only surviving contemporary.

Uncle Feroz was bed-ridden. He was not

really my uncle, but we had always

called him that. We had tea again.

Father talked business, politics and explained

in detail the formula of a tonic.

Uncle Feroz could not say a word,

he simply wept and wept. We descended

the five or six steps from his house.

As we were leaving, father stopped.

And turned. For five long minutes

he looked up the lane, not moving,

not saying a word, as if he would

drink in every cobble, window,

and door with his difficult breath.

I knew then it was his own way

of saying goodbye to this life.

 

The Last Visit is a poem found in part 4 of the, Arrival of the Monsoon, titled, A Rumour of Change”

 

The Last Visit Introduction:

The poem ‘His Last Visit’ is an eyes catching poem Tafiq Rafat woven into the beauty of eastern culture fabric by fabric. The poet narrated the story how his father visited his ancestral village for the very last time. The poet talks about the beauty of eastern culture; the ways they treat guests and greet them with different ways. The poet talks about the value of relatives and ancestral place because without them life seems incomplete. Man cannot live away from the realtives because he needs people for his life and realtives are always the people to be trusted. The poet highlights the value of family in the eastern culture and the wasy they are linked to each other. The poem as a whole is the manifestation of the chram of eastern culture at its best.

The Last Visit Poem Summary:

We were having tea. I remember, my father and I, that morning and talking of nothing in particular, when he said ”We will go now.”

The poet in these lines says that one morning which was a usual morning, he alongwith with his father were taking breakfast. There was a good conversation going on in between them. In the meanwhile, when the conversation was conitnued, his father informed him that they will go now. His father did not tell the poet about the destination to go to. But it is very clear that the poet was asked to pack the belonging as they has to go.

It did not occur to me to ask where.

The poet says that he could not ask him about the destination they were to go. This is the beauty of the eastern culture that the children, regardless of age gorup they belong to, are always obedient to their parents. So the poet said that he could not ask his father about the place they were to go but he obediently obliged to the decision of his father.

He put on his best sherwani and turban and new pumps.

The poet in this lines says that not they preparation for the journey begun. His father wore a special type of eastern cultural dresses. Sherwani and Turban are cultural dresses of eastern culture. Sherwani is a sort of long gown that men belong to the eastern culture wear it on some special ocassion or ceremonies and tubran is sort of covering cap that men wear to be men of diginity and hnour. Alongwith this special dress, his father selected the best shoes out of his lot and wore it. The preparation shows that they were going to a place of worth.

 We left the warmth of the room for the rawness

In this line, he says that they left the comfortable room where all the comfort and luxuries were present. They left those things started their journey towards the remote rawness. The word rawness shows that they were moving to a place which was not as comfortable as the place where they were living in. it also hints that they were going to a village.

I and bluster of the porch, where his ninety years swayed in the wind.

He says that they were leaveing the place where his father had spent almost ninety years of his life. The poet says that they were leaving the place where hid father had spent all his life and noe they were moving back to the village.

Halfway there. 1 realized

we were off to the ancestral place.

The poet says when they had travelled half of the way towards their destination, the poet realized that they were going towards that ancestral place where his fathers and forefathers were born. They were in fact towards the origin of their birth where their family got started and they then stretched the family to modern cities.

The relatives who still live in

the house in which he was born

were surprised, and peeved.

The poet says that they reached the ancestral place. They arrived at the exact house where his father got birth and spent the golden time of his childhood. The poet says that the house was occupied by the relatives and they were living in that very house. The poet says that their arrival at the ancestral house did not make the realtives happy rather all the relatives got surprised by the sudden arrival. The poet has used the word peeved which clealry shows that all the relatives got irritated and aggravated by their arrival which seemed visible on their faces and expressions.

 We had tea

and fifteen minutes of apologies.

The poet says that the tea was served to them and all got gathered as they had come after a very long time. Soon the series apologies got started and they were apologizing to one other for the wrongs they had done one another. Though the real cause of apology and the exact nature of the cause for which they seeked aplogies is not cleared but this series of apologies continued for almost fifteen minutes.

Then further up the lane to visit

his only surviving contemporary.

The poet says that after the apologies and tea they went ahead towards another room where the only surving contemporary of his father lived. It shows that the father of the poet is in the last stages of his life because all his age-mate were dead. And only on his age-mates was living when he visitied the ancestral house.

Uncle Feroz was bed-ridden. He was not

really my uncle, but we had always

called him that. We had tea again.

The only surving agemate of the father of the poet was Uncle Feroz. He was sick and was bedridden. He was old enough to walk or speak. He was counting his last breathes. The poet says that Uncle Feroz was not their real Uncle but they had always callled him Uncle and it created a very strong bond among them. While meeitng Uncle Feroz, they were again served tea. It is again shown as the beauty of the eatern culture that guest, whosoever he/she is, will be greeted with tea.

Father talked business, politics and explained

in detail the formula of a tonic.

Uncle Feroz could not say a word,

he simply wept and wept.

The father of the poet got excited to see his friend and agemate. He talked to him about the recent political dimensions of the country, he talked about all his business and the ways he got settled in the city. His father, while talking to his friend, also talked about the health and all the necearry things were communicated. The poet says that his father was talking about all those things but Uncle Feroz was not in a position to say anything. He was silent listener to the father of the poet. The only response from Uncle Feroz was his tears. He was weping while listening to the talks of his friend.

 We descended

the five or six steps from his house.

The poet says that after meeting Uncle Feroz, they got out of the house and they planned to go back to their house in the city.

As we were leaving, father stopped.

And turned. For five long minutes

he looked up the lane, not moving,

not saying a word, as if he would

drink in every cobble, window,

and door with his difficult breath.

I knew then it was his own way

of saying goodbye to this life.

The poet in these lines says, when they left the house of Uncle Feroz, his father stopped for five minutes. In those minutes, he stood stationary and was looking to the lane, houese and all the windows. He was storing all those things in his mind. He was saving the memory all the attached memories associated to the place were reminisence to his father. The poet says that his father was looking at all these places because it seemed that his father was considering it as a last visit to his ancestral place and it was a sort of goodbye to the place and relatives living in that place.

 

The Last Visit Poem Themes:

Culture:

The main theme of the poem is the value of culture in the life of people living the eastern culture. The poem talks about the fact that they eastern people are closely knitted to their cultural values and they cannot be detached from their culture. Their culture is always important for them and they feel jubilent in observing their cultural norms.

Family:

The next theme of this poem is the value of family. The poem sheds light that people of eastern culture have great affiliation with the family. Their bond with the relatives is always strong and they do not afford to annoy thir relatives. The poem talks about the same thing and says that the father of the poem seekd forgiveness of the realtives in his last visit to ancestral village as he wants to die in peace.

The Last Visit by Taufiq Rafat Poem Analysis:

  • The title of the poem shows that the poem talkes about the last visit of the main character of the poem.
  • The poem is written in free verse.
  • The poem has no metrical structure.
  • There is no rhyming scheme in the poem.
  • The poem talks about the values and norms of eastern culture.
  • The poem talks about the life spend in the villages of the Aisa.
  • The poem mocks the modern ways of life which has detached the modern man from the ancestral values.
  • The modern who is consdered as hollow man is deoicted in this peom he is detached and away from the relatives.
  • The poem has shed light on the real values of the family as they are linked to one another.

The poem talks about the beauty of the eastern culture where people who are at the last stages of life always seek forgivness from the realtives as they consier their forgiveness is very necessasry.