The last line of Nissim Ezekiel’s poem “Enterprise” — Home is where we have to gather grace — sums up the theme of the poem. Discuss.
Home is where we have to gather grace
The very last line of the poem ‘Enterprise’ conveys what the poet has to say. In the narrative poem, Ezekiel depicts how some enthusiastic pilgrims started on a high note, faced all sort of troubles in the middle and were disappointed by the final achievement which was neither great nor rare. Then they realized that they had better stayed at home and done something good for the family or mankind at large. This reminds us of the popular adage “Charity begins at home”.
The pilgrimage in the poem is actually a metaphor for our life’s journey. Our life begins with a lot of hope and dream, but crossing a lot of hurdles throughout the way when we reach the last stage, we often find that we have achieved only very little. It doesn’t seem to be worthy of all the troubles we face in our journey of life. It then feels like we should have led our life in a simpler way enjoying things as they come. This is pretty similar to what the travellers realised in the end : “Home is where we have to gather grace”.
Now, this last line draws a lot of critical evaluation. Critics are divided in their opinion on what it may actually hint at. One explanation says, we don’t need to go to a pilgrimage for the spiritual needs; The God is inside us, so we need to listen to our inner self. Another interpretation suggests that we should take care of the men around us and earn their love and respect in order to lead a happy and meaningful life. Some critics also suggest that the word ‘home’ indicates the poet’s commitment towards his home in Mumbai. However, despite the variety in interpretation, this can surely be concluded that this last line of the poem conveys the ultimate wisdom summing up the theme well.