Praise Song For My Mother Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Praise Song For My Mother Deck (20)
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1
Q

Praise Song For My Mother

A

Grace Nichols

2
Q

Praise Song

A

Is an oral African tradition, where celebration of life is given through the form of a song, as opposed to typical Western Eulogy

3
Q

“You were”

A

The refrain of the phrase “You were” proves the lyrical quality, as it opens up each stanza
In terms of form, such repetition also highlights the constancy as an influence in Nichols’ life

4
Q

“-ing”

A

The end-rhyme of the present participle, none finite verbs, which connects the poem’s four longer stanzas, further presents this mother/daughter relationship where her mother’s actions provided maternal protection and nurture

5
Q

Themes of nature

A

Used metaphorically where the sun and moon represent this maternal influence and constancy

6
Q

Stanza one

A

Presents the element of water, the essential element of life to demonstrate her mother’s importance

7
Q

“You were…

to me”

A

Relationship at the very heart of it

“You were” Elegiac from the start

8
Q

“Water to me”

A

Here, water suggests a kind of positive immersion, prehaps like baptism, but there is also a sense of the child respecting the adult whose depths cannot quite ‘fathom’
Also can be linked with amniotic fluid

9
Q

Language

A

Very simple and a child like construct of listing her mother’s qualities in triple form, using the simple connective ‘and’
Shows the importance and raw nature of the emotions at hand

10
Q

Form

A

The trochaic metre closing the third line of each perhaps convey the rhymes quality of her early life in Guyana where her mother was such a powerful presence
Repetitions throughout are reminds to us that the poem is written as a song and perhaps could also be linked to re-creating the rhythms of a mother singing a lullaby to comfort a child

11
Q

“Moon’s eye to me”

A

Over seeing, a protective presence

12
Q

“Pull and grained and mantling”

A

Pull creates a link between the mother’s influence and the gravitational ‘pull’ of the moon, which suggest both the natural force of her mother but also a form of restraint and this is a first indication of tension
‘Mantling’ suggest a warmth and blanketing

13
Q

“Sunrise to me

rise and warm and streaming”

A

By referring to her as the Moon and the Sun, she becomes a contrast image alway there
Sunrise draws connotations with warmth, which in turn suggests comfort and protection

14
Q

Stanza 4

A

Change from tercet to quatrain
Allows for more detail
Deeper fonder memories

15
Q

“The ..
The …
The …”

A

Nichols uses the definite articles to provide specific examples. This makes the tone seem more emphatic as if the poem is building to a climax and the detail is getting richer and more precise.

16
Q

“To me”

A

The repetition of the phrase ‘to me’ reinforces the image of the closeness of the relationship between them two

17
Q

“The fishes red gill to me”

A

Clear child like use of the non standard possessive form
the ‘fish’ suggests nourishment where the ‘red gill’, provides basic survival.
Connotations with the idiomatic notion of a fish out of water

18
Q

“The flame tree’s spread to me”

A

Provides imagery of a canopy for shelter, linking to previous references to natures as being enveloping, protective and essential, further symbolising the natural aspects of motherhood

19
Q

“The crab’s leg/ the fried plantain smell”

A

The last line contains the clearest link to Nichols history, with obvious links to the Caribbean culture with food such as crab and plantain; has her mother to thank for this
Nichols feels indebted to her mother for this

20
Q

“Go to your wide futures, you said”

A

Set apart from the rest of the poem it is very ambiguous.
Perhaps underlines the mothers control as she has the final line
Mother shows an acknowledgement of greater opportunities open to her daughter elsewhere
Provides significant closure to the structure and themes of the poem.