My Mother at Sixty-Six Summary: In this article, we have given the summary of My Mother at Sixty Six Summary which is the first poem of English Reader Flamingo for class 12.
My Mother at Sixty-Six Summary
My Mother at Sixty-six is written by Kamala Das who is known for capturing the complexities and rawness of human nature. She did the same in this poem. The theme of the poem is fear of separation from the mother and her advancing age. The poem showcases the bond between a daughter and a mother. The poet expresses the fear of separation from her mother in two stages first childhood and second when she was an adult.
The poem starts with the author leaving her parent’s house for Cochin airport. There she saw her mother sleeping with her mouth open and her face white. The author compares the image of her mother to that of a corpse and the realisation hit her that her mother is now old and soon she will lose her. The author portrays the fact that soon she will lose her mother. This deeply hurt her and to avoid the thought and pain she looked out of the window of the car. There she notices young life.
The young trees growing and children playing underneath those trees. Both these objects signify youthfulness and new life. She adds that as she looks out of her window she sees trees and young children sprinting from her view. The poet implies that her mother’s age is sprinting too. Time is passing very fast. The poet has given a contrast of two images first of her ashen face mother and second of young trees. After reaching the airport and going with the security the poet again looks at her mother and describes her as ‘wan’, ‘pale’ and ‘winter’s moon’.
The poet again has given a picture of her mother and her age. Like a winter moon light is obstructed by fog and haze and appears pale similarly in the same manner her mother’s shine and radiance is obstructed by old age. The shine of her face is obscured by old age. The poet further goes on to say that her fear of separation from her mother brings back the ‘familiar ache’ or the pain which she had experienced before. This means in her childhood also she had a fear of losing her mother and now when she is standing on the opposite side of the security check she is experiencing the same kind of fear.
The poet clearly explains her fear of losing her mother to old age and that she could do nothing to stop the time. She bid her farewell to her mother and hoped to see her again. The poem ends with the poet saying “See you soon, Amma” and all she did was smile and smile and smile. The poet wants to hide her pain and tears, she is trying to put a brave face in front of her mother and hopes to see her next time alive. The poem ends here.
The poet is emphasizing the cycle of life when she is hit with the reality that her mother will soon leave her forever and she is struck with the fear of losing her forever. The poem not only explores the idea of losing a loved one but also strikes a note on the beautiful relationship between a child and a mother.
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