Irving Layton was written about his mother, Kline, most likely as a eulogy after she died In 1959. The unusual yet astonishing thing about this poem Is during the first four paragraphs the mood is dark, almost evil like, and fierce, as he speaks of growing old and death, “For her mouth was not water but a curse,” (paragraph 2). We can see that the speaker, her son, is an honest and expressive man.
The emotional effects of these four paragraphs makes us question why Irving would bother to write a eulogy for his mother if he only states readers things about her, it also makes the reader believe perhaps his mother was an unhappy miserable woman who only cursed God’s creatures. The final paragraph of the poem leaves the reader with a satisfying sense of peace, where he basically says that although his mother spoke her mind and was firm on her beliefs, and though the things did may have sometimes been a nuisance, she was his mother.
The things she did made her the person she was. Her characteristics were the things that made her real. Though eulogies are usually spoken with a soft tone, and speak of all the great things the person did, the reality Is o one is perfect, and the flaws that people have make them who they are. The author’s purpose was to show his true love for his mother. He loved her because she was, in fact, so fierce and outspoken, which is why the thought of this poem is so important.
The imagery is very powerful as we can see the picture of his deceased “mother’s head on the cold pillow, her white watermarking hair in the cheeks’ hollows,” (paragraph 1). This immediately illustrates his mother in the casket at her funeral. Also, we can see the obvious look of the mother when he talks of her amber dads that she wore “upon her breast so radiantly. ” (paragraph 4). These clear visual characteristics also show Layton observance and attention towards his mother.
Although this poem does not include a uniform rhyme scheme, we notice the last word of every line (except the last line of each paragraph) has the same ending. For example, in the first paragraph the first line ends with the word pillow, the second line ends with the word hollows and the third line, the word how. Though these words do not necessarily rhyme, they make connections to each other through sound. Also, there are many literary devices in the poem that help emphasize the imagery and sound.
For example, in the first paragraph, the alliteration of “white watermarking hair” really catches the reader’s attention and creates a greater visual image. Another example would be In the third paragraph when he says “Till popularizing Death leaned down and took them for his mould. ” This line represents growing old and death as a reason for the loss of her rich, black eyebrows. Yet, death cannot physically lean down and take eyebrows, for that is only a human trait, thus making tons Ellen a Tort AT personalization.