This sample essay on Music For My Mother Summary provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
The title of the poem makes its subject clear, a praise song or a eulogy, is a traditional form from many African cultures and is often sung instead of being written down. This poem was written to honour the attributes of the poet’s mother; it is a metaphoric poem written from the child’s perspective, using imagery to describe the powerful emotional relationship she shared with her mother.
The poet is grateful and rejoices her mothers’ presence using the term ‘praise’ in her poem title whilst referring to her homeland simultaneously.
With structure, “Praise Song for My Mother” is based around the first three stanzas, each of three lines. All of which are very similar in format, although, the rhythm is not carried all the way through.
The fourth begins in the same way as the first three but is extended, emphasising the poem’s final line about the daughter’s “wide futures” and expanding horizons, as if reflecting the way her mother’s care allowed her to develop and move on. “Praise Song for My Mother” is a free verse, meaning it does not adhere to regular rhyme or rhythm, writing in this way augments the fluidity and the reading of the poem.
The lack of punctuation means that there is no pause, adding to the flowing pace and has a softer effect and tone on the reader.
By not using rhyme and following an unconventional order, the poet creates a sincere and honest atmosphere within the piece. The consistent use of past tense and repetition, for example “You were” – secures and anchors this poem. It illustrates the certainty and unfailing trust that the poet places in her mother. The repetition is effective in reinforcing the idea of security and sanctuary created by the mother.
It also signals to the reader that the poet’s mother has in fact passed away and elucidates the point of view from which it is written – as if the speaker is reminiscing and remembering her childhood, along with the influence of her mother. The first three stanzas end with a line that lists repeatedly three qualities of her mother. The first four stanzas all end with a verb (“fathoming”//“mantling”// “streaming”//“replenishing”), indicating on going action, that this adoration is constant.
Nichols uses plosives, fricatives and dentals (sounds of the words) they are harsh and assertive at times, if linking this to the final line of the poem, it is possible that it hints at the writer harbouring a certain degree of bitterness towards her mother for pushing her to independence; it is clear that she enjoyed being sheltered and protected. “Water”//“Moon’s eye”//“Sunrise” are all examples of the natural references that the poem includes. This could signify a mother’s love being natural, endless and essential to her.
By comparing her to various natural and beautiful things, Nichols really captures the sense of awe and admiration she holds for her mother. She describes her as “water”. Traditionally water symbolizes life, healing and cleansing. She continues to describe her mother as “deep and bold and fathoming” this only accentuates the emotions and feelings within their relationship, the confidence, courage and bravery (all features of the sea if you perceive it metaphorically), and the quality of understanding that her mother has.
Her mother is also said to be the “moon’s eye” to her, this conveys how she was a guidance to Nichols during her dark moments like the moon only appearing at night. In relation to the previous stanza’s theme of water, the moon is also known to control the tide. If seen in a metaphorical sense, her mother is the moon and Nichols is the tide, being pulled towards her mother for safety and protection as suggests in the line “pull and grained and mantling”. Her mother became her strength and foundation when she needed her to be. “Sunrise” could be a metaphor demonstrating the joy and happiness that her mother brought into her life.
Sunrise meaning she never set, that she never ended; she was always fresh and new. “Rise and warm and streaming”, warmth indicates a sense of comfort, rise embodies a subtle power that her mother has and streaming displays a ceaseless love. Evocative words are used to give more strength towards Nichols’ opinion on her mother and expresses how much of a important character she was in her life. And in a way, causes us, as the readers to be able to relate and in turn think of our own relationships with our parents. The fourth stanza is concentrated on food, drawing on Nichols’ Caribbean roots thus giving a more personal insight into the poem.
She uses the double verb; “replenishing replenishing”, because like her natural references; the tide, water or sunrise, her mother is always there. The use of the plural form of “future” in the final line is significant. What these “futures” will contain is undefined by the mother; she has faith in her daughter hence the addition of “wide” showing that the mother knew her daughter would take advantage of all the different opportunities offered to her. And as if her parenting has been about creating possibilities, rather than deciding or controlling her daughter’s future.
The main idea of “Praise Song for My Mother” is that parents – specifically mothers – are a source of nourishment and sustenance for their children, consistently providing them with the necessities in order to flourish and advance. Water, the moon and the sun are all elements that add to the timeless quality created in the relationship between mother and daughter. The keyword within the piece is “replenishing”, repeated in order to strengthen the reliability of the mother when giving everything her daughter needs to overcome obstacles and life’s numerous challenges.
The celebratory and commemorative nature of the poem can be seen in the active and positive language the poet displays. She is praised over and over again for the qualities that she presents to her daughter, when helping her to adulthood. The mother is seen as an inspiration. It is not just a command to “go to your wide futures” that directs and leads the daughter into maturity but the example that her mother has set. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Poets section.