My Mother At Sixty Six , Class 12 , English

My Mother At Sixty Six , Flamingo Text Book For Class 12 ( Core Course ) , English.

My Mother At Sixty Six

Introduction To The Poem

In this poem the poetess Kamala Das beautifully highlights the complexities of human relationships .This poem is one of the best examples of human bonding . Poet Kamala Das describes her painful feelings of fear of losing her mother. She is very much worried About her aging mother . She fears that she will not see her mother again.

Poem

  My Mother At Sixty Six

Stanza -1

Driving from my parent’s home to Cochin last Friday

morning, I saw my mother, beside me,

doze, open mouthed , her face ashen like that

of a corpse and realised with pain

that she was as old as she looked….

Explanation –

In this first stanza the poetess is describing about her old mother. The poetess remembers the day when driving her car .she was going to Cochin airport .

Her mother was sitting beside her in the car .The mother was going to see of the poetess . But on the way when the poetess turned to look at her mother , she was dozing (sleeping) and her mouth was opened .

And her face was seeming as pale as a Corpse (dead person) . Suddenly a painful and sorrowful thought came into the mind of  poetess .

She realized that her mother has grown very old and she’s not going to live long.

Stanza -2.

….but soon

put that thought away, and looked out at Young

Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling

out of their homes, but after the airport’s

security check, standing a few yards

away, I looked again at her,

Explanation –

The poetess immediately put that painful thought away from her mind and from the window of the car , she looked out at young trees along side the road .Which seemed  running very fast . And she also looked happy children who were coming and running out from their houses in large numbers .

Finally the poetess reached the airport and she had to go through the security check there .Her mother was standing a few yards away from her . At that point once again she looked at her mother.

It must be remembered that while coming in the car , the poetess and her mother did not speak a single word to each other . Still she was staring at her mother from a distance. It is a thoughtful fact that what kind of attitude the modern youths have towards their old aged  beloved one.

Stanza – 3

………..wan , pale

as a late winter’s moon and felt that old

familiar ache, my childhood’s fear ,

but all I said was, see you soon , Amma,

all I did was smile and smile and smile……

Explanation –

After Security Check , the poetess looked at her mother who was standing a few yards away from her .She was looking week and pale .Her face was looking just like a yellowing moon of late winter season .

The poetess  felt some old familiar pain and fear. It was same as she had felt in her childhood but she could not speak a single word to her mother.

The only words she could speak were “See you soon Amma” . And she (poetess) smiled and smiled and smiled .

These words highlights that the youths of Modern time have deep sympathy to their old aged beloved ones . But they are unable to express their sympathy properly .

This is the end of the explanation of the poem “My Mother At Sixty Six”.

Summary of the poem

The Poetess describes about her mother . She expresses her own personal experience about her aging and old mother . She says that her mother is 66 years old.

So it was Friday morning and the poet was returning from her parents home and was going to the Cochin airport .The poetess was driving a car and her mother was sitting beside her .On the way while driving the car she turned to look at her mother and she noticed that her mouth was wide open and she was dozing .Her face was as pale as that of a dead person .

It was looking lifeless . A painful thought came into her mind , she realised that her mother was not going to live long .But soon she diverted her mind and put that painful thought way . She looked outside the car . She saw the young Trees by the roadside which seemed to be running fast. And she saw the young children running out of their houses in joy to play.

when she reached the airport , The poetess went through the security check .Her mother was standing a few yards away .After Security Check , the poetess again looked at her old mother , the face was looking pale and dull like the moon in late winter season. The poetess felt and the surrounded by the same old fear which she used to feel in her childhood.

She had the fear of losing her mother . She thought that it would not be possible to see her mother next time and she also thought this was the last time to see her mother alive.

But the poetess tried to overcome from the feeling of sadness . And finally she wanted to speak something to her mother but because of sadness she could not speak very much .Instead of speaking to her mother , she smiled at her mother .She spoke no words to her mother.

She only said , “See you soon , Amma”.  She wanted to say “Soon she would see her again”.

Actually the poetess had a deep attachment with her mother , although she had Tears in her eyes but she tried to hide her sorrowful tears and wanted to give her mother an assurance to be with her again . She did not want to lose her mother . This is the end of the  summary of the poem ” My Mother At Sixty Six ”.

Difficult Words And Their Meanings

WORDS          MEANINGS

Beside            Along side/next to

Doze               Nap/sleeping

Ashen             Pale / colourless

Corpse             Dead body

Merry             Happy and cheerful

Spilling           Let out

Sprinting        Moving Fast

Wan                Dim/weak

Pale                 Dull / colourless

Ache               Continuous feeling of pain

About The Poetess Of the Poem

Poem “My mother at sixty six” is composed by Kamala Das an Indian poetess.

She is known as one of the foremost and renowned poetess of India . Kamala Das published many novels and short stories in English and Malayalam  . My mother at sixty six” is one of the examples of her sensitive poems.

My Mother At Sixty Six

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