Poetry - 1. My Mother At Sixty-six Class 12th Flamingo CBSE Solution

Class 12th Flamingo CBSE Solution

Before You Read
Question 1.

Ageing is a natural process; have you ever thought what our elderly parents expect from us?


Answer:

People evolve with age and experience. The building blocks of today fetch us the complete parts of tomorrow. Age bequeaths one with knowledge and experience. Our elderly parents want us to flow with time. They want us to live with time and to flow with it. With modern innovations, the young generation is gradually skipping their normal, usual childhood and entering into the realms of adulthood with insufficient backup to live that age. Thus, they feel out of time and place. Again, with age, one grows forgetful and develops weird habits. As Shakespeare rightly calls the old age as second childishness”, he also sees the need to take intensive care of these people and to empathize with their changing moods. Our elderly parents expect from us the patience that is essential for this natural phenomenon and a certain amount of respect for this involuntary and inevitable change at all.




Think It Out
Question 1.

What is the kind of pain and ache that the poet feels?


Answer:

The poet watches the pale and waned face of her mother and is reminded of the upcoming adversities old age that is growing to engulf the mother. For the poet, old age is naturally dull, monotonous, inanimate stage of life which ultimately follows to death. Thus, she feels the advent of death nearing her mother. She is not prepared to think of losing her mother to death, which is the only association she derives from old age. Thus, she is contemptuous to death which is a natural and spontaneous process in everyone’s life. She has not acquired the sensibility and alternative perspective of the American poet Emily Dickinson who treats death as a friend in “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”.



Question 2.

Why are the young trees described as “sprinting”?


Answer:

The poem has to be perceived through certain mental images which talk about the poet’s psyche. The image of the young trees “sprinting” depict a sense of a fast-moving time. The young trees represent a fresh, rejuvenated childhood spilling into the energetic adulthood. Thus, the “sprinting” young trees suggest passing away of time and entering into the morose and gloomy old age. The “sprinting” of young trees is contrasted against the image of her “dozing” old mother which brings out the paleness and dreariness of death. Thus, the image of the young trees “sprinting” further accentuates the upcoming death.



Question 3.

Why has the poet brought in the image of merry children “spilling out of their homes”?


Answer:

The poet harps on the introduction of the morose old age that is soon going to creep into her mother. She is recollecting the passage of time through images of “sprinting” young trees and the image of merry children “spilling out of their homes” is a proper depiction of the liveliness and ecstatic energy that adulthood holds in it. This is in sharp juxtaposition to the melancholia and decaying effect of old age which is represented through the image of the pale “dozing” face of the mother.



Question 4.

Why has the mother been compared to the “late winter’s moon”?


Answer:

The poet offers her readers to perceive her contempt towards old age through another image of the mother as the “late winter’s moon”. Just as the moon appears vague, misty, obscure and dull in winters, the mother seems to be nearing towards her death with a pale and uncolored face which seems to be bereft of life, thus resembling a corpse. She appears devoid of shine and strength which the poet associates only with adulthood. She wants to escape the untamed passage of time and the nearing of death.



Question 5.

What do the parting words of the poet and her smile signify?


Answer:

The poet seems to have reconciled herself to the normal flow of time and the inevitability of death. As she departs, she looks at her mother’s pale, corpse-like face but somehow tries to muster up courage and say, “See you soon, Amma”. Perhaps, she has now come to terms with the natural cycle of life and has learned to accept it, which is again characteristic of growing up. Her smile, is perhaps, a pretence to overshadow her anxiety, fear, and ache of death within her. Her words, “See you soon, Amma”, can be interpreted as a word of assurance to the old lady and her persistent smiles are an attempt to suppress her emotions in order to overcome them and live the present.



Question 6.

Notice that the whole poem is in a single sentence, punctuated by commas.


Answer:

It indicates a single thread of thought interspersed with observations of the real world around and the way these are connected to the main idea. The poem is actually a product of the stream of consciousness technique which relies on a train of thoughts, perceived through certain images, imageries and realized through epiphanies. The poet represents the vivacity and loudness of adulthood through images of “merry children spilling out of their homes” and tries to continue on the consistent, unending motion of time through another image of the “sprinting” of young, green trees. Thus, we find the transition in time through serially connected images, which take us to the image of the “dozing” old mother who has developed a pale, corpse-like face in her old age and on the verge of entering death. The image of “standing a few yards” depicts a shift away from the time and sailing down through time to reach to a stage of maturity where the poet comes to terms with the natural laws of aging and death. Thus, the poet tries to portray her transformation through a chain of small, compact images. There is a transition not only in physical time but also a metamorphosis of the mind which is achieved through this single, uninterrupted transportation of the mind from an early age of non-conformity to the natural laws to the present stage of understanding and maturity.


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