• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Praise Song for my Mother by Grace Nichols Analysis

Extracts from this document...


Transfer-Encoding: chunked Praise Song for my Mother ? Grace Nichols What are the poet?s feelings about family and how does she convey these ideas? Grace Nichols writes Praise Song for my mother as ode, or letter, as a celebration of her mother. Having moved from Guyana to the UK, the ?ode? is in a Caribbean style, praising her mother for all that she has done. Nichols writes about what family is, and what it means to her, and the poem seems to be positive, in adoration of her mother, but there are also other standpoints that say the poem could have a deeper, negative meaning. Nichols conveys the powerful, protective love that she receives from her mother in the poem in a variety of ways. She writes that she was ?water to [her], deep and bold and fathoming?. As water is a necessity to live, she creates the image that her mother was a necessity to her life, and that she ?couldn?t live without her?. ...read more.


The phrase ?you were water to me? initially seems positive, but when paired with ?deep and bold and fathoming?, makes the reader think that there was possible ?too much water?, and that Nichols? mother was possibly overprotective or that she enveloped Nichols in her care. The words ?deep? and ?bold? make you think of the ocean, and possibly that she was drowning in it. In addition, Nichols writes ?go to your wide futures, you said?. This initially strikes the reader as a message of hope from Nichols? mother, that she wanted her children to go out into the world and grow. The fact that ?futures? is plural, shows that there is essentially a ?world of oppurtunities? available, rather than a controlled, decided future. However, this may have been written as a sarcastic ?you said?, showing that Nichols? mother expected too much of them, and that life is actually much harder than going ?out to your wide futures?. This resentment may be a product of Nichols? mother being overprotective, and not allowing her to learn on her own, and being overprotective. ...read more.


The poem itself is very orderly for the first three stanzas, with same sized lines, but the fourth stanza is one line longer, this line being longer still, and then the fifth stanza being one line only. This poem could possibly portray a ladder or staircase, symbolising the ?steps? to adulthood and success. As the poem is about Nichols? mother, this could be creating the image that her mother was the aid to her success. This is all the picture of how family is a sort of nutrition and aid to life. Overall, Grace Nichols provides many different standpoints on the importance of family in ?Praise Song for my Mother?. Although it is written as a positive poem of ?celebration? of her mother, there could also be more negative standpoints and alternative views, highlighting possible sarcasm in the poem. In conclusion, Nichols seems to generally have very positive views on family and uses lots of metaphorical language to create the image that her mother was ?everything? to her?. She also uses literary techniques to showcase her memories of childhood, and the importance of family in her upbringing. ...read more.

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.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Poets essays

  1. How does Abrahams develop his atitude toward the comet in 'To Halley's Comet'?

    likes of "the old Wise Men, King Harold and Mark Twain" as we do not believe it to be prophetic anymore. Instead, he likens the comet to "some private rare Aunt Maud", the generic distant relative that nobody really knows but will occaisionally "drop by" merely to show herself and "check our face".

  2. By considering the use of language, how does Simon Armitage portray the importance of ...

    The measuring tape is also representing an umbilical cord. Despite his growing independence, Armitage will always have a connection to his mother, which cannot be cut or severed, until he is ready, despite a growing independence. In the next line Armitage writes "reporting metres, centimetres back to base," further reinforcing the importance of his mother.

  1. Discuss T.S. Eliot's Portrayal of Modern Man 'The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock' ...

    He is over-educated and lost. His isolation from society leads to him not knowing himself. There is a belief that you can only understand yourself from the criticism of others, otherwise, like him, you would only see one view of the world. He has an obsession with himself that would verge on Narcissism if it

  2. Poem Analysis: "Childhood " by Frances Cornford

    The second stanza the narrator has its ?epiphany?, realizing how little experience in life it has and how wrong he had been when he had said that adults choose to be with ?stiff backs ? so that they could be ?grand?.

  1. Analysis of "The Mother" by Gwendolyn Brooks

    pasts the legal abortion stage, so it could actually be said, no doctor or hospital would legally operate an abortion. So one can only assume she had the only option of a back door doctor, who unlawfully performed abortions. This would be very precarious for the baby, but her herself.

  2. How does the poet show how she feels about her mother in Praise Song ...

    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.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work