‘In Memory of my Mother’
‘In Memory of My Mother’ is about love, a very strong theme in this poem. The speaker has great love for his mother. She is dead but he still thinks about her wherever he is. He remembers moments they shared together and he replays them in his mind. “I see you walking down a lane” or “I see us meeting”. They are free and happy together and they do not have to speak because they can think in silence in a caring and calm way. “Free in the oriental streets of thought”. The speaker uses a nostalgic tone to show his deep love for his mother.
We see her as a loving active woman who cares for her son and even though she is dead she is still a large and important part of his life. He also uses colour and calm words to create a sense of peace and love. Another theme in this poem is family. The speaker is addressing his mother in the poem. She is a very important family member to him. She has passed away but he does not see her as dead but he believes that she is right by him all the time. “I do not think of you lying in the wet clay”. He describes her as an angel which suggests that when she is not with him she is looking down on him from heaven.
Among your earthiest words the angels stray”. The relationship between the speaker and his mother is very strong. They have a special bond together in which they can be together even though she is not alive. They think about each other all the time. The last theme is separation. The poet deals with separation from his mother in an unusual way. He doesn’t see her as separated from him. Instead he dwells on memories of her and him meeting and reruns them over and over in his head so that she is present in his life all the time. This is a beautiful image.
But at the end of the poem he says even though she is in the round she can still look up at him and keep him happy with every smile. “You smile up at us eternally”. This poem has 5 stanzas which put forward that it represents one year; In the first stanza the season is winter, in the second the season is summer ‘summer Sunday’ the third and fourth is spring ‘green oats’ and ‘fair days’ and the fifth is autumn ‘for it is harvest evening now. ‘ This is how Kavanagh tells us that his mother has been inanimate for a year. The language used in this poem gives it a serious, down to earth feel.
Kavanagh does this by using words and phrases such as ‘Monaghan graveyard. ‘ Although; it is rather odd that in his poem Kavanagh doesn’t use any metaphors or similes only a small amount of alliteration ‘summer Sunday’ which is strange as Kavanagh normally uses a lot of similes in his poems such as ‘Epic’ and ‘Stony Grey Soil’ Although ‘In memory of my mother’ is not the type of poem I would normally read, in my opinion the poem is well written and Kavanaghs style is clear and the images are easy to see. It has its own unique style.
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