Praise Song for my Mother by Grace Nichols

Categories: CultureMy MotherSong

The poem, as the name recommends is a tune where the poet is rejoicing her relationship with her mom by using simple but powerful images. It is essential to note that unlike the commemorative poems that are typically composed by Western authors, "Applaud for My Mother" does not have a requiem like elegiac state of mind. The overall tone of the poem is enjoyable. "Applaud Song" is a panegyric on the author's mom. in which she commemorates a female who gave her both roots to grow from and wings to fly with.

Writing about her own mother, Nichols once commented that she was a '...

warm, intelligent, loving lady who had lots of stories, anecdotes and songs from her own childhood. Individuals loved being around her and I can't remember a single day when our home wasn't checked out by some buddy, neighbour or relative who had actually dropped in "just fuh [sic] minute" however wound up staying hours.' Starting with the vocabulary, it is vibrant however compelling.

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The writer utilizes the images of water, moon and sun- all effective symbols of nature, to describe her mother's character which shows her strength of personality and the degree of her love and love towards her.

The red colour of the fish's gills is reminiscent of the maternal love; a break from the clichi?? d usage of the colour red in "basic" English literature where the colour is typically related to sensuality. Talking about the lyrical design, a take a look at the developmental years of Grace Nichols in Guyana may shed some light on her writing and choice of topic.

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She was born into a world of books and music. Her daddy was a head teacher and at home she was surrounded by books - she was amazed by the kingdom of books and language.

Her mom utilized to offer piano lessons. The first 8 years of her life that she spent in a town left an imprint on her that shows in the poem too; the rhythm of music and the beat of pan, the call of the fisherman and the fruit supplier, the odour of mud and salt when she went crab hunting ("the crab's leg"), the entire of the morning sky, the whole of the night sky, ("daybreak" and "moon's eye"). The poem is also recurring, 'replenishing renewing'. The poet may have gone with this since it brings a sense of childhood as a kid would duplicate words.

Nichols wants to use this effect because the repetitive content relates to a child's attitude, which will then recall the memories Nichols had of her mother when she was a child. Food is a very important part of Caribbean culture and tradition. The home-cooked food is something that does not have any alternative. The writer's memory of her mother is not complete without thinking about or mentioning the food she used to cook. This intensifies the sacrifice that the writer's mother had to make for her daughter's brighter, "Wide futures".

As Nichols once pointed out, "Like a beacon in London, every now and then I get this craving for my mother's food. I leave art galleries in search of plantains, salt fish, sweet potatoes; I need this link, I need this touch of home, swinging my bag like a beacon against the cold. " Praise song for my mother Fat Black Woman Tropical Death Grace Nichols puts the image across that the issue of culture is extremely important to her. Through her poems we understand that she is confused of her identity. When she moved to London she felt as though she was living in an alien world.

Grace Nichols was longing for a cultural identity in Britain and she tends to describe Britain negatively and the Caribbean positively. This is why throughout the poems she applies her own dialect of Creole, which is the official dialect of the Caribbean. She also uses Creole because she feels as though she should preserve it. She maintains that her Caribbean language is 'genuinely exciting' and that Creole's aspects are very vivid which concludes her to believe that there is no equivalent in the English language.

Nichols has successfully carved a niche for her culture and poetry in the existing canon of complex poets and poetry by writing in a laymen's register. This is a poetry that everyone can understand and read. This is a poetry that everyone can identify with. This is the poetry the Nichols has written for her countrymen, for her mother, for her roots- it is a tribute to her roots back at home. We get a clear sense of this in 'Praise Song for My Mother', in which she talks of a mother who is 'deep and bold and fathoming' and who 'replenishes' her whenever she needs comfort.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Praise Song for my Mother by Grace Nichols. (2017, Aug 02). Retrieved from

Praise Song for my Mother by Grace Nichols essay
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