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My Mother At Sixty-six Summary

Poet of My Mother At Sixty-six

Kamala Das

Theme of My Mother At Sixty-six

  1. Ageing of our loved ones.
  2. Fear of separation from our loved ones.
  3. Bond between mother and daughter.

Line by Line Poem Explanation:

**Explanation of each line in written in bold
  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 but soon put that thought away, and looked
    out at Young Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling out of their homes
    Explanation: when she left her parent's house and was sitting in a car with her mother, as her mother was old and aged, she lost her activeness and glow. Due to which her face was looking so dull and like a dead body (corpse), in order to distract herself from the thought of her ageing mother, she looked outside of the car.Young tree sprinting signifies, like when the car moves in a direction the tress looks like they are running in opposite direction, just like, as the time passes the human loses his youngness.
    The merry children spilling out of their homes means, the children are happy as they are stress and tension free and are full of energy and activeness, but same child will lose all this happiness and activeness as they grow up.

  2. But after the airport’s security check, standing a few yards away, I looked again at her, 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: when they reached to the airport, as she was done with security check, she looked at her mother whose face was looking colorless like the late winter's moon, she felt familiar fear and pain, what she uses to feel when she was a child, fear of loosing her mother, fear of separation. All I did was smile and smile and smile…. Means, as her mother was old, she did not want to stress her by showing her grief, she faked her smile to hide it from her mother and herself.