My Mother At Sixty Six poem is written by Kamala Das and is one of her very popular poems. Kamala Das is famous for capturing the complexities of personal relationships. In the short summary of My Mother At Sixty Six, the poet relates to her own experience in the poem. She brings out a contradiction in human relationships. Throughout the poem, she has pictured what emotions a daughter feels when she bids farewell to her mother. She feels sad for her mother and is not able to express her grief. A short and long summary of My Mother At 66 is provided below.
The theme of the poem is ‘ageing’ which is the law of nature. It also depicts the helplessness and aspirations of the young generation. It portrays the different stages of life and how everybody grows old and faces various situations that life throws at them. Hence, this is the central theme of the poem My Mother At Sixty Six.
My Mother At 66 is a poem about a mother and her daughter. One fine day, the poet was driving to Cochin airport from her parent’s house. On the way, her mother was sitting beside her. She also mentions that her mother’s age is sixty-six. While the old lady was dozing, her mouth remained open. Her face was faded and pale. She looked like a corpse.
The summary of the poem My Mother At Sixty Six depicts the dilemma of a child seeing her mother getting old. The lifeless and pale face of the mother pained the poet’s heart. In the poem- My Mother At 66, the poet’s mother seemed to have been lost in her own world. In My Mother At Sixty Six explanation, you will find that the poet then turned away her attention towards the window and looked at the nature that was full of activity and life. Here, she shows the contrast between the world outside and the inside gloominess.
My Mother At 66 summary further tells us that the daughter reaches the airport and waits far away from her mother and as she bids goodbye to her, the image of her old, pale face strikes her. She compares how one grows old and starts looking like the faded moon in the winter.
Mother At Sixty Six summary further states the pain that the daughter feels on getting separated from her mother. Here the fog is an obstacle for the moonlight. The poet suddenly feels sad about getting separated from her mother as she felt in her childhood. She hopes to see her mother again. She expects her mother to enjoy her life and not to cry in front of her.
A brief explanation of My Mother At Sixty Six in a line-by-line manner is provided in the following section.
“Driving from ... out of their homes” -
The poet here explains that it was Friday and she was driving back to the airport from her parent’s house. She was with her mother and her mother fell asleep in the car. While she was unconsciously sleeping, the poet realizes that her mother is growing old and feels sad about it. She also compares her mother with a corpse. Then she looks outside and sees the young children playing and the trees sprinting. She then realizes that everything grows old after a certain time. This realization scares her.
“But after the airport’s … smile and smile” -
She then continues to say that in the airport, she was at the security check and stood far away from her mother. She noticed her mother’s ageing face which looked pale and dull. At that time, the poet feels sad about being separated from her mother just as she felt in her childhood. She feels that it may be the last time she is seeing her mother as her mother has grown old. She still says that she will see her mother soon as she doesn’t want to lose her.
Thus ends the summary of the poem My Mother At Sixty Six.
1. From the summary of My Mother At 66, what do you think is the kind of pain and ache the poet feels?
Ans. As per My Mother at 66 explanation, the poet feels a deep pain after seeing the aged face of her mother. The pain is similar to the pain she felt in her childhood when her mother was not with her. She realizes that death and time spare no one and that she has to lose her mother someday. It is an eternal truth that every individual has to face this fate at a certain point in time but still, we are never ready to accept that fact. This gives us, the mortal beings, immense pain which is the same as that felt by the poet. This underlying pathos thus makes the theme of My Mother at Sixty Six somewhat melancholic.
2. After reading My Mother At Sixty Six poem summary, why do you feel the mother has been compared to the ‘late winter’s moon’?
Ans. In the poem My Mother At Sixty Six, the mother of the poet has been compared to the ‘late winter’s moon’ because the moon in the winter becomes dull and dim which makes it appear lifeless. The late winter’s moon is also devoid of its natural glow as layers of fog often cover it up. Similarly, due to ageing, the poet’s mother has also become pale and her colour has become just like the ash colour of the moon. It has lost its youth and looks like a corpse.