Summary of My Mother at Sixty-Six
Authored by the renowned poet Kamala Das, My Mother at Sixty-Six of Class 12 English is a poem depicting human relationship. Human relationships are complicated and this poem does a brilliant job of eliciting the same through its verses. The summary of My Mother at Sixty-Six for Class 12 English will depict how the author has captured the nurtured bond between a daughter and her mother. The poem dwells on the feelings of the daughter who fears losing her mother. My Mother at Sixty-Six Summary provides an overview of the poem and what the author is trying to portray with the words.
My Mother at Sixty-Six Class 12 Summary in English
The poem My Mother at Sixty-Six begins with a daughter observing her mother closely as they begin their journey towards the Cochin airport. The author paints a very vivid image of how the mother has aged and as she describes the same, she also mentions the fear lurking in the mind of the daughter, the fear of losing her mother. The author describes the mother’s face as whitish, sleeping with an open mouth, which she says is almost comparable to a corpse.
The sudden realization pangs at the heart of the daughter and she chooses to shift her attention by looking outside the window of the car. The scenery outside provides an upliftment to the daughter’s mood. The huge trees with the freshly sprinted green leaves, children playing cheerfully represented life, energy and vigor. Here, we see that the narrator is drifted back to her own childhood days where she remembers her mother as beautiful and young. This is in sharp contrast to the present scenario and this makes the daughter’s heart heavy.
As we read through the poem, we know that the daughter has reached the airport, where she is saddened by the fact that she has to depart from her mother. The author sees her mother in the backdrop of the dusky evening as begins to bid farewell. Here, the narrator compares the mother’s smile to the winters’ late-night moon. The poet has beautifully illustrated the sense by comparing the image of the aging mother with the light of the moon being obstructed by the haze and the fog. This metaphor is a representation of the old age of the mother.
We then see that the pain of separation makes the daughter more vulnerable as she is terrified of losing her mother unexpectedly. The daughter’s heart is filled with emotions of grief and she is overwhelmed at the thought of separating from her dear mother. However, we see that the daughter puts on a brave face and quietly smiles. She keeps her hopes up of seeing her mother and bids farewell to her mother with the words, “See You Soon, Amma”.
The narrator thus prevents the environment from getting too emotional and painful. Also, she does not want to leave her mother teary-eyed. The author says that the daughter wishes that her mother also lives her life fully and happily.
To summarize, My Mother of Sixty-Six is a beautiful poem describing the beautiful bond between a daughter and her mother. The key takeaway from the summary of My Mother at Sixty-Six is that aging is a process that is bound to happen inevitably. The journey of an individual starts in the womb of the mother. As a child, a person is full of life and is energetic and gradually the child becomes an adult. Eventually, the person moves towards his/her old age and then embraces death. This is the cycle of life. The author of My Mother at Sixty-Six does a great job of depicting how relationships between individuals become more consolidated with age. The thought of losing someone dear and close is unbearable and the author has beautifully depicted the same through the words of her poem.
Explanation of the Poem
In this poem, when the poet is on the way to the Cochin airport along with her old mother who was sitting beside her, she looks at her mother very closely and presents her image before us. She compares her mother's face with a corpse. When she looked at her mother's pale face, she was numbed with the thought of losing her. The face of the mother was dozing and her mouth was open which was being compared with a corpse. In this poem, the poet wants to show the love and affection which is present between a mother - daughter relationship. The poet is in pain and tries to shift her attention by looking outside the car so that she can ignore the negative feelings. She was trying to change her sad mood. The scene which was outside the window is positive and of growing life and energy. The trees which symbolize young fullness along with children playing around symbolize life and positivity. The poet is recalling her own childhood when her mother was young but now she is filled with the fear of losing her which is making her insecure.
Then she was at the airport to take a flight. This was indicating the departure which looks like separation from her mother which is creating sadness in her. As and when she was saying goodbye to her mother, the image of her as old, worn out struck her again. Hair she was comparing her mother with a late winter's moon whose light was being obstacled by fog. Her mother looks old now, her personality was being affected by the same.
The poet is in the pain of separating and leaving her mother and going. She also had a fear of losing her mother in childhood but she knows that it was temporary at that time. But that fear is not coming again and it could be forever as a mother can die of old age and this fear is haunting her again and again. She was in so much pain that it would be natural for her to cry out but she was behaving bravely, hiding her tears and smiling out of it.
She then bids farewell to her mother in the hope of seeing her again alive. She does not want to create a sorrowful environment for her mother. That's why she hides her pain and conveys to her mother that she is enjoying her life to the fullest just like her mother wanted it to be.
Basically this poem revolves around the fear of loss and separation and the theme of advancing age. It has also shown the sentiments of a mother and her daughter. It has also shown the nostalgia of the past.
Here, we have provided you with a summary of My Mother at Sixty-Six. The poem is an ode to the deep emotional bond shared by a daughter with her mother. My Mother at Sixty-Six Summary highlights the fear of separation in the mind of the narrator as she is confronted with the fact that her mother is approaching old age. The poem concludes on a high note as the daughter is hopeful that she will be reunited with her mother soon. The feelings of fear, anxiety, grief and hope have been vividly portrayed by the author in the poem.
FAQs on My Mother at Sixty-Six Summary for Class 12
1. Why is the Narrator of the Poem My Mother at Sixty-Six Sad?
The narrator of the poem, My Mother at Sixty-Six, is the daughter. She is sad because she is suddenly struck by the fact that her mother is approaching old age and may not be with her in the near future. The thought of losing her mother combined with the pain of separation as the author travels to the airport to catch her flight is what makes the author sad.
2. Does the Daughter Cry as She Bids Farewell to her Mother?
No, the daughter does not cry bidding farewell to her mother. Although her heart is filled with emotions as she parts from her mother, she does not shed tears. Instead, puts on a brave face and smiles quietly. The daughter does so because she does not want her mother to feel sad. Besides, she is also hopeful that she will get to see her mother again soon and thus, she manages not to cry as she bade farewell to her mother.
3. What are the pains and aches that the poet felt ?
When the poet was looking at her mother's face very closely, she felt that her mother has now aged and her end is near. She feels that there is no one for her mother to look after her as she needs care. Her childhood fear of losing her mother can last forever now. The poet feels helpless towards her mother. She has a fear of separation from mother which is forever.
4. In this poem, the young trees are described as sprinting. Why ?
In this poem, young trees have been personified. When the poet was looking at the trees from a moving car, they seemed to be running past. The poet found out that it is just the opposite to her mother who looks like a corpse.