Praise Song For My Mother- Songs of Ourselves vol.1 pt.5

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  • You were/ water to me/ deep and bold and fathoming
    • You were/ moon's eye to me/ pull and grained and mantling
      • You were/ sunrise to me/ rise and warm and streaming
        • You were/ the fishes red gill to me/ the flame-tree's spread to me/ the crab's leg/ the fried plantain smell/ replenishing replenishing
          • Go to your wide futures, you said
            • Ultimately knows when to let her children go
            • Allows her children to pursue a range of opportunities
          • Reference to Caribbean heritage
          • Red- warmth and energy
          • Extended stanza, more personal
        • Sunrise- hope and renewal
        • Uplifting and giving
      • Moon- constant force, gravitational pull
      • Mantle- a type of cloak
    • Water- symbolic of life
    • Fathom- to understand at a deep level
    • Syndetic listing- repeated use of 'and' in a list
      • You were/ sunrise to me/ rise and warm and streaming
        • You were/ the fishes red gill to me/ the flame-tree's spread to me/ the crab's leg/ the fried plantain smell/ replenishing replenishing
          • Go to your wide futures, you said
            • Ultimately knows when to let her children go
            • Allows her children to pursue a range of opportunities
          • Reference to Caribbean heritage
          • Red- warmth and energy
          • Extended stanza, more personal
        • Sunrise- hope and renewal
        • Uplifting and giving
      • Could reflect Caribbean dialect
      • Could be seen as childlike- appropriate as she is recalling childhood memories
    • PRAISE SONG FOR MY MOTHER- Grace Nichols
  • Context
    • Praise song- traditional African form that uses short sentences to capture the essence of a person or god
    • About the speaker's mother
    • Nichols is originally from Guyana, which is reflected in some metaphors

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