Praise Song for my Mother


Stanza One

You were

water to me

deep and bold and fathoming

In the first stanza Nichols compares her mother to water, which is a powerful image because water is something vital and necessary for life. She sees her mother as this essential being. 'Deep' suggests they had a strong bond and her mother understood her complex issues. 'Bold' suggests she was strong and brave. A fathom is a measure of depth, which links back to the first word in the line.

Stanza Two

You were

moon's eye to me

pull and grained and mantling

In the second stanza Nichols compares her mother to the moon. This suggests she was a watchful presence over her daughter, always there even if she was not always visible. The moon provides light in the darkness, which is what Nichols' mother did for her. The moon also has gravitational pull, and Nichold uses 'pull' to suggest her mother also exerted a force on her that drew her closer. 'Grained' could refer to germination- that Nichols grew and blossomed from a seed planted by her mother. A mantle is a type of cloak, so 'mantling' suggests her mother was a comforting, protective, warming presence.

Stanza Three

You were

sunrise to me

rise and warm and streaming

'Sunrise' is a typical image meaning light, warmth and new beginnings, as the rising of the sun signals the start of a new day.


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