English XII: Heritage of Words Content
Grandmother | Heritage of Words
Most importantly, the words of his grandmother were a source of inspiration for him. When he used to hear her words, it used to flow inside his body and revive his lost strength and vigour. He has compared its effect with stirring the ashes of sleeping fire to regenerate fire. Fire is the source of energy, light and clarity. Similarly, when the poet used to hear her words it used to fill him with new energy, hope, and erase all his confusions. In other words, her advises were a source of motivation for him.
· The grandmother of the poet is the prominent and highly regarded women of contemporary America who represent the difficulties in Mesquaki tribe.
· The poet assumes and senses that he would see the shape of his grandmother from the miles away.
· Poet sees his grandmother from his inner eyes that it is his merely assumption only and he would recognize his grandmother instantly who is coming from the long distance. He even assumes that if he would see from his outer eyes, he would see his grandmother coming from the long distance or from the mile away by wearing purple scarf and carrying plastic shopping bag.
· The poet assumes that if he felt hand on his head, the poet know that those hands were his grandmother’s which are warm and damp with the smell of roots.
· Again, the poet assumes that if he heard a voice from the rock, he would know that he words are resounded in his heart with instant flow inside him like the light of someone stirring ashes from a sleeping fire at night.
· The poet implies the rigid suppression to the Mesquaki tribe by the Americans, especially the white Americans.
· In spite of suppression, discrimination and contempt, the tribe strongly existed in the American states.
· The poet sustains the cultural ethics, values and norms of Mesquaki tribe.
· The poet reveals the difficulties of women in that tribe, the poem shows that women in that tribe faces great struggle to sustain their lives. There is the rustic scene of American countryside where the tribes reside.
There are various images used in the poem, for example, ‘purple scarf’, ‘plastic shopping bag’, ‘warm and damp hands with the smell of roots’, ‘voice coming from the rock’ and ‘a sleeping fire at night’. All these images are closely related to the activities and life styles of Mesquaki tribal people. Most of tribal people do not have the opportunity to enjoy a fairly rich and luxurious life. They buy ordinary stuff in a small amount. As they have to survive on natural plants, it is natural that their hands smell roots which they use as food. Similarly, rocks and night flies are also inseparatable parts of tribal life. All these images used in the poem are very much appealing because they provide rural and rustic setting to the poem. These images give the realistic impression and make the poem very much life-like.
Q.2. How does the speaker have feel towards his grandmother ? In what words or lines does he make his feeling clear?
Ans: The speaker has an affectionate and respectful feeling towards his grandmother. He describes his grandmother in such a way that she becomes the source of love and inspiration to him. He expresses his warm and intimate feeling to her through the words like feeling her ‘warm and damp hands’ and ‘her words would flow inside me like the light’. Here, the grandmother’s words are compared with the light of sleeping night fire which lightens the darkness when it is recovered by removing the ashes. This means that her words lighten the darkness of his life and show the right path to truth, love and goodness.