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The Grandmother – Summary | The Heritage of Words

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The Grandmother

Ray Young Bear


In this poem the American-Indian poet, Ray Young Bear, draws a picture of his grandmother, all-loving. His grand-mother would wear a purple scarf round her head for warmth and she would go to market with a plastic shopping bag in her hand. Her shape was also quite remarkable. If the poet saw her from a long distance, he could tell that she was his grandmother. She would come home working in the field and wash her hands. They were wet and the smell of roots. She would put her hands on his head and cares it lovingly. Although they were wet, they would be warm out of love. Before he looked at her face, the smell and warmth would make him guess that it was his grandmother. Sometimes the poet would go to her grave. He would imagine to have grandmother. He could feel that her words moving smoothly inside him like a stream. They would inspire him. In his sad life he would find a faint glimpse of hope. He would remember the winter night when they were shivering with cold. His grandmother would wake up and try to move the fire which was covered with thick ashes and he would see her from his bed and hope that he would warm body by the open fire.

Some important questions

  • What images do you find in this poem written by a member of the Sauk and Fox (Mesquaki) Indian tribe of North America? To what senses do these images appeal?
  • How does the speaker feel toward his grandmother? In what words or lines does he make his feelings clear?

Some Important Topics

Where the Mind Is Without Fear – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax Golden Tales

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Four Levels of Interpretation | Flax Golden Tales

New Year – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax Golden Tales

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