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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I cannot remember my mother by Rabindranath Tagore

 The poem has been titled " I cannot remember my mother". It attracted me for some reason, for I thought that surely, a poem couldn't be completely empty. There had to be some form of nostalgia, or memory in a poem about no remembrance.  I realized after reading it, that I was right. In fact, the poem's title can be considered an oxymoron. However, the extent to which this poem is nostalgic, the amount of tiny details in this poem, wow. But I don't suppose Tagore was a Literature Nobel Laureate for nothing.
This poem has sensitized its audience to the poet's colossal loss, though the poet ,it seems,has made no effort to do so. There is nothing superfluous about his writing, and the poem seems like a true expression of his love for his mother. It talks about how his mother managed to leave her presence on everything before she passed away, and how those little memories of his,form an incomplete memory of his mother.




   The poet has also made extensive use of all kinds of imagery. Each stanza contains some kind of imagery, whether it be auditory, visual or olfactory. In my mind, I realize as I ponder, the poem creates an image of a beautiful temple with burnt orange autumn leaves in the background. The sweet, fragrant smell of shiuli flowers seems to linger in the air, although it is not overpowering. The sky, is a perfect blue, never to dark or too light. Oh, it's beautiful.
 The poem contains a lot of subtle details, a lot of which are perspectives and opinions of the audience. The poem also uses refrain, as the line " I cannot remember my mother" is used at the beginning of each stanza. This repetition helps to enhance the feelings of the narrator, who struggles to form a whole image of his/her mother.
 The poem has been written with a nostalgic tone, and manages to turn the reader's mood nostalgic as well. Though simply written, there is subtle detail in each stanza, though this also it seems,has happened unconsciously. The fourth stanza is filled with metaphors, and my English class had a beautiful discussion about it.
 We talked about the kinetic imagery that the poet uses in the line " I send my eyes". We talked about the different metaphoric values of "the blue of the distant sky", thinking of "blue" as a representation of the poet's sadness, and "the distant sky" as a measure of the vastness of his mother's love for him. One of the greatest things about poetic appreciation is that the audience has complete freedom of expression, and can interpret the language the way the want to, no matter the tone of the poet. Our discussion ended with the thought "Poetry is timeless".

- Poetic Fanatic

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