Commentary on the poem- ‘My Grandmother’ by Elizabeth Jennings
The poem ‘My Grandmother,’ is a recount of a childhood memory of the poets’ grandmother who “kept an antique shop”, and there are many underlying meaning and thoughts in the poem, which illustrate the strong attachment of the grandmother towards her shop and the relationship between her and the poet. The poet uses her grandmothers’ life to portray themes such as loneliness, guilt and the passing of time. The first and third verse are written in third person, describing the grandmother and her relationship with the shop, however the second and forth verse are written in first person, describing the poets memories and her relationship with her grandmother, while she was alive and after she died. Each verse is divided into six lines and each line has ten syllables, this creates a pattern, which reminds the reader of the repetitive circle of life and gives the poem and order and style, which characterizes the poet. The first line of the poem personifies the “antique shop,” as the poet is in doubt whether her grandmother kept an antique shop or “ it kept her.” This brings out the strong attachment of the grandmother towards the shop to the point where it could keep her, which is impossible as the shop is not a living thing. In the second and third lines the poet lists the objects that were found in the shop, like they were friends of her grandmother. The reader can notice that by bringing this out, the poet wants emphasize the loneliness and the absence of love in Elizabeth Jennings grandmother’s life. The theme of reflection and distortion comes up in line four where the grandmother, “watched her own reflection in the brass salvers and silver bowls, there was no need of love.” The poet creates a setting of grand surroundings, and extravagant objects, which were once new and belonged to someone. The grandmother in a way fades in with the objects, becomes a part of them, so that she is herself like an...
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