The poem “My Grandmother’s Hands was written in 1980 by Maria Mazziotti, who was an Italian mother. She seems worried in the poem, we will find out why. Also, what does it have to do with Mothers?
She seems to have lost faith in herself, and her way of raising children. The quote: “Did I fail my own children?” obviously states that she is questioning herself. So she might be worried that her children will not get the childhood like she had. She shows that she could do better than she is doing now.
The poem starts with the Narrator talking about her childhood. She is picking up her own memories of her entire childhood. She tells us in her way that she comes from a whole generation of fantastic mothers. She is full of love for them, but that ends in the 4th verse. The 3rd verse is like a bridge to the present, coming back from the memories. But in the 4th verse she is really questioning herself of being a good mother and compares herself with her own mother and her grandmother.
When you begin reading the poem, you do not know that she will be questioning herself later on. You first see a person looking back at her childhood (never mentioning the father though) with a loving view. When you read later on that she “failed her children”, you wonder what she did on the long term process to make her feel that way. She seems a bit jealous of her mother and her grandmother, because they accomplished way more than she did in raising their kids. She follows their examples but she feels that she has failed, you wonder; has she failed? Or has she just no trust in herself?
The poem has an unusual shape and style, leaving us with questions. That is after all, the writers goal. The poems makes jumps into time, and ends with a mother trying to figure out what she did wrong to fail her kids. I personally think it is a very sad poem ending with a dent in someone’s self-esteem.