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‘Praise Song'

‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols revision notes GCSE English Ormerod

PoemKey Points
‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols SUMMARY A child’s celebration of her mother. A praise song is a traditional form from many African cultures. Sung not written down = oral tradition.
‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols THEMES Parental love. Being prepared for life's challenges. Looking back.
‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols FEELINGS Celebratory. Gratitude. Joy. Security.
‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols STRUCTURE First 3 stanzas are of 3 lines each – similar in format. 4th stanza begins the same way but is extended – leading to a final line about moving towards wider futures.
‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols LANGUAGE Past tense ‘You were’. Compares mother to water and food – vital for life. 1st 3 stanzas end with lists of the mother’s qualities. 1st 4 stanzas end with a verb = active. ‘futures’ – plural- mother creating possibilities not controlling.
‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols KEY QUOTES ‘You were water to me’ ‘deep and bold and fathoming’ ‘replenishing, replenishing’ ‘Go to your wide futures’
‘Praise Song for My Mother’ Grace Nichols LINKS TO… ‘Ghazal’ natural imagery. ‘Sonnet 43’ Lists another person’s qualities. ‘Nettles’ parent/child relationships.
Created by: lesleycollins



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