Poem The Living Photograph: Meaning, Themes, Moral Values and Moral Lesson
My small grandmother is tall there,
The persona is describing her grandmother in the photograph (tall : healthy & well)
straight-back, white broderie anglaise shirt,
pleated skirt, flat shoes, grey bun,
Her physical appearance (straight-back) & what she wears (very neat & proper) Note: broderie anglaise is French for ‘English embroidery’
a kind, old smile round her eyes.
Her smile shows that she is kind & gentle
Her big hand holds mine,
Her grandmother is loving & caring
white hand in black hand.
The white hand belongs to her grandmother & the black hand is the persona’s (togetherness)
Her sharp blue eyes look her own death in the eye.
Her grandmother’s vision is still good but she is actually dying
It was true after all; that look.
‘that look’ refers to the look of someone dying
My tall grandmother became small.
Her back round and hunched.
Her grandmother’s condition got worse when she was sick and dying
Her soup forgot to boil.
She was too ill to take care of herself
She went to the awful place grandmothers go.
Somewhere unknown, unthinkable.
The place her grandmother was sent to(afterlife) – was a mystery to the persona
But there she is still,
in the photo with me at three,
The persona is looking at the photograph of her grandmother and her when she was three years old
the crinkled smile is still living, breathing.
To her, the memory of her old grandmother is still new and fresh
We must try our best to have a good and strong relationship with our grandparents
We should love and appreciate our elders especially in our family
We should spend as much time as we can with our loved ones before they die
We should take photographs with our loved ones and keep them
We must not forget those who have died
We must learn to move on and accept life and death as part of life cycle
STANZA 1 : Present (Looking at the photograph)
STANZA 2 : Past (Remembering what happened)
STANZA 3 : Present (Looking at the photograph again)