A Photograph summary ` Sherley Toulson’
The poem A Photograph is written by Shirley Toulson in the memory of her dead mother. In the poem, the poet sees a photograph of her mother and goes into deep memories .
She remembers when her mother used to tell her about that photograph and would miss her youth. In the end, the poet feels sad because of the loss of her mother. So, there the poem deals with the theme of loss.
They all look into the camera when their brother/uncle photograph them. Moreover, they look happy and excited with their throwing locks and pleasant smiles. Further, the picture shows the sea waves smashing at them as the young girls learn to keep up with the waves. She (poetess) remains with the thought that sea. Even in motion, her mother (motionless in the photograph) is able to resist the change as she has surrendered herself to mortality.
In the second part/phase, in her older days, her mother looks back the day at the sea. Moreover, she remembers her two cousins and recalls the day memorialized in the photograph. Also, she makes fun of her and her cousins’ outfits. These lines have a tone of sadness as the mother tries to accept the continual motion of life as she grows older. Looking back at her 12-years-old self maybe was an attempt to return to her childhood, which is a painful reminder of time and age.
In the third part, the poetess remembering her mother as she died earlier. Further, the photo scripts a memory for both. As it knots the mother and daughter together even after her mother has left her for forever. The poetess confesses that the photo bliss at imagining her mother’s laughter much like her mother delight in remembering the day at the sea.
Moreover, she notices that the time over since her mother’s final departure is the same as her age in the photograph i.e., 12 years. Maybe it’s a coincidence or an irony of life and death. Eventually, both poetess and her mother learn to accept the change and make peace with their memories. Even though they remind them of the briefness of laughter, happy moment, etc.
Although the death or end makes things go quiet and empty. However, the poetess, find her mother died to be loud and inspiring enough to pour her feelings out in the form of a tribute and poem. Thus, even though death finishes everything. But her mother’s death brings out a new response in her. Lastly, she accepts (silently) her resignation to the final silence of death.