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Analysis of For My Mother In Her Mid 90s by Ama Ata Aidoo

In this female glorifying poetic piece of Ama Ata Aidoo, the poet indirectly revealed the special qualities possessed by her mother; not forgetting to point at people's amazement that her mother was still hail and hearty at the age of ninety and above.
As seen in stanza 12:
"Listen to the “is-your-mother-still-alive” greeting,
eyes popping out,
mouth agape and trembling"

The poet recolled many relationships had with her mother; particularly, the tales of long beginning which commenced the poem:
"Long
complex, complicated stories:
heart-warmingly familial and sadly colonial."



The stanza 4-8 seemed out of the way_ with the use "aunt" in stanza 4, "hugging forests",  "So I can enter young,/ age, infirmities/ defied." Probably, the poet digressed or it might happened that the poet painted the picture of her mother in an unexpected form of imagery.

She was so psyched with the majestic motherhood possessed by her to the extent of deeming it fit to glorify her mother anything, anywhere (public and private); "not only when some chance provides". She seemed not only elated at mother's qualities but the truth that her mother was graced enough to be ninety and counting:
"Listen to the “is-your-mother-still-alive” greeting,
eyes popping out,
mouth agape and trembling:

That here,
in narrow spaces and
not-much-time, who was I to live?
Then she who bore me?"

Structurally, the poem is a clear free verse void of vivid rhythm. So obvious is the stanzas inequalities, where some stanzas are of three lines while other are four. Besides the introduced dialect at the end of the poem ( Me da ase.Ye da ase), other common poetic devices are visible. Talk of the vast use of imageries which are mostly images of touch and manner; an instance is "heart-warmingly familiar and sadly colonial" as seen in line 3.

The whole of stanza seven is a metaphor comparison the act and voice of the child or children to chirping birds:
"Hear my offspring chirping:
“Mummy, touch plastic,
it lasts longer!”"

"complex, complicated stories" in second line of stanza 1 and "hear the hailing chorus" in second line of stanza 10; are both alliterations of "k" and "h" sounds respectively.

The stanza 2 and 3 holds a contrasting believe of the poet that both kids are adults are flaws of insensitivity:
"You know how
utterly, wonderfully
insensitive the young can be?

Oh no. We are not here talking adults
who should know better,
but never do."

There was also the use of rhetorical questions in the poem to create a closure:
"That here,
in narrow spaces and
not-much-time, who was I to live?
Then she who bore me?"

Though needless to say, Ama Aidoo's message was to show the positive impact of mother to child and to show how adorable it is to be favored with longevity as a human.

Ama Ata Aidoo is a Ghanaian poet and author born in Saltpond, Ghana on the 23rd of March, 1942 (according to Wikipedia record of her profile). She can also be classed among the author of feminism being creator of Mbaasem Foundation.

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)
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