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'Two Mothers Remembered " by Joann Snow Duncanson: Short Summmary and Analysis



'Two Mothers Remembered ", written by the American poet and columnist Joann Snow Duncanson, is a wonderful lyric poem about a daughter's love and sense of responsibility towards her mother. The poem, which is written in a lucid and simple style, describes a loving bond between a daughter and her mother. The peom is written in six stanzas. 

The poem opens with the speaker's assertion that she had two mothers, which may surprise a reader as how a person can have two mothers. The speaker also says that the two mothers were different but had the same name. To the speaker the two women seemed "diverse by design" but she loved both of her mothers because she thinks that they are hers. 

In the second stanza the speaker describes the contribution of the first mother to her life. She carried the speaker to the earth and nurtured her. She also helped the speaker to start her career. The speaker also says that she bears the features and facial expressions of her mother. 

In the next stanza, the speaker elaborates her biological and emotional attachment with her mother. She says that the love that was set by her mother in her still flows through her vein. But surprisingly, the older her mother grew the younger she became. The speaker and her mother used have some wonderful time together. They used to laugh and have fun together like every other daughter and mother.
Then a time came when her mother's mind became clouded and she felt that her mother would soon pass away. The speaker found that her mother quickly changed and turned into a stranger to her. Her mother put on the same clothes but inwardly she got totally changed. 

The speaker added that her mother looked the same, though she acted like a child. She says that she was the strength of her mother during those critical days. The speaker calls this changed woman her second mother. She imagines it a circle.

In the concluding stanza, she thinks that if one day she would become the mother of a girl child, she would give her some advice. The speaker says that she would not advise her children anything that she didn't do herself in her life to her mother. She says that she would advise her children to love both the young and old she. One day she may grow old and pale and lose all the vitality of life. So, she would advise her children to stand by her during those critical days. 

The poem beautifully reflects a daughter's love and sense of responsibility to her mother. It expresses the loving and caring bond that exists between a mother and her daughter.

Study questions:

1. How are the two mothers different from each other?
2. How are they the same?
3.What did the first mother do to the speaker?
4. Who was the speaker's second mother? Describe her briefly.
5. What would be the speaker's advice to her own children?
6. Who are the three women referred to in the poem? Briefly describe them.
7. What should children do to their mother and why?
8. Do you like this poem? Why?

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