Commentary On "Ancestor" By Thomas Consella.

857 words - 3 pages

"Ancestor" by Thomas Kinsella is about the relationship between an elderly lady and a young child. The child and elderly lady are related. Its is most likely a grandmother and grandchild relationship. The poem demonstrates the gap between the young and old generations and how it can be difficult for the two generations to communicate. The poem has no rhyme scheme and the stanzas are all of different lengths. The poet put imagery to good use in this poem which helps facilitate the readers imagination of what is going on. The narrator of the poem is the grandchild and therefore is told from the point of view of the child. The tone of the poem has elements of gloominess and darkness.The first phrase of the first stanza is of great significance because it establishes the relationship between the grandmother and grandchild. The child "was going up to say something" to his grandmother "and stopped" when he saw her. This implies that the child is afraid or intimidated by the grandmother. He then goes on to describe her profile saying that it was old and "dark like a hunting bird's." The simile, dark like a hunting bird's adds a touch of mystery to the poem and grandmother. A hunting bird flies high and is not easily seen, its hides its possessions and itself from others and what it is thinking is unknown; one never knows what prey it will attack."It was the way she perched on the high stool" further compares the grandmother to a bird. A bird perches on a high branch of a tree just as the grandmother perched on the high stool. "With one fist" the grandmother grips the "side barrier round the desk." This might be because she has seen something in the desk that awoke some deep feeling inside which made her need the extra support. It might also simply be because she is very old and weak. The grandmother does not notice anything or anyone around her ("not caring for anything around her or anyone there by the shelves"). This means that she does not see the child and that she in deep thought with what she is doing at the desk. There is a "musky and queer" smell the room. This is the smell that is in old rooms and stereotypically in attics where the furniture and objects haven't been used or touched for some time.When the child makes "some sound" the grandmother "shut down the lid of the desk, and turned the key." This prevents the child from seeing what the...

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