This poem is written by an American poetess Ellen M.H.Gates. She wrote religious songs. Collection of her poems were published in 1987 and 1910.
Mother’s hands are the symbol of Love. A mother is a pivot, around which the whole family revolves. She relieves the tedium of life, sheds the divine light in the darkness, alleviates distress, does her duties by her children makes them happy, healthy and intelligent citizens of tomorrow. The progress of a nation depends upon the care and skill with which mothers rear up their children.
The theme of this poem can be expressed in the words of Napoleon that:
“Give me good mothers, I’ll Give you good nation.”
“The hands that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”
Question and Answers
Q.1 What words or phrases tell us that they are not pretty in the physical sense?
Ans. The words “ages and wrinkled” tell us that the hands are not beautiful in their physical appearance. It means that these hands are old and full of wrinkles. They are neither fair not small but rough and big.
Q.2 Why does the poetess praise the hands in the second stanza?
Ans. The poetess praises the hands in the second stanza because these hands carelessly worked hard inspite of exhaustion and utter fatigue in order to provide happiness of her children. The poetess is showing repentance because when she was young, she could’ve helped her mother in doing chars of daily life but she did not.
Q.3 In the third stanza, what does “These hands must folded be” mean?
Ans. The words, “These hands must folded be” mean that the death time of the poetess mother was near to come. The poetess is showing her grief because soon her mother would be under the layers of wild flowers in a folding manner.
Q.4 Who does the poetess praise in this poem?
Ans. In this poem, the poetess pays a high tribute to her mother’s hands for their spiritual beauty. She further defined these hands that they worked restlessly inspite of facing tribulations of life, so that her family might enjoys a happy life.
With a high hand – Disregarding the feeling of other
Sentence – He is most unpopular because he decides matter with a high hand.