Any Woman

An Appreciation
In the poem Any Woman, through a series of metaphors, Katharine Tynan elaborates the role of a woman in a family.  The poem develops through her own point of view as a first person narrative.
Like the pillars of a house or the keystone of an arch, the mother is the force that holds the family together. Like the fire on the hearth and the heat of the sun, she provides comfort and warmth to the family members.  Sometimes she acts as a guiding light. 

The poet emphasizes the role of the mother in the growth of her children.  When they need support, it is to her that they stretch their arms.  She is also the binding force for the family.  Her love binds the children to the family so that they never go astray.

From floor to roof, the mother is the house itself.  She decorates and makes the house beautiful.  She feeds the family both physically and emotionally.  Her involvement is there even in the warp and weft of the curtains.  Like the mother bird who plucks her own down feathers to make a soft nest for her children, the mother is an ultimate example of self-sacrifice.

Like a strong wall and a door, she protects the family from all danger and discomfort.  The poem ends with a touching prayer by the mother, not to be taken away till her children grew.  This prayer is offered to Jesus, who was laid in a manger by a mother.  Even God knows the importance of the mother.

The title of the poem is most suitable as it makes this personal expression of the poet universally relevant.  She is not talking about just herself.  It is about any woman.  The language used in the poem is simple.  Except the first stanza, the poem follows the rhyme scheme of ‘abab’.

Previous Post Next Post