Kamala Das' My Grandmother's House Line by line Summary & analysis

My Grandmother’s House is a nostalgic poem written by Kamala Das (Kamala Surayya). Though it’s a short poem its meaning is vast and wide. The undercurrent of the poem is Kamala Das’s childhood life with her grandmother where she felt more love and peace than she enjoys in her present life.

The poem My Grandmother’s House has only 16 lines, very short poem. The opening line tells the readers about her grandmothers house, where she lived when she was very young. We can read line by line explanation My Grandmother’s House

Kamala Das’ Recollection of childhood life in My Grandmother’s House

There is a house now far away where once
I received love

That house is far away from the poetess’s new house. In that house she enjoyed much love and pleasure. Kamala Das was too young to remember those happy moments, still she recollects her experiences.

……. That woman died

Unfortunately those happy life didn’t last for long. The death took her lovely grandmother to heaven!

End of happiness by the Grandmother’s death

The house withdrew into silence

In the 3rd line, it’s clear that the grandmother was the only source of entire happiness of that house as the whole house withdrew into silence.

snakes moved
Among books, I was……….
………………….
and my blood turned cold like the moon

Kamala Das was very young girl at the time she spent her days with her grandmother. Thus she was not able to read books. After grandmother was gone to heaven the books in the library of that house left unread. Snakes started to move among the book stacks. Seeing this the little Kamala Das felt fear. And her grandmother’s death frozen her and turned her blood cold like moon.

How ………………
……………………………………..
to peer through blind eyes of windows
……………… frozen air

After Grandmother’s death, she moved to another house. But still she likes to visit that old house where she enjoyed much freedom and unlimited love. She thinks of going there and to peep through the window of that house and to listen to that frozen air there.

Peer through means look through. Poet used the phrase ‘blind eyes’ it means the house is filled with darkness and nothing inside the house is clear to her eyes. The frozen air is used to mentioned the unmoved air filled in the house because of no inhabitants.

Also Read : An Introduction by Kamala Das – Summary & Analysis

Poetess’ hopelessness and need of love

Or in wild despair, …………
…………………………….
bring it here to lie

Behind my bedroom door like a brooding Dog

Poet says she is in despair, she lost all hopes. Thus she wishes at least to bring her grandmother’s house memory to her bedroom by picking some frozen darkness from her grandmother’s house, and to keep it behind her bedroom door like a brooding dog. Brooding dog means thinking dog.

you cannot believe……………….
……………………………….. and
Was proud, and loved

Poetess addresses her husband calling ‘darling’, and says he could not  believe she lived in such a house where she was proud, loved and honored. In the next line she compares her childhood experiences with the present world human nature.

 I ………………..
……………beg now at strangers’ doors to
…………. at least in small change? 

Though she had enjoyed the love in her past life, she lost them all in the present era. Now she has to beg at the doors of strangers for love. Nobody is ready to honor, consider and love each other. She would be happy if she could get at least a small amount of love.

Salahudheen Kozhikoden

The Founder and CEO of LittleHelpz. He is a post-graduate in English Language and Literature and a web addict. His areas of interest are Blogging, Designing, Programming