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THE LIVING PHOTOGRAPH (by Jackie Kay)

Stanza 1
Line Meaning
The personas grandmother looks tall in the
1 My small grandmother is tall there,
photograph.
She is standing with good posture, wearing an
2 straight-back, white broderie anglaise shirt ,
embroidered lace blouse.
She wears the blouse with a pleated skirt, non-
3 pleated skirt, flat shoes, grey bun,
heeled shoes and her hair in a bun.
4 a kind, old smile round her eyes. She is smiling kindly.
5 Her big hand holds mine, Her big hand is holding the personas hand.
The contrast of their skin colours can clearly be
6 white hand in black hand.
seen in their linked hands.
Her grandmothers blue eyes suggests that her
7 Her sharp blue eyes look her death in the eye.
death is near.
Stanza 2
Line Meaning
8 It was true after all; that look. The personas reference of death came true.
The grandmother became thinner and more
9 My tall grandmother became small.
fragile.
10 Her back round and hunched. Her back became hunched.
11 Her soup forgot to boil. She became forgetful.
12 She went to the awful place grandmothers
Soon, she passed away.
go.
Upon her death, she went to a place that no one
13 Somewhere unknown, unthinkable.
knows.
Stanza 3
Line Meaning
However, in the photograph, her grandmother
14 But there she is still,
will always be alive.
The persona was there years old in the
15 in the photo with me at three,
photograph with her grandmother.
16 the crinkled smile is still living, breathing. Her grandmothers smile is still so alive and real.

Moral Value
1 We must treasure our loved ones when they are alive.
We must spend as much time as we can with our loved ones while they are still living
When they pass away, all that will be left are the memories, as is illustrated in the poem.
2 It is difficult to lose a family member.
It is always difficult to deal with the death of a loved one.
The persona loses her grandmother when she was younger but she will always remember her.
3 We must never forget the importance of family relationship.
We should not forget to love and care for our family, especially our grandparents who are the pillars
of a family.
When they are old and sick, we must continue to take care of them.