Explanation. This is a reminiscence poem with a somewhat sorrowful tone. It emphasizes the inexorable changes that 'time' imposes on the lives of persons and objects. The photograph itself is a link between Shirley and her sister, and while it cannot bring them together, it does preserve their memory.
Shirley was one of the first female photographers in England. She was born in 1864 in London, the daughter of an artist. At the age of eighteen, she married a wealthy stockbroker named George Toulson. They had two children, a son who died in infancy and a daughter. When her husband died in 1889 at the age of forty-nine, Shirley was left with a large debt and no means of paying it off. Filled with grief over the loss of her husband, she decided to take up photography as a source of income.
She rented a room in her home to work in, but despite this small expense she could not afford to buy any photographic equipment so used her brother's camera instead. In just a few months, she learned how to use it properly and started taking pictures for others. These photographs were often taken at her sister's wedding ceremony in 1890 and later at funerals. In 1898, she published her first book of photographs called "On Some Old Letters" which was also her father's last work.
The poetry "A Photograph" conveys a message of death and the fleeting nature of human beings. The poem as a whole is about loss, separation, and sadness. Humans, unlike the water, change swiftly and perish one day. Furthermore, the poem conveys the lesson of enduring grief. No matter how hard you try to forget someone, they will always be with you in some way or another.
Death is an important part of life. It is something that we all have to face at some point. However, this shouldn't stop us from living our lives to the fullest while we are here on Earth. We should keep this in mind when reading and writing poems about death.
The poem depicts three stages of time passing. In the first stage, the snapshot depicts the poet's mother standing on the beach with her two young cousins, enjoying her vacation. At the time, she was about 12 years old. The second step takes us back twenty or thirty years. We see that her mother has now become an old lady and the girl is standing in front of a house with several other children. This must be where she lives now with her family who can no longer go to the beach because they don't have enough money for transportation. The last stage takes place in the future. The girl has now become a woman and has married a man named Joe. They have a son together who is about your age. When they were growing up, this family used to visit the beach often but now that the father has become an old man, they go there only once.
In the poem, Shirley Toulson uses different words and expressions to describe each stage of time. These words and expressions will help you understand what she means when she says "snapshot", "twenty or thirty years ago" and "in the future".
The first stage of the poem describes something that happened at one single moment in time. The mother is standing on the beach with her two young cousins, having fun in the sun. At this moment, she does not know that this scene will later become a memory for her daughter.