Explain how Giuilani's quote below enhances the meaning of Shirazie's "Grandmother:"  “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional...

Explain how Giuilani's quote below enhances the meaning of Shirazie's "Grandmother:"  “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life.”

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Giuliani quote features a couple of elements that enhances the meaning of Shirazie's work.  One such idea is that the lessons of patience and kindness are ones that have been demonstrated to the speaker of the poem.  The speaker would simple have said "Salaam" and continued on her way.  Yet, the speaker must listen, feels compelled to do so, to what the grandmother has to say.  When the speaker says, "I would have passed by," it becomes clear that the same traits that Giuliani's quote suggests about the need for grandparents are precisely what the speaker demonstrates with the reverence towards her own.  The speaker understands that there is more here than the recitation about grandma's day.  Rather, it is about taking the time to validate the voices and experiences of an older generation.  The tears that well up in the speaker's eyes reflect how a moment is present.  The talk might be about towels and laundry and fatigue, but there is an instant, a moment in time, that cannot be overlooked and might never come again.  It is here where Giuliani's quote is powerful in how it speaks to the purpose and function of grandparents.  Their purpose is to model how life should be lived, something that the speaker demonstrates in how she views her grandmother.  If poetry is to be accepted as the ultimate expression of language, then the purpose of the poem is to emphasize how the lessons the quote illuminates is evident in the daily interaction between the speaker and her grandmother.

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