What is the contrast in this stanza that poet talks about and what is it symbolic importance?
The contrast that the poet talks about in this stanza is between the mother who looked at the photograph and laughed nostalgically remembering the happy memories of her past and her mother’s laughter that was now a thing of past. The poet still remembered how her mother would laugh at the photograph remembering the sea-holiday with a fondness as well as a sense of loss. In the same way the poet felt nostalgic thinking about her mother and her laughter which had become a thing of the past.
The symbolic importance of these lines lies in the fact that the only thing that remains unchanged is the sea. The human lives are ever-changing and short while the nature around us is eternal.