2 pages/≈550 words
Literature & Language
Poem: The Mother (By Gwendolyn Brooks) (Essay Sample)
Poem: The Mother By Gwendolyn Brooks Abortions will not let you forget. You remember the children you got that you did not get, The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair, The singers and workers that never handled the air. You will never neglect or beat Them, or silence or buy with a sweet. You will never wind up the sucking-thumb Or scuttle off ghosts that come. You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh, Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye. I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children. I have contracted. I have eased My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck. I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized Your luck And your lives from your unfinished reach, If I stole your births and your names, Your straight baby tears and your games, Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches, and your deaths, If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths, Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate. Though why should I whine, Whine that the crime was other than mine?— Since anyhow you are dead. Or rather, or instead, You were never made. But that too, I am afraid, Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said? You were born, you had body, you died. It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried. Believe me, I loved you all. Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you All. Instructions 1.Explain its literal meaning. 2. Identify the following: what is the subject of the poem? Who is the speaker (or persona?), and whom is the speaker addressing, if anyone? 3. Consider the title of the poem carefully. What does it tell you about the poem\'s subject, tone, and genre? What does it promise? 4. What is the tone of the poem? Is it melancholy, humorous, nostalgic? What details of the poem help to establish how the poet feels about the subject? 5. How does the poet use imagery within the poem? Highlight specific areas where the poet uses imagery to create the mood or meaning of the poem. 6. What tangible objects in the poem might be interpreted as symbols? What might these symbols represent, what leads you to believe that? How do these symbols contribute to the overall meaning of the poem? 7. Does the poet use figurative language within the poem, and to what effect? Highlight any metaphors or similes that you can find. 8. Consider biographical information on the poet\'s life. Is this relevant to your reading of the poem? 9. What is your overall interpretation of the meaning of the poem? What work is it doing? What effect is it meant to have on the reader? Why did the poet write this poem? You can approach the meaning of a poem by investigating any of these questions. source..
Poetry: An Explication of ‘The Mother’
May 17, 2013
Poetry: An Explication of ‘The Mother’
The poem; ‘The Mother’ by Gwendolyn Brooks is about a mother who apparently has performed several abortions before. She talks about the experience in a way meant to warn mothers against ever contemplating performing abortion in their life since the memory lingers on and the killed ‘children’ forever haunts the mother, “abortion will not let you forget,”(Brooks,1945,1).The subject of the poem is abortion as evidenced by words and phrases such as “abortions”(Brooks,1945,1), “breasts they could never suck”(Brooks,1945,13).The speaker, who apparently is a woman or a mother who has had several abortions before is addressing all mothers as well as the fetuses she aborted, “believe me, I loved you all”(Brooks,1945,4).
The title of the poem is itself telling as it hints at the poem’s overall subject which is largely maternal in nature and which is abortion. The article “The” in the title suggests that it is addressed to the mother. The title also brings out a tone of sad, remorse and regretful admission to the fact that abortion is bad, she did it, but it haunts the mother forever. In a way, the speaker seems to be expiating her guilt especially from line 11 to the end, but in a frank and sober manner. This is brought out by use of expressions such as, “I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized/your luck/Though why should I whine/Whine that the crime was other t...
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