My first impression of this poem was that it was about a mother. When I read the first line I noticed that it was a sentimental poem.  It made me feel troubled yet, at the same time, curious. A line that especially troubled me was, “Believe me, I love you all” I felt troubled because a mother aborted her children and is now feeling guilty, saying that even if she didn’t get to meet her children, she loved them. The other feeling – of curiosity – aroused when I read the line, “Abortions will not let you forget”.  I was curious to know how an author would write about such a loaded topic.What I know about the situation – what’s happening in the poem – is that by the way this poem is written it is about a mother’s feelings after going through an abortion more than once. What I know about the speaker is that they are the kind of person who is feeling guilt for going through an abortion more than once.  This is suggested by line 11-12 “I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children”.   The speaker seems to be speaking to the audience and perhaps to indicate that she is regretting the abortions she made and is now hearing her lost children’s voices.  I say this because the words “the voices of my dim killed children”. The poem springs from a particular historical moment in the speakers life when she aborted her child.  The poem revolves around several themes, including regret and pain.

If this poem were a question, the answer would be that abortion is something you can’t forget and would forever feel the pain..  If it were an answer, question would be how does abortion affect a woman’s life. The title suggests that the poem is from a mother’s point of view.    

The poem’s form is Elegy.  This form is a vehicle for the content of the poem.  If the poem were a concessional turn, it would not guide me toward an understanding of the poem’s meaning.  This form relates to the poem because it talks about the death of the speaker’s children.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Initial analysis of “The Mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks by Wendy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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