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the mother

the mother

by Gwendolyn Brooks

the mother Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

G. Brooks had some real poetry skills. She wrote some butt-kicking sonnets about black soldiers returning from World War II in A Street in Bronzeville, and she wrote in tons of different poetic for...

Speaker

The speaker of "the mother" is… a mother. Or is she? This is the poem the question asks: can you be a mother, if you have aborted your children? What makes a mother a mother? Is "the mother" actu...

Setting

The poem doesn't unfold in a specific location; it doesn't take place in a forest, or a hospital, or on the moon (though we do think that there should be more moon poems, if anyone's asking). Inste...

Sound Check

"the mother" is written in free verse, so it doesn't have a consistent form, rhyme scheme, or meter. (To get all the deets on this topic, check out our "Form and Meter" section). The cool thing abo...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of this poem names the speaker—she's "the mother." And she's not just any ol' mother. She's the mother. The interesting thing about this, of course, is that "the mother" has had an abor...

Calling Card

Our pal Gwendolyn Brooks is famous for a whole lot of things, chief among them her butt-kicking poems and her knack for representing silenced populations. Throughout her career, Brooks was dedicate...

Tough-o-Meter

"the mother" might be dealing with some seriously intense issues and emotions, but it's not too hard to actually read. Brooks doesn't have a crazy vocabulary or off-the-wall syntax; the complexity...

Trivia

Brooks was the first African American to ever win a Pulitzer Prize (in 1950). You go, girl. (Source.)Brooks's poems were always politically conscious, but Brooks took her interest in progressive po...

Steaminess Rating

So, "the mother" isn't exactly a sexy poem. But we're going to go ahead and give it a PG for its abortion-related content. This one might be a little controversial for the kiddos, so maybe pick ano...
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