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the mother

the mother

by Gwendolyn Brooks

Guilt and Blame Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get, (1-2)

There's a sense of guilt in "the mother" right from the get-go. Abortions are not something that you can forget. They have a way of changing you, the poem suggests.

Quote #2

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children. (11)

By referring in this line (and throughout the poem, actually) to her children, the speaker implicitly acknowledges that they've had some kind of life. Consequently, they've been "killed" by the abortion. Hello, guilty conscience.

Quote #3

Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate. (21)

This is a tricky line. The speaker seems to say that even in her deliberate decision to have an abortion, she was not deliberate. Does this mean that she didn't kill her unborn children on purpose? That she did not realize the extent of her feelings for her not-yet-existent children? That she now regrets her deliberate decision? What do you think?

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