Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"The Mother"

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
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

Gwendolyn Brooks

This poem is thick, and deals with a very heavy issue that mothers must deal with. I picked this poem because it covers all of the emotions of the emotions that a mother feels when raising her children, yet the women in this poem has not experienced those feelings completely as she has opted to have an abortion. Brooks brings all of those struggles encountered in being a mother to life through the eyes of this mother who has opted to have an abortion yet still experiences these motherly feelings "faintly." A line that particularly stuck out to me was, "Though why should I whine, / Whine that the crime was other than mine?--" From this line I took Brooks making a statement that is often made when the topic of abortion comes about. The female is commonly frowned upon when the decision to have an abortion is made, and the male half of the relationship is commonly forgotten about. However, as the old cliche goes, "it takes two to tango." Therefore, this crime of abortion is not solely hers, and the all the responsibility that goes into taking care of a child and the decision to abort the child cannot be solely thrown on the mother. Within the poem itself, Brooks does a great job of using caesura within the body of her poem to put emphasis on those feelings that are felt between a mother and a child. It highlights those feelings that are being lost by the mothers choosing to have an abortion and all the people that the abortion has a long term affect on. Brooks also employs the art of enjambment also. This again adds to her emphasis on particular messages and the take away meaning of her poem. It continues the ideas from one line to the next and continually from the poem itself on into real life where such experiences really occur. Overall this poem was very intriguing and full of emotion that is not experienced by everyone on a daily basis.

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