The Mother by Gwendolyn Brooks Essay Example
Gwendolyn Brooks was known for many of her poems. Like her poem “The Mother” was a very famous one. Gwendolyn wrote about abortion because someone she knew had has several abortions, and as you read the poem you can tell she was anti-abortion. (“The Mother” 200)
Brooks was born in Kansas Topeka on June 7, 1917. She was the eldest child out of her siblings. David Anderson Brooks who is her father was a janitor, because due to his funds he could not finish college and become a doctor. Keziah Brooks her mother was a schoolteacher. Gwendolyn had over 75 poems by the age of 16, she also knew and had encouragement from another famous poet, Langston Hughes. She attended and graduated from Wilson Junior College in 1936. For a while Brooks worked at The Mecca: in Chicago. Which was a tenement building. She took part in poetry readings, and workshops in a place called South Side Community Art Center in Chicago. Gwendolyn got marry to Henry L Blakeley in 1939, where they had two children.
A boy named Henry Jr. and a girl named Nora. After Brooks got marry she became a housewife and a mother to two. Even though she was a housewife and a mom she still manage to find time to write her poetry, while her kids were either sleeping or at school. In which in this process she was able to write several of her poetry collections which included, A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen (1949), The Bean Eaters (1960), and Selected Poems(1962). In 1969 they divorced then reunited in 1973. Henry died later on in 1996. During this time she also wrote a novel, Maud Martha (1953). In 1970 Brooks taught poetry at several Universities for higher learning such as, Northeastern Illinois University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the City College of the City University of New York.
Brooks wrote about the black urban poor. Brooks receives many awards and achievements, in 1985, she was named as the consultant in poetry for the Library of Congress. She receive many I’m going to name a few because there are several of them one is Pulitzer prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Poetry magazine award,and a Black Academy of Arts and Letters Award. A few more are Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, a Jefferson Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as some 49 honorary degrees from universities and colleges, including Columbia College in 1964. Moreover, she was named poet laureate of Illinois in 1969 and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1985 she reached the pinnacle of her career when she became the poetry consultant at the Library of Congress, the second African American and the first African American woman to hold that position. Gwendolyn Brooks died on December 3, 2000 at her home in Chicago from cancer (Gwendolyn Brooks 24-26).
What the poem is about
“The Mother” is about a female Brooks knew who had several abortions. Brook decided to write a poem about it. Since she wrote about things she knew and experience growing up in. Also about other people life. So this poem is in the perspective of the women and how she regretted and felt guilt after them. In the beginning it speaks about little details of the baby she never seen or scare ghost away for the child. Or even seen the hair and not being able to feed her child. So the beginning talks about everything she never got to do or see or experience with her child. Which is why she regretted and sad and guilty about it. It also explains how it is something you will never forget. The second half is more in the person perspective as if she saying the poem now and expressing herself.
She saying that she loved her baby and she should not whine because she made the decision to kill. But she still guilty and sad and regrets it. The lady was also saying the baby had a body and was formed and died, she still wants the child to know regardless of the decision she made she really loves him or her and she knew them faintly. She wants to let us know that her pain from doing this is acknowledge. The last two lines of the poem, is “ Believe me, I loved you all. Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you”. Many people interpret this as asking for forgiveness and even a prayer.( The Mother 210)
Lastly, to sum everything she wrote about was true events that occur and happen during her lifetime. She inspires many people to write about true and relevant information. Not everything has to be fantasy. Many people were probably inspired by her work and how she was open about everything and wrote about people she knew. Many people think poetry has to be something about love or dreams and the future. When actually it’s about anything you want it to be. Brooks spoke the truth and the reality in the real world and real people life situations. She inspired many africans american poets. All of her awards she worked hard for and people were inspired on how she manage everything. People were also inspire by her way of her words. Also how she put different perspectives and how she had the talent to change complete ideas in her poems.