The Mother - Commentary

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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

Why I chose it

The first time I read this poem, it gave a feeling of pain. I know it was about a mother’s pain because of the title and wanted to know why she was feeling pain and how she dealt with it. It starts off with a powerful first line talking about abortion and this told me that she got an abortion for her kids. This raised the question to why she got the abortion. This was never answered and was still on my mind after I finished reading the poem.

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In the first read of the poem, I felt it flowed nicely because of the rhyme scheme in the first stanza, with every two line rhyming with each other. I have been reading many poems without a rhyme scheme which bore me so with this poem having one, I enjoyed it. But a poem which has too many rhymes, is also a boring one, but the entire second stanza had a varied rhyme scheme which avoided this problem.

Another interesting things was that in the first stanza, she seems to be talking to someone, but in the second stanza she ...

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