“The Mother” poem is written in free verse, it flows and is easy to read and understand. It is ultimately about the mourning of “A Mother “who has lost her children this poem shows the deep desire she has, to only want the best for her children. Throughout the poem from the first to the last we can unmistakeably see, what fate her and her children would have had, had they lived. This poem gives the readers exceptional understanding into the 1940s era, were a world of lifestyles, poverty and secrets were the everyday “norm” this is the era, were abortions were a “Crimes” and it was seen as a “Sin” to abort a child. Prostitution was an everyday occurrence, due again to lack of money in these impoverished times and there was no contraception in this era.
The writing of the poem is impeccable as if Gwendolyn writes for herself in fact I actually do believe “the mother” is Gwendolyn, it is clear to see that only a person who has been through this, could write with such emotion and sentiment. This poem is wrote from the heart, and as a reader it pulls at each and every emotion, especially if you are a women. The poem is about a “mother “who grieves for her aborted children, yet this woman never actually ever felt the pain of childbirth, she never touched 10 fingers and toes, and she never caressed their hair. She tells us vividly of her babies in her womb, how she hears their tiny cries.
In line 20 to 33, she talks willingly to her children, she tells them how much she loves them, and how much she longed for each and every one of them to survive. She also gives in detail how, she was not “deliberate” and how she sees them as “never made”, she is and will always live with the guilt and pain of the abortion. No matter how she visions it in her memory, this poem is so full of prevailing emotions “The Mother “is feeling and always will feel loss, sorrow, love, and also anger but the deepest sentiment is the guilt. The guilt that explodes her heart into a million pieces, she torture’s herself relentlessly with the deaths of these children. Each and every day for the rest of her lifetime, she will hear her babies cry, she will imagine there birth, she will imagine them getting married, she will be left with anger, frustration and heartache.
She never chose her life, it was a life many people suffered it’s the era of poverty it was an era were women did not bore children out of wedlock, according to the church and god abortion was a dreadful despicable word. Who knows how the back street abortions affected her, or her health she was wide open to infection and even death. The people of this time looked down on people like “The Mother” she was no better than the dirt on their shoes, she would be known as a whore due to the work she did. But it’s the only life she knew, and she knew with all her heart, that the decision was right to abort the children.
She didn’t want them having a life like hers, too live like she did, she knew in her decision no matter how heart wrenching it was, she made the choice to abort so her children could be saved from the dark and dangerous world that awaited them. The ending of the poem it shows us the person “The Mother” really was it reads “believe me, I loved you all. “Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you”. “All”. She telling her children that despite everything, whilst she was pregnant she made bonds with these children, she cradled her belly, she spoke to them and soothed just a normal mother would, she could have named each one of them.
The last word is “All” she knew it was “All” her fault and she never denies this, her life added to the abortion decision, she loved them” All” each and every one of them. All is, “HER ALL” which were her children, and even though they didn’t survive the abortion they lived on in her memory forever. She was a mother right up until that fateful day, when her children were taken from her, and I really do think that with each child’s death a piece of “The Mother” died too.