Can anybody help me find what the speaker wants readers to feel in "Smugglers?" Thanks.

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Maria Lewitt's poem "Smugglers" uses very descriptive words to denote the mood of the poem. A mood is the feeling a reader gets when reading a poem, novel, or story (not limited to these three things--one can find mood in speeches, movies, songs, etc.) The following words help to define the mood of lack of empathy, sadness, and indifference: efficiency, shuffled, lifted, scanned, nothing, bent, heavy, smuggled, slanted, failed, distant, fading, lost, alone, and trail.

Perhaps the most poignant phrase which speaks to the mood of the poem is found in the first line of the final stanza.

Nobody asked, nobody cared.

Here, a reader can feel that the speaker sees that no one really cares about what is going on with the people described. In fact, the poem seems to set a very distinct mood when it gets to this line--complete indifference. Therefore, the speaker wishes the reader to understand that no one cares about her (assuming the speaker in female based upon the gender of the poet). This lack of concern, and the phrase "nobody asked, nobody cared," proves the speaker to be searching out for someone's (preferably the reader's ) sympathy, given none has been shown to this point by those who have come in contact with the speaker.