the mother Questions and Answers
by Gwendolyn Brooks

Start Your Free Trial

Explain why Gwendolyn Brooks might have used food imagery in the way she did in the poem "The Mother."

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,058 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

"The Mother" is a poem about abortion in which the narrator laments her children "never made." While nurturing children, including feeding, is a central facet of motherhood, here the food imagery focuses on the feeding that is never done.  

In the first stanza, the narrator uses the second person "you," gaining distance with that pronoun while addressing both herself and presumably other mothers who have aborted children for whatever reason. She speaks of the "sweet" (the candy or sugary treat) that she never had the chance to give them. In the last line of the stanza, she reverses the imagery, recognizing that children also repay the nurture of the mother with their presence. She...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 370 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

James Kelley eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write624 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


texanjewel | Student

just a possibility, but when you gobble up food you are hungry. Gobble is used to show the desire, to have a small (snack) amount of time with them (the children).