Alan Soto Mrs. DiGassoEnglish 9 Honors Period 71/17/18The Power Of Poetry Gwendolyn Brooks was an influential poet in her time. Gwendolyn Brooks was a black female poet who wrote around the 1940s until she died in 2000. Brooks wrote many poems, but of the two were during her political phase where her poems contained a message for the reader. The poem “The Mother” and “Primer For Blacks” contain literary devices such as repetition, mood. end rhyme, and free verse which helps contribute to the differences in their moods. Gwendolyn Brooks had a decent life along with her great career. Brooks was born on June 7, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas. She eventually moved to Chicago and was raised there where she lived on the poor south side. Brooks went to an integrated high school where she was targeted for her black skin. She later graduated Woodrow Wilson Junior College in 1936 and married a man named Henry Lowington Blakely II in 1939. The two eventually had children and had a son in 1940 along with a daughter in 1951. Brooks studied poetry around 1941. Her first volume of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville, was published in 1945 where she earned a reputation for poetic excellence. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 and became the first African American to win the award. During the civil rights movement, she continued to write after being influenced by the black solidarity of other poets and reached her political phase. Brooks published many volumes through the 1980s and 90s where she earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a National Book Foundation medal for lifetime achievement, and a National Medal of Arts Awards. Gwendolyn Brooks had a great career until December 3, 2000 in Chicago. (“The Mother’ Analysis” 197) The poem, “The Mother”, was one of her many other poems that were written during her political phase. The poem involves a woman who has recently gotten an abortion and begins to think of a life that the child could have had if it lived. She starts grieving for the child and begins to try the child that is was not her fault. She thinks of the child’s imaginary life and begins to become sadder since she thinks of the appearance of the child. She tries to keep a happy mindset but eventually talks about the upsetting things such as the memories that never happened with reading the child. Her tone towards the end slowly dies down and she attempts to finish her talk by letting the child know that she truly loved them. Throughout the poem, themes are presented by numerous details. One theme presented is motherhood and this is expressed throughout the poem. The mother in the poem expresses love for the child and also feels a deep sense of pain when talking about the child. In the poem, the mother expresses a motherly tone by describing the child as small damp pulps with no hair (3) and by describing motherly actions such as scaring off ghost (8). She also expresses motherly love at lines 33-34 when she says, “Believe me, I loved you all. / Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you / All.” (33-34). The mother expresses affectionate feelings when she talks about her child and she continues this motherly tone by showing emotional agony when telling her child that she truly loved and cared about them (Dominic 205). The mother in the poem at first tries not to think of her child’s death as a big thing but eventually, the grief takes over her. The mother at first mentions that “Abortions will not let you forget” (1) saying that a mother cannot forget the things that could now never happen since the child isn’t alive (“The Mother’ Analysis” 201). Later on in the poem, she begins to be taken over by her grief when she starts to fully understand that her child has passed and can’t make memories of her own (“The Mother’ Analysis” 201). She shows this by saying, “You were born, you had body, you died. / Is it just that you never giggled or planned or cried.” (31-32). The poem “The Mother” contains themes expressed throughout.In “The Mother”, literary devices are used to show the emotion and feeling in Brooks’ writing. One device used is free verse and this allowed Brooks to convey the emotion needed for the section. Free verse is a device that allows the poet to not hold a rhyme scheme throughout their poem. In lines 5-8:You will never neglect or beat Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.You will never wind up the sucking-thumbOr scuttle off ghost that come. (5-8)Brooks uses an orderly aabb rhyme scheme through lines 1-12 when initially talking about her child as if it’s like a children’s book. The mother is originally in a state of self-control which allows her to keep the rhyming pattern for a while until the emotions get to her (“The Mother’ Analysis” 202). In lines 21-25: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?— (21-25) the mother loses the rhyme aabb and throughout the lines 13-32, the rhyme scheme is no longer constant. This lost of rhyming is due to the mother getting lost in her thoughts and losing control of her emotions which cause her to forget to rhyme in order to state her thoughts about the child (“The Mother’ Analysis” 202). Another literary device that Brooks uses in this poem is end rhyme. End rhyme is a device in a poem where the last words of lines are rhymed. Brooks uses end rhyme to create the emotion of the stanza. In the first stanza, Brooks rhymes simple suitable words for a child which creates a gleeful childish feeling (“The Mother’ Analysis” 198). Throughout the first stanza, Brooks rhymes words like “hair” (3), “air” (4), “sigh” (9), and “eye” (10) which are words that aren’t terrible and simple. In the second stanza, Brooks starts to rhyme much darker words when the emotion changes to more grim section. In the second stanza Brooks rhymes words such as “dead” (26), “afraid” (29), “died” (31), and “cried” (31). These words are much darker compared to the first stanza and are said when the mother is losing control of her emotions which is a grim area in general (Dominic 207). Literary devices are used in “The Mother” to show emotion and feeling. The poem “Primer For Blacks” was another poem written during Brooks’ political phase. The poem has Brooks talking to the black community and their importance in America. She talks about how blacks have glory and how they should be proud of being black. Brooks also scolds the people who don’t embrace their main culture but the one percent that’s in them. Brooks finally addresses that she wants the reader to think of their own race, identity, and pride. Brooks wants the black community to realize that they should feel proud of their race and that they should embrace their culture. She addresses a big issue for their community because at the time many media sources embraced white culture which caused blacks to embrace the small percentages of white in their blood. This was also at the time of black pride which made this poem current with the times embracing black culture. Multiple themes are presented throughout the poem “Primer For Blacks” One theme presented is pride which is the main focus of the poem. Brooks basically writes about how the black community should feel proud about their heritage and that they should embrace their culture. In the lines, “Blackness / is a title, / is a preoccupation” (1-3), Brooks says that being black is a commitment and an identity that a person should enforce (“Primer’ Analysis” 144). Throughout the poem, Brooks also uses strong powerful words, such as “Glory” (7), “Power” (17), and “Marches” (39), when she talks about the strength blacks have which helps contribute to the prideful feeling. Another theme presented is black-white relations. Brooks uses this to show the black and white differences throughout history and the media. In the second stanza, Brooks writes about how back then the social norm was that white was the superior race (“Primer’ Analysis” 144). She writes lines such as “It’s Great to be white” (10 & 13) and that even some blacks say white is the better race (11 & 12). Brooks also references the one-drop rule that was used during the time of slavery which decided a person was a slave if they had at least one drop of black blood in them (“Primer’ Analysis” 144). Instead of thinking of this negatively, Brooks states that that one-drop of black blood is very powerful and is strong enough to decide if one is black (24-26). Themes were presented throughout “Primer For Blacks”. Literary devices were used in “Primer For Blacks” to express the mood. One literary device used is repetition and Brooks used it to repeat keywords to emphasize that this was directed towards the black community. Some words used were “Blackness” (1), “Blacks” (4), “Black” (25), and many others. The use of repetition also contributes to the meaning of the title. The title “Primer For Blacks” has the word primer which in this circumstance is a book that teaches an inexperienced individual a new subject (“Primer’ Analysis” 144). So the title implies that this poem is a text that Brooks wrote to teach the black community about pride as they are inexperienced. Another device used is mood and Brooks used this to express the prideful feeling. At first, she talks about how great being black is in the first stanza by saying how much commitment is needed and how by committing they would receive glory (1-7). Brooks also uses multiple words conveying the feeling of pride to explain to the black individuals that they should feel proud of their race. Some words used are “Glory” (7), “Power” (17), and “Marches” (39) and these choices of words help contribute to the feeling of pride. The mood of “Primer For Blacks” is expressed from literary devices. The two poems, “The Mother” and “Primer For Blacks”, express different moods in contrast to each other. “The Mother” expresses a more grim mood due to its subject of abortion and the sad view of a mother coping with the death of her child. “Primer For Blacks” has a prideful mood since the concept of the poem was to motivate the black community to embrace their black culture. In “The Mother”, the reader is given a sight into a mother’s mind which exposes them to dark painful thoughts of the death of her child. Some of these thoughts are, “I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children” (11) and “You were born, you had body, you died” (31). The thoughts shown are the effect of the mother getting lost in her thoughts which then leads her to go off track getting into deep thoughts of life and death (Dominic 207). In “Primer For Blacks”, Brooks provides a prideful mood throughout the poem and supports it with powerful statements. A statement of the black community marching on has a strong sense of pride, creating a powerful name for blacks saying that no matter what the black community will still push on (38-39) Words such as “mighty” (26), “glory” (7), and “strength” (15) also help contribute to the mood. Brooks’ choice of strong language was a beneficial one to help get her point across for the black community to recognize their strength and pride (“Primer’ Analysis” 146). “The Mother” and “Primer For Blacks” express different moods. The poems “The Mother” and “Primer For Blacks” contain multiple literary devices that contribute to the differences in their moods. The two poems “The Mother” and “Primer For Blacks” both convey a message to the reader or community that impacts decisions. Poetry has a powerful way to introduce a message that the poet would want the reader to think about with the help of literary devices. Work CitedBloom, Harold. “The Mother.”Gwendolyn Brooks, Facts on File, 2002. Blooms Literature, online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Print? 21. Nov. 2017.Brooks, Gwendolyn. “The Mother.” Poetry for Students. Edited by Sara Constantakis. Vol. 40, Gale, 2012, pp. 197-198. Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do? 15 Nov. 2017 —.”Primer For Blacks.” Poetry Foundation. 1980, www.poetryfoundation.org 15 Nov. 2017.Dominic, Catherine, Critical Essay on “The Mother,” Poetry for Students, Edited by Sara Constantakis, Vol. 40. Gale, 2012, pp. 205-208. Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do? 15 Nov. 2017.Greenberg Sarlin Kristen, Critical Essay on “Primer for Blacks,” in Poetry for Students, Gale, Cengage Learning, 2014, pp. 151-153, Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do? 15 Nov. 2017.”The Mother.’ Analysis.” Poetry for Students. Edited by Sara Constantakis. Vol. 40, Gale, 2012, pp. 198-26. Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do? 15 Nov. 2017.”Primer For Blacks.’ Analysis.” Poetry for Students, edited by Sara Constantakis, Vol. 46, Gale, 2014, pp. 142-155, Gale Virtual Reference Library, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do? 15 Nov. 2017.