Poems about Motherhood

The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay depicts the lengths mothers will go to in order to protect their children. The speaker recalls watching his mother sacrifice herself for him when he was a young boy, weaving an enormous pile of clothing with a harp. 

The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay Visual Representation

Death of a Young Son by Drowning by Margaret Atwood

‘Death of a Young Son by Drowning’ by Margaret Atwood is a beautiful and impactful poem about the death of Susanna Moodie’s young son. Atwood explores the grief of the mother and how her life changed. 

Death of a Young Son by Drowing by Margaret Atwood Visual Representation

The Night After You Lose Your Job by Debora Kuan

‘The Night After You Lose Your Job’ by Debora Kuan is a highly relatable poem that takes place in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and features a mother struggling to make ends meet.

The Night After You Lose Your Job by Debora Kuan Visual Representation

Sadie and Maud by Gwendolyn Brooks

‘Sadie and Maud’ by Gwendolyn Brooks is a poem about finding happiness, dealing with sexism, and society’s expectations. It features the stories of two sisters-Maud and Sadie who take different paths in life. 

Sadie and Maud by Gwendolyn Brooks Visual Representation

Fear by Gabriela Mistral

‘Fear’ by Gabriela Mistral is a passionate poem about a mother’s hopes for her daughter’s future. It includes three stanzas that contain the speaker’s worries about who her daughter may turn into.

Fear by Gabriela Mistral Visual Representation

A Stone is Nobody’s by Russell Edson

‘A Stone is Nobody’s’ by Russell Edson is a memorable poem. It uses a stone, and a man’s capture of it, to describe a troubling mother/son relationship.

A Stone is Nobody’s by Russell Edson Visual Representation

The Youngest Daughter by Cathy Song

‘The Youngest Daughter’ was published in Cathy Song’s first poetry collection Picture Bride (1983). This poem explores the relationship of an aging daughter and her mother.

The Youngest Daughter by Cathy Song Visual Representation

Alzheimer’s: The Wife by C. K. Williams

‘Alzheimer’s: The Wife’ by C. K. Williams is a powerful and moving poem. In it, the poet depicts a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s and a few simple moments from her day.

Alzheimer's: The Wife by C. K. Williams Visual Representation

Daystar by Rita Dove

‘Daystar’ by Rita Dove is a powerful and moving poem. It describes a mother’s life and the only moment of peace she has throughout her entire day.

Daystar by Rita Dove Visual Representation

I’m a Fool to Love You by Cornelius Eady

‘I’m a Fool to Love You’ by Cornelius Eady is a moving poem. It details the choices of a young black woman, the speaker’s mother, and why she did what she did.

i am a fool to love you by cornelius eady

XIV by Derek Walcott

‘XIV’ appears in Derek Walcott’s collection of poems “Midsummer”. This poem features the glorious days of Walcott’s childhood, especially how they gathered around his mother to hear stories at the stroke of eve.

XIV by Derek Walcott Visual Representation

Coat by Jane Duran

‘Coat’ is written by the Spanish-American poet Jane Duran. This poem taps on the themes of motherhood, love, and memory.

Coat by Jane Duran Visual Representation

Sleep by Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Slessor’s ‘Sleep’ describes how an infant is born in the womb of a woman. This poem describes the journey of life from inanition to entity.

Sleep by Kenneth Slessor Visual Representation

Lullaby by John Fuller

‘Lullaby’ by John Fuller is a sweet and beautiful cradle song. This poem features a baby’s innocent image by contrasting it with the external ambiance.

Lullaby by John Fuller Visual Representation

Suburban Sonnet by Gwen Harwood

‘Suburban Sonnet’ by Gwen Harwood is a powerful poem about a woman’s struggles with motherhood. It explores the mundane elements of her life and her lost dreams.

In The Park by Gwen Harwood

‘In The Park’ by Gwen Harwood is a moving poem about how difficult motherhood can truly be. It describes a mother’s distress over her lost life.

In the park by gwen harwood

Remember by Joy Harjo

‘Remember’ by Joy Harjo is a thoughtful poem about human connection and the earth. The poet emphasizes how important it is to remember one’s history and relation to all living things.

Gymnopédies No. 1 by Adrian Matejka

‘Gymnopédies No. 1’ by Adrian Matejka is a comforting poem that depicts a snowy landscape and explores the peace one can find in it alongside loved ones.

On Her Blindness by Adam Thorpe

‘On Her Blindness’ by Adam Thorpe is a loving poem dedicated to the poet’s mother. It explores how lost sight can impact one’s life and the frustration of not being understood.

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