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Unformatted text preview: Chief Works Early on, Brooks displayed a finely tuned, yet accessible poetic vision. A favorite, "The Mother" (1945), looks into the mind of a woman troubled by repressed grief for aborted non-babies. Composed in somewhat artificial rhymed couplets, the text breaks into a liberating candor with the emergence of "I" in the second stanza. As though suffering wavelike contractions, the speaker moves to confession in line 21. With a late-developing reverence for life, the speaker acknowledges through repetition a regret that her lost children "were never made." A lyric sequence, The Womanhood (1949), draws on structured questions about motherhood. The second stave, "The Children of the Poor," uses the fourteen-line Petrarchan stanza to frame questions of legacy. Implicit in a cry against judgments of "my sweetest lepers" is the mother's self- blame for giving birth to children condemned as "quasi, contraband." Out of kilter is the coming of blame for giving birth to children condemned as "quasi, contraband....
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- Fall '08