HUNGRY MOTHER I
Suck on son.
It is my blood you suck.
That is what I have to give you.
My belly is empty.
The land is green,
but my purse is not.
No food for the body,
yet there is no famine.
Suck on, when there is nothing left,
we both wait to die.
Diction: The diction of the poem is simple to understand.
Rhyme: The poem is written in free verse.
Tone: The tone is sorrow.
Mood: The mood of the speaker is despair.
Stanza: The poem is written in one stanza, 10 lines.
Subject matter: The poem is centered round a hungry mother and child.
Speaker: The mother
Setting: The poem has no specific setting.
Plot: The plot is of a mother who has possibly had no food for days to the extent that the nutrient food gives was no longer in her body just blood. She had to feed the son, so she allowed the son feed on her blood.
Characters: A hungry mother and son.
HUNGER: There is hunger in the land no doubt about that. The mother is hungry, the son is hungry. Possibly the people around her are hungry, if not, they might have been of help. The kind of hunger expressed in this poem, is the one that had gotten to the peak. There is no hope of getting food so they wait to die.
PASSION OF A MOTHER: Despite been lean, weak and hungry, the mother still gives her son suck. Though no milk in the breast, there is blood in her vein, she allows him to suck her blood. “It is my blood you suck” line 2. She could not watch him cry of hunger while she has blood in her vein. She practically gives him her live to suck.
DESPAIR: “When there is nothing…we both wait to die” line 9-10 shows she had no hope of getting food. She had exhausted all her food and means of getting any. She waits on her blood to feed her child and if the blood is totally sucked- the two will weakly wait for death to end it all.
WEALTH AND POVERTY IN THE LAND: The mother says “The land is green…”line 5 this shows that there is abundance in the land. There are wealthy people in the land who eat and throw away. For her, she is from the extreme side of poverty, where sorrow and despair is the order of the day. There is no famine, war, pestilence but the people die of hunger. The land is widely apart, there are ones drunk with abundance others dying of hunger.
Figure of speech
Blood: The blood represent life, “the life of a man is in his blood”
Belly empty: The stands for hunger
Land is green: Green stands for fertility and abundance.
“The land is green” line 5
“It is blood you suck” the mother uses exaggeration to show what their state has come to.
“We both wait to die” line ten. Here we have a biblical allusion referring to the widow of Zarephath, who came to gather sticks to bake the last flour they had so the son and her can eat and die. Her words reflected there was no hope just as the woman in the poem.