What Are Some Poems That Honor Mothers?


Quick Answer

Some poems that honor mothers are: "To My Mother," by Christina Rosetti; "To My Mother," by Edgar Allan Poe; "There Was a Child Went Forth," by Walt Whitman; "Nature -- the Gentlest Mother Is," by Emily Dickinson; and "Mother to Son," by Langston Hughes. Many poems celebrate the theme of motherhood either from the perspective of a mother or from that of a child.

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America's first woman poet, Anne Bradstreet, wrote "In Reference to her Children, 23 June 1659," about the painful experience of losing a child. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist author and poet who wrote around the turn of the 20th century, celebrates the power of motherhood in the poem "The Two Callings." This poem prefaces her 1903 book, "The Home, Its Work and Influence."

Langston Hughes, an African-American poet of the Harlem Renaissance, writes his poem "From Mother to Son" using a mother's point of view: "Well, son, I’ll tell you: / Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. / It’s had tacks in it, / And splinters, / And boards torn up, / And places with no carpet on the floor— / Bare." Hughes celebrates the wisdom and world-weariness of an African American mother as she encourages her son to keep striving.

English Romantic poet Christina Rosetti wrote her very first poem at age 11 in honor of her mother's birthday. The poem is child-like, simple and pure, as in the first stanza: "To-day’s your natal day, / Sweet flowers I bring; / Mother, accept, I pray, / My offering." Walt Whitman's poem "There Was a Child Went Forth" celebrates the physicality of the mother's body as well as her service to the family. Like Gilman and Hughes, Whitman recognized the power of mothers to influence the world through their good works and wisdom.

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