Maria White Lowell

28 Nov

This version of “The Slave Mother,” by Maria White Lowell, was published in 1907. It is an artifact that fits into the category of “Desperate Housewives” because it is about a slave mother who wants her child to die so that she does not have to endure what she endures as a slave. Lowell was an ardent abolitionist, and this poem reveals her attempt to capture the emotions of the slaves who were forced to make the decision of killing their child or allowing it to live as a slave. She reveals the mother’s desperation in deciding wether or not to let her child live when she states, “She cannot look upon that face, where, in the child’s pure bloom, Is writ with such dread certainty the woman’s loathsome doom.” Slave mothers killing their children was very common during the time of slavery. This poem tells a story that was a reality for many women, and reveals the desperation these women felt. 



(The Poems of Maria Lowell; Cambridge: The Riverside Press. 1907)

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