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Gwendolyn Brooks Research Papers

Gwendolyn Brooks research papers looks at the famous black woman's poetry in the context of her life and in the historical significance that her works have today. Our writer illustrates below that Brooks is a poignant African American writer with poetry worth explication.

Gwendolyn Brooks is a black woman poet with many awards to her credit.  Brooks is very dedicated and involved in the African American community.  She has written several poems over the years and in those poems the reader can sense the changes that occurred to the nation and to Brooks herself.  Gwendolyn Brooks has a way of writing her poems that makes the reader linger on each word.  She draws the reader into a story type feeling that makes you want to visualize each phrase as you read it.  Through Brooks' writing she has a way to get her point across to the reader in a subtle, yet deep way.  In the three poems that will be highlighted in our writer's discussion of Brook's work, our writer will point out that Brooks demonstrates her ability to write about relevant social issues and bring them to the reader's attention. Gwendolyn BrooksThe three poems are:

  • Jessie Mitchell's Mother
  • Sunset of the City
  • Corners of the Curving Sky

The first poem that will be discussed it "Jessie Mitchell's Mother."  In this poem the reader is brought into the emotions of a beat down mother and her strong young daughter.  The poem begins by showing the viewpoint of the daughter.  In this opening stanza the reader views the mother through the eyes of her daughter.  A mother daughter relationship that would seem as only one out of necessity, rather than any kind of love.  As the daughter thinks to herself, "Only a habit would cry if she should die," this demonstrates the daughter's simple lack of feeling for her mother.  The reader does not get a sense of hate that the daughter has for her mother, but rather a feeling of disrespect for her mother and her actions.  On the other hand, when the point of view shifts from Jessie Mitchell to her mother the reader can sense the deep resentment held for the daughter by the mother. Perhaps the mother sees the daughter as herself when she was younger.  Now though the mother can only feel resentment and disgust towards her "black" daughter.  At this point in the poem Brooks shows the reader how the mother believes she is superior over her daughter because she is yellow and her daughter is black. This demonstrates an occurrence that was very prevalent in society especially during the civil rights movement when it was not just if a person was black, but the darkness of their skin.  Many lighter skin blacks felt they were superior to darker skinned African Americans.  The novel ends with the mother trying to find solace in the fact that she is yellow skinned and that that somehow makes her superior.

"Sunset of the City" by Brooks takes on a different feel than that of "Jessie Mitchell's Mother."  In "Sunset of the City" Brooks takes a more indirect approach to her writing. The poem can be interpreted on several levels.  First of all the poem can be taken as what it is.  It is a poem about the turning of the summer to fall, a love affair the people had with the beautiful summer gone.  At the beginning of the poem the reader can almost feel the cold and see the changes that happens to the earth as summer leaves and winter comes closer.  Then the poem shifts, it personifies even greater that summer is a woman.  A woman that is out of date, old and put on the shelf.  Summer must find its way to a safe warm place, which is a desert.  However, it is not that easy of a choice for the woman of summer, she must decide on whether to go to the desert and dry up and not be herself or to go with the fall and lose to winter and die.  The reader can also dive deeper into this poem and see the poem as being about a woman; a woman that has been left by her children, lovers and husband.  The woman knows that her happiness is gone and there is no where to turn.  In this interpretation the ending of the poem becomes increasingly relevant, the woman is thinking of suicide.

The last poem that shows how much Brooks cares about understanding and accepting other ideas is "Corners of the Curving Sky."  This poem is beautifully written by Brooks, as she describes tolerance.  This poem can be seen as more straightforward than the other poems discussed previously.  From the very beginning of the poem the reader knows what Brooks is trying to bring out with the poem.  She is trying to bring out the point that everyone is different and there is a large world out there with many different views.  Different views, that although different may all still be right.  Brooks also brings out the fact that our own thoughts and how we shape them determine the way we interpret our differences.  It is how we shape these thoughts and views that we shape our own experiences.  Even in this poem that is straight forward, Brooks still finds a way to subtlety let the reader know her stance while not forcing it on the reader.  The beautiful way in which each thought is brought to the mind of the reader is amazing.  For instance, "Your sky may burn with light, While mine, at the same moment, Spreads beautiful to darkness."

In conclusion, the three poems discussed in this paper demonstrate the range and power that Gwendolyn Brooks presents in her works.  With her writing she is able to take on socially relevant views and share her views with the pubic. Through her works Brooks writes about issues that are important to her and hopefully through her writing she can enlighten people about those issues.

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