Analysis of Mother Mind

Julia Ward Howe 1819 (New York City) – 1910 (Portsmouth)

I never made a poem, dear friend--
   I never sat me down, and said,
   This cunning brain and patient hand
   Shall fashion something to be read.
   Men often came to me, and prayed
   I should indite a fitting verse
   For fast, or festival, or in
   Some stately pageant to rehearse.
   (As if, than Balaam more endowed,
  I of myself could bless or curse.)

Reluctantly I bade them go,
  Ungladdened by my poet-mite;
  My heart is not so churlish but
  Its loves to minister delight.

But not a word I breathe is mine
  To sing, in praise of man or God;
  My Master calls, at noon or night,
  I know his whisper and his nod.

Yet all my thoyghts to rhythms run,
  To rhyme, my wisdom and my wit?
  True, I consume my life in verse,
  But wouldst thou know how that is writ?

'T is thus--through weary length of days,
  I bear a thought within my breast
  That greatens from my growth of soul,
  And waits, and will not be expressed.

It greatens, till its hour has come,
  Not without pain, it sees the light;
  'Twixt smiles and tears I view it o'er,
  And dare not deem it perfect, quite.

These children of my soul I keep
  Where scarce a mortal man may see,
  Yet not unconsecrate, dear friend,
  Baptismal rites they claim of thee.

Poetic Form
Metre 110101011 11011101 11010101 11010111 11011101 11010101 11110010 11010101 1111101 1111111 01001111 111101 11111101 11110001 11011111 11011111 11011111 11110011 11111101 11110011 11011101 11111111 111110111 11010111 1111111 01011101 11111011 10111101 110111110 01111011 11011111 11010111 11111 01011111
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,221
Words 228
Sentences 11
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 10, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4
Lines Amount 34
Letters per line (avg) 26
Words per line (avg) 7
Letters per stanza (avg) 128
Words per stanza (avg) 32
Font size:

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:08 min read

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, poet, and the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". more…

All Julia Ward Howe poems | Julia Ward Howe Books

1 fan

Discuss this Julia Ward Howe poem analysis with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this poem analysis to your bibliography:


    "Mother Mind" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024. <>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    May 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!



    Are you a poetry master?

    Who wrote the poem "Fire And Ice"?
    A Gerard Manley Hopkins
    B Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    C Robert Frost
    D Edgar Allan Poe