Literary Lorenzo Snow #7: Since Mother Went Away

March 31, 2013 | one comment
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In Mormonism we talk a lot about concepts like “enduring to the end” and “faithfulness in times of trial” (the subject of the current lesson in the Lorenzo Snow manual). We teach that trials are a necessary part of life, burdens that we need to pass through in order to learn the lessons of life and build our abilities for the next life. Children face these same lessons as they become independent of their mothers (and fathers), as Mormon poet Coral J. Black explores in the following poem.

I haven’t been able to find out much about Coral J. Black. She published at least a half dozen poems similar to this one in Mormon periodicals in the 1920s and 1930s, along with an article and some short stories. She was born Coral Jackman in Beaver, Utah in 1879 and died 22 March 1936 in Salt Lake City. In 1941 this poem was included in Annie W. Cannon’s 1941 poetry collection for the Relief Society centennial, Our Legacy.

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Since Mother Went Away

By Coral J. Black

I’ve learned a lesson bitter-sweet—
That Life is only made complete
By burdens, difficult to meet,
And bear from day to day;
I’ve learned to look with broader view
To leave the false, and seek the true,
Humbly my destined way pursue
Since Mother went away.

 

The world’s still beautiful to me—
The lilac plumes, the cherry tree,
The mating birds, the pilfering bee,
She loved them so alway.
I gaze into the tranquil skies—
The star-strewn path to Paradise,
And see Life in a Holier guise,
Since Mother went away.

 

I’ve learned to look, with kinder eye,
On all the crowds that pass me by,
For each must suffer, just as I
Upon some fateful day.
But somehow, Heaven seems more near,
I’ve more of faith and less of fear
Pervading Peace has come to cheer,
Since Mother went away.

 

A sad sweet something fills the place—
A memory of her dear face,
Filled with the calm of Heaven’s grace
To be our guide and stay:
Oh help me, Lord, that I may be
All that my mother wished for me—
My faith and love abide in Thee
Since Mother went away.

Relief Society Magazine, v21 n5 p312, May 1934
(via Ardis Parshall in Keepapitchinin, 15 February 2011)

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Many of Black’s lines are very insightful. I love the idea that life teaches us to “look with broader view” and that we need to “humbly [our] destined way pursue” (although “destined” may not be exactly doctrinal from a Mormon point of view). I hope we learn to “see Life in a Holier guise.” And the third stanza is perhaps the best:

I’ve learned to look, with kinder eye,
On all the crowds that pass me by,
For each must suffer, just as I

Yes. I think that is extremely important!

But somehow, Heaven seems more near,
I’ve more of faith and less of fear
Pervading Peace has come to cheer…

Of course, each stanza ends with, “Since Mother went away.” In my mind, this is the equivalent of being separated from our heavenly parents—which is, from a Mormon perspective, the whole point of life.

One Response to Literary Lorenzo Snow #7: Since Mother Went Away

  1. Tiger on April 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Nice well-written poem. Thanks!

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