by Gabriela Mistral
translated by Langston Hughes (1957)
interpreted by Pierce Han
millions of stars divine.
to the seas in love,
cradle the one who is mine.
errant wind in the night
to the winds in love,
cradle my sweet.
Our Father cradles
thousands of worlds without sound.
His hand in the darkness,
cradle the babe I have found.
Poet: Gabriela Mistrals real name is
Lucila Godoy Alcayaga. She was born in 1889 in Vicuna, Chile. She died
in 1957. She is a Chilean poet and stateswoman. Mistral had her reasons
for changing her name. She was a very young teach and she feared the loss
of this job due to the content of her poetry. She is named after the archangel
Gabriel and her last name comes from the name of a sea wind. She had the
honor of being the first South American to receive the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1945. She has written Desolation, 1922, Tenderness,
1924, Destruction, 1938, and The Wine Press, 1954.
She also wrote the Selected Poems of
Gabriela in 1957, A Gabriela Mistral Reader in 1992, and The Mothers
Poems in 1996. Cradle Song is one of many poems about children
and motherhood in which she has written, (p.650 Prentice Hall Literature
Gold and Encarta).
Vocabulary: errant - roving or wandering;
Type of poem: Narrative
Speaker: Gabriel Mistral, the poet
Audience: Reader, general audience
Tone: Loving, compassionate
Meaning: This poem mainly portrays love for a child within
the poet herself and through God. It moves from intimate love of her child
to love for all human kind by God. A perfect example is Listening
to the winds in love, I cradle my sweet and God our Father
cradles His thousands of worlds without sound. She also compares
the vastness of space with all
of its stars with the sea. She says, The sea cradles its millions
of stars divine. Over and over again it talks about holding her
baby and cradling it. It just goes back to the theme of love. It is full
of warmth and emotion.
Structure of poem: - Traditional
Equal Stanza Lengths
Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:
thousands of worlds without sound"
sea cradles it's millions of stars divine"
to the seas in love"
Connection between the poem and the poet's life and/or
times: This poem is all about love. Through most of Mistrals
poetry, she usually incorporates the theme of children and motherhood.
Her poetry, including this poem, deals with variations of love. In this
poem it moved from the intimate love of her child with the love of all
of humanity by God. This poem is just full of compassionate warmth and
emotion; always portraying love. This poem has a huge connection with
her poetry writing because this poem resembles all of her other poems.
They seem to have the same central theme of love. This poem is a perfect
example of how she writes; she incorporates variations of love and has
the theme of children with motherhood.
Most memorable quote from the poem: "God our father cradles
His thousands of worlds without sound"
© Smelli Notes 2001