‘Morning Song’ evokes a number of moods. There seems to be a placid acceptance in stanza 1 (‘fat gold watch’, the midwife’s matter-of-fact action, the ‘bald cry [taking] its place among the elements’). However, this changes in stanza 2: the world is now cold – ‘a drafty museum’ – and the adults seem dwarfed by the place. Their ‘voices echo’, they are ‘blank as walls’, and their safety is threatened. Why? Does the baby’s nakedness make them feel
more vulnerable? Or perhaps the new arrival reminds them that they are now an older generation, facing death? The sense of unease becomes even stronger in stanza 3. The speaker seems to feel that she has nothing to offer the infant: she is mirrored in the child for a while, before being slowly
effaced by the passage of time. These feelings of dislocation, unimportance and impermanence are quickly dispelled by the present moment, evoked vividly in stanza 4. The baby’s gentle breath, the rose-patterned room and the watchful mother in her old-fashioned nightdress create a scene of warmth and
intimacy. The remaining stanzas reflect the growing feeling of connectedness between mother and child: one cry brings her to the child, whose mouth is wide open. The dawn breaks to the baby’s clear ‘handful of notes’. Intimacy, love, joy and pleasure dominate these stanzas.