Gwendolyn Brooks

(7 June 1917 – 3 December 2000 / Topeka, Kansas)

Sadie And Maud - Poem by Gwendolyn Brooks

Maud went to college.
Sadie stayed home.
Sadie scraped life
With a fine toothed comb.

She didn't leave a tangle in
Her comb found every strand.
Sadie was one of the livingest chicks
In all the land.

Sadie bore two babies
Under her maiden name.
Maud and Ma and Papa
Nearly died of shame.

When Sadie said her last so-long
Her girls struck out from home.
(Sadie left as heritage
Her fine-toothed comb.)

Maud, who went to college,
Is a thin brown mouse.
She is living all alone
In this old house.

Comments about Sadie And Maud by Gwendolyn Brooks

  • HMMmmMmMMMm (2/8/2019 8:37:00 AM)

    What a great poem! I love it so much. (a bit awkward because a share a name with one of the characters) (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (9/10/2018 10:33:00 PM)

    A true fascinating poem, dashing and yet simply rendered. Finally Maud remains the old spinster of da house!
    I have enjoyed this hilarious poem with a moral by Gwendolyn Brooks. Congartulations on being chosen as Modern Poem Of The Day! Hurray! A myriad of 10´s for the voting.

    1 person liked.
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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (9/10/2018 6:27:00 PM)

    should be sparing in our judgment. There seemed to ne a lot of love in Sadie's life and perhaps too much condemnation in her sister's (Report)Reply

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (9/10/2018 6:26:00 PM)

    oices we make in life. Each girl reaped what she sowed so I think we sh (Report)Reply

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (9/10/2018 6:24:00 PM)

    There are a lot of ch (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (9/10/2018 10:33:00 AM)

    Under her maiden name! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (9/10/2018 7:41:00 AM)

    Hmmm... A bit of a surprise ending and an interesting comment on the relative merits of a college education. -GK (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (9/10/2018 5:00:00 AM)

    I live here,
    and I have to leave it,
    There stand the pillar of heritage
    and this pillar speaks-
    as the history,
    as the memory

    1 person liked.
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  • Adrian FlettAdrian Flett (9/10/2018 1:46:00 AM)

    Maud needed the fine-toothed comb (Report)Reply

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  • Michelle ClausMichelle Claus (9/8/2014 12:05:00 PM)

    I enjoy this easy-to-read poem, as well as the three comments that precede my own. Gwendolyn Brooks' poem, Sadie and Maud, reminds me that a simple rhyme and meter format, framing an easy-to-understand story, is all we need sometimes to enjoy a good poem - a good tale. We've all known folks like Sadie and Maud, and we can project our own selves onto one or the other, which gives this poem universal appeal. (Report)Reply

    Mohammed Asim Nehal(9/10/2018 2:34:00 AM)

    Well said i appreciate.

    5 person liked.
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  • Jade Wolfe (9/16/2013 12:34:00 AM)

    I had to write a poem from this poem imitating the rhyme scheme, rhythm, and addressing the same theme. This is what I created:

    Maud stuck to the rules
    Sadie skipped class
    Sadie looked at life
    Through a magnifying glass.

    She didn't miss a sight
    Her glass burned every ant.
    Sadie forged ahead full-throttle,
    She never said, We can't.

    Two babies in tow
    No daddy around.
    Maud and Ma and Papa
    Couldn't help but frown.

    When Sadie's candlelight burnt out
    Her birds flown off at last
    (Sadie left as legacy
    Her magnifying glass.)

    Maud who followed all the rules,
    A bird who's wings were clipped,
    Never flew too far from home
    And now that's where she sits.

    The Astronomer(9/8/2014 1:29:00 PM)

    Love this, the last bit resonates with me. Always following the rules, never taking a risk, will eventually leave you empty.

    Michelle ClausMichelle Claus(9/8/2014 11:59:00 AM)

    Your answer to the original poem feels spot on.

    Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black(9/8/2014 11:33:00 AM)

    very good..i couldn't have said it better

    36 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Liliana ~el (9/8/2013 4:36:00 PM)

    Nice, different, interesting :) (Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Erica Paliuca (11/11/2007 11:25:00 PM)

    In Gwendolyn Brooks poem 'Sadie and Maud' the author is comparing two sisters lives. Maud is obviously the smarter of the two and therefor she goes to college, but then in the end she is the alone sister that is going to die alone in the old house. So how smart could she possibly be to condemn herself to a life of loneliness? Sadie is the favorite character in this poem because even though she didn't go to college and is an only mother of two, she is still the happy and free sister. When the author talks about Sadie's comb finding every strand, it is symbolizing how Sadie doesn't miss out on any fun in her life and how she lives it to the fullest. (Report)Reply

    Mohammed Asim Nehal(9/10/2018 2:33:00 AM)

    Well said i appreciate

    33 person liked.
    17 person did not like.
  • Prakash Acharya (12/9/2004 11:48:00 PM)

    In the poem Sadie and Maude by Gwendolyn Brooks, she is showing difference between probably two sisters among whom one went to college (Maude) and other stayed at home (Sadie) . “Scarping life with a fine-tooth comb means living life in every way. “Her comb found her every strand” tell us that she lived life to the fullest. So, she is the happiest woman in all the land. She put her two babies name under her maiden name. This symbolizes that she is a single mother of two babies. Maude, ma and papa nearly died of shame because they are under the restriction and control by the rule of society. The symbolism of Sadie’s “fine-tooth comb”, as a heritage is a optimistic twist on the way she lived her life and the way her children will remember her and follow her. In contrast, the writer uses a simile “a thin brown mouse” comparing Maude to it because she is living all alone like a mouse lives in its hole. Maud who went to college is withering away in the emptiness of the social mold while Sadie is living dangerously setting up her own rules. (Report)Reply

    29 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: home, house, alone, baby, girl

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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