"The Empty Spaces" pg. 76

Out of the Dust: Karen Hesse

Bach / Marcello Adagio - Concerto in D minor

Bach / Marcello Adagio - Concerto in D minor

I chose this song because it is slow and kind of mysterious, like the tone of the poem.

Stanza From Poem / Interpretation

1st Stanza

I don’t know my father anymore.

he sits across from me,

he looks like my father,

he chews food like my father,

he brushes his dusty hair back

like my father,

but he is a stranger.

2nd Stanza

I am awkward with him,

and irritated,

and I want to be alone

but I am terrified of being alone.

3rd Stanza

We are both changing,

we are shifting to fill the empty spaces left by Ma.

I keep my raw and stinging hands

behind my back when he comes near

because he

stares

when he sees them

Tone/Mood

The overall tone or mood of "The Empty spaces" for Billy Joe would be sad, wishful, and longing. This is because she wanted her mother back and wishes she had never gone anywhere.

The Empty Spaces

I don’t know my father anymore.

he sits across from me,

he looks like my father,

he chews food like my father,

he brushes his dusty hair back

like my father,

but he is a stranger.


I am awkward with him,

and irritated,

and I want to be alone

but I am terrified of being alone.


We are both changing,

we are shifting to fill the empty spaces left by Ma.

I keep my raw and stinging hands

behind my back when he comes near

because he

stares

when he sees them


September 1934


Mood and Tone of Billy Joe

Billy Joe's tone or mood of the poem would be wishful, longing, and sad. She wishes her mother was still there, which is what gives us the tone and mood.