Gwen Harwood Mother Who Gave Me Life Essay

Gwen Harwood Essay

1160 WordsMay 10th, 20135 Pages

Opportunities for an individual to develop understanding of themselves stem from the experiences attained on their journey through life. The elements which contribute to life are explored throughout Gwen Harwood’s poems, At Mornington and Mother Who Gave Me Life, where the recollection of various events are presented as influences on the individual’s perception of the continuity of life. Both poems examine the connections between people and death in relation to personal connections with the persona’s father or mother. By encompassing aspects of human nature and life’s journey, Harwood addresses memories and relationships which contribute to one’s awareness of life.
Memories and meandering thoughts, related to…show more content…

In Father and Child, as the persona moves on from childhood, her father becomes elderly and is entertained by simple things in nature, “birds, flowers, shivery-grass.” These symbols of nature remind the persona of the inconsistency of life and the certainty of death, “sunset exalts its known symbols of transience,” where sunset represents time. Both poems are indicative of the impermanence of life and that the persona has managed to mature and grow beyond the initial fearlessness of childhood moving onto a sophisticated understanding of death.
The connection between life and death is expressed in a different way through Mother Who Gave Me Life, a poem of mourning for the dead. The poem can be seen as a personal farewell to the persona’s mother where the dominant images of the poem show evolution and the passing of time. Father and Child also demonstrates the passing of time as the persona moves from the innocence of childhood to the sadness of her father’s advancing age and inevitable passing. In Mother Who Gave Me Life, the reference to Halley’s Comet, which appears only once every seventy-six years, tells the reader that the mother was unable to see it once more before surrendering to death. The direct speech of the Sister is reported without the use of quotation marks as in, “When she died she was folding a little towel.” This

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Suburban Sonnet by Gwen Harwood Essay

696 WordsJun 21st, 20123 Pages

Poetry is an art form that has been used to express certain messages or beliefs, and can potentially change a reader’s view on a subject. Suburban Sonnet, written by Gwen Harwood has a lot of social commentary and is speaking to you about a lot of things that it feels are important. It is looking to make a lot of points about Australian society and the sacrifice of having children and of living a suburban lifestyle. Gwen Harwood’s ‘Suburban Sonnet’ is a fourteen line poem with strong values of urban Australia.
The poem, Suburban Sonnet, idealizes the harsh realities of an Australian housewife, creating sympathetic tones to the readers. Gwen Harwood was born in Brisbane, Queensland in 1920. Harwood was raised in a family of strong women,…show more content…

For example, “children chatter,” “children caper,” “screamed” and “yawned.” Personification is used to contrast an object to the Australian housewives emotions. Seen in the line “A pot boils over. As she rushes to the stove too late, a wave of nausea overpowers,” (stanza one, line four). The mood of the poem is very dull and presents a negative connotation. Constant imagery is used to paint this theme into the readers head, “The children caper round a sprung mousetrap where a mouse lies dead. When the soft corpse won't move they seem afraid,” (stanza one, line ten).
Symbolisation is also used to counteract the miserable life of an Australian housewife. This can be seen in the line “She practises a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not, (stanza one, line one).” This line suggests that the woman portrayed is a musician. The poem latter reads, “Once she played for Rubinstein, who yawned,” (stanza one, line nine). This suggests she was talented enough to present to Rubenstein but didn’t succeed. “The children caper, round a sprung mousetrap where a mouse lies dead.” This line symbolizes the housewife. Her dreams of becoming a musician are trapped within her own environment. This same line can also evaluate the difficulties and harshness of the urban Australian life. Seeming sad this is something that is exciting to the children.

The rhyming scheme uses irregular couplets such as “matter” and “chatter” on different lines. This

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