In the park written by Gwen Harwood, was originally written under a male pseudonym. The poem represents the idea of changing identity because of certain circumstances as well as challenging common ideas, paradigms and values & beliefs which is commonly held amongst mothers in today’s society. Harwood wrote the poem with relatively simple composition techniques but it provides a rather big impact which helps to give an insight into the life of a mother or nurturer which bares the burdens of children. The title of the poem ‘In The Park’ immediately gives us an image of the geographical landscape in which the poem is set in and from further analysis, the poem is written in a sonnet structure where its 14 lines broken up into two parts of 8 lines and 6 lines with a break in between. Though we normally associate sonnets with romantic love poems, it is a different scenario with this poem as it is slightly ironic because challenges us by attempting to show the negative effects of love where the woman’s life has been destroyed basically due to the children and how love is no longer present in her life. ‘The woman’ of the poem has no specific identity and this helps us even further see the situation in which the woman is experiencing, the lost of one’s identity. Questions start to be raised and we wonder if Harwood uses this character to portray her views of every woman which goes into the stage of motherhood, where much sacrifice is needed one being the identity that was present in society prior to children. The first 4 lines it is indeed set the in park and Harwood has cleverly chosen the park as the setting of the poem as many people see the park as a mundane, boring place. Our assumptions of the park as a scene is normally ... ... middle of paper ... ...-lover is in control, the woman is in a total opposite situation and the conversation has reached its limit and the ex-lover is cued to leave in a subtle but quick manner with a ‘departing smile’. With the final lines give us a better understanding of her situation, where her life has been devoured by the children. As she is nursing the youngest child, that sits staring at her feet, she murmurs into the wind the words “They have eaten me alive.” A hyperbolic statement symbolizing the entrapment she is experiencing in the depressing world of motherhood. These final words sum up her feeling of helplessness and emptiness. Her identity is destroyed in a way due to having children. We assume change is always positive and for the greater good but Harwood’s poem challenges that embedding change is negative as the woman has gained something but lost so much in return.
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“Who am I?” is the question raised by Gwen Harwood in her poem, ‘Alter Ego’. Gwen Harwood’s poems explore societal positions and expectations of women in the 1950s which are derived from her own experiences. Though most of her poems have an underlying theme of grief, loss, love and the passing of time, which is explored through her reflecting on her childhood, some are also about self-discovery. ‘Alter Ego’ and ‘The Glass Jar’ are two examples of poems about self-discovery. The 1950s wasn’t the greatest era for female creativity, might it be art or literature which is why most artists and writers sold their material under male pseudonyms as did Gwen Harwood.
The social group of women is often focused on by Gwen Harwood within Selected Poems of Gwen Harwood through the themes of motherhood and domestic life which play an integral role in many of her poems. These themes define a stereotypical role for women representing them as subordinate in a patriarchal society through a range of her poems such as In the Park, The Violets and Prize Giving. Harwood portrays women as subservient and inferior, with the main purpose to be household mothers and wives which was based on society’s expectations during Harwood’s time however her later poems such as Father and Child develop to contain hope for societal progression through occasionally defying these stereotypes.
It is hard to sympathize with someone when you have no idea where they are coming from or what they are going through. It is similar experiences that allow us to extend our sincere appreciation and understanding for another human being’s situations and trials of life. Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” expresses the emotions that Bradstreet felt when her most intimate thoughts were published to the world without her consent. The average person would not see the cause for distress that Bradstreet feels in this situation. She had written a collection of near perfect poetry, which expressed her feelings in a way that the majority of women during that time did not have the talent or training to do. Many would wonder why she would be disturbed about these works being printed when they had brought many people pleasurable reading and had brought Bradstreet herself much personal fame. Therefore, Bradstreet can not just write a straightforward poem to tell how she feels about her stolen thoughts. Unless her reader happens to be a writer, he or she would not be able to sympathize with Bradstreet in this matter. Instead, she had to use a situation in which her readers could comprehend the many emotions she experienced. No doubt, many women read her poetry, and the majority of women during that time were, or would one day be mothers. This similarity opened a door for understanding. By comparing her writing to a child, Bradstreet is able to win the compassion of her readers and help them understand the feelings that she experiences.
The well-acclaimed poem “Suburban Sonnet”, written by the talented author Gwen Harwood successfully portrays the disillusions that 1950s Australia has us to believe about their culture. Harwood addresses the past ethical issue of misogyny and patriarchy with a variety of techniques to meet her goal of sharing her experiences as an Australian mother. One instance of the text which captured this is in the poet’s dejected tone as she conveys to the reader. This has identified in the quote, “She practices a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not.” Lines 1-2. By using the example above, the author effectively implied to readers that in reality women faced oppression in society through a common neglect towards their role
The speaker’s language towards the woman’s death in “The Last Night that she lived” portrays a yearning attitude that leads to disappointment; which reiterates human discontent with the imperfections of life. The description of woman’s death creates an image of tranquility that causes the speaker to aspire towards death. Her death compares to a reed floating in water without any struggle. The simile paradoxically juxtaposes nature and death because nature’s connotation living things, while death refers to dead things, but death becomes a part of nature. She consents to death, so she quietly dies while those around her refuse to accept her imminent death. The speaker’s description of death sounds like a peaceful experience, like going to sleep, but for eternity. These lines describe her tranquil death, “We waited while She passed—It was a narrow time—Too jostled were Our Souls to speak. At length the notice came. She mentioned, and forgot—Then lightly as a Reed Bent to the water, struggled scarce- Consented, and was dead-“ .Alliteration in “We waited”, emphasizes their impatience of the arrival of her death because of their curiosity about death. The woman’s suffering will be over soon. This is exhibited through the employment of dashes figuratively that form a narrow sentence to show the narrowing time remaining in her life, which creates suspense for the speaker, and also foreshadows that she dies quickly. The line also includes a pun because “notice” refers to the information of her death, and also announcement, which parallels to the soul’s inability to speak. “She mentioned, and forgot—“, refers to her attempt to announce her farewell to everyone, which connects to the previous line’s announcement. The dashes fig...
“A Song in the Front Yard”, by Gwendolyn Brooks, illustrates the desire people develop to experience new things and live life according to their own rules. In the first stanza, Brooks uses diction of propriety and unfamiliarity to emphasize the author’s desire to change her life. In the first line, the author establishes that she is only familiar with one way of life since she has “stayed in the front yard all [her] life.” The author “stayed” in the front yard suggesting that she was able to leave the yard and experience new things, but she just was not ready. She was raised in the “front yard,” highlighting the idea that the “front” is the proper way for her to live her life. In the second line, the author realizes there is much more to experience in life and she “[wants] a peek at the back.” At this point in her life, she is not ready to abandon the only life she knows, but she wants to look at the other side of things and all of the different experiences she can have. In the third line, the back yard is described as being, “rough and untended and hungry weed grows,” again representing how Brooks is only used to one place. In the front yard, everything is neat, properly tended, and no weeds grow. After seeing this, she realizes that life is not always as perfect as she was raised to believe, so she wants a taste of something new. In the fourth line, the author says, “a girl gets sick of a rose,” showing how Brooks has had enough of the front yard life and needs to experience new things. The “rose” is used to represent life in the front yard. A “rose” is usually associated with perfection and beauty, reflecting the author’s life in the “front yard.”
In the poem “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall, a mother attempted to protect her daughter by sending her to church. However, in the end, the child has her entire life stolen from her. The dramatic situation in the poem is portrayed and developed through Randall’s use of descriptive imagery, dialogue, irony, and a tonal shift.
As if she has lost her sense of individuality: the children have taken it away from her unknowingly. In the first line in the first stanza, Harwood states how the Mother’s clothes are out of date. This indicates that the she has no time for herself, because she has to look after her three children. The scene surrounding this line is quite cold and quiet. There is no colour or energy. Soon after, a past lover walks by, alas, too late. They exchange pleasantries and a casual nod. “Time holds great surprises.” Says the man, indicating that he did not expect her to end up like this. This could have been the perfect opportunity to leave her past self behind and start anew. But she cannot because of her responsibilities towards her children. She regrets leaving him and choosing this life of motherhood. The mother has lost herself in her children. Her love for life is gone. She loves her children but to what
Katherine Philips gained a lot of attention as a poet after writing “On the Death of My Dearest Child, Hector Philips”. This poem was written in a way to give readers an emotional account of a mother mourning the experience of losing her child. Philips expressed deep emotions from a maternal standpoint in the elegy. Unlike Jonson, Philips had the unspoken right of claiming a deep maternal connection with her son through pregnancy and childbirth. Philips’ approach to writing “On the Death of My Dearest Child” illustrates that the pain of losing her son, Hector, was enough for her to never write another verse again.
Henley establishes the sense of suffering that the speaker is experiencing through the use of multiple literary devices. By beginning the poem with images of darkness and despair, Henley sets the tone for
A cigarette butt lies next to my foot, still emitting a trace of smoke. Nearby on the dusty asphalt a pigeon waddles self-consciously, bobbing its head as if pecking the air for some invisible food. A squirrel churrs a threat to his brother, challenging him to romp.
In “The Garden of Love”, the conflict between organized religion and individual thought is the constant idea throughout the poem. Blake's colorful use of imagery and heavy symbolism express his resentment toward the church. He makes it obvious how he feels, that it is restrictive in nature and hinders him from expressing his loves, joys, and desires. The poem begins with the narrator lying beside a river, where “love lay sleeping”. Blake laying with love on the riverbank leads us to believe that he knows love in an intimate way. Blake’s familiarity to this intimacy is a clear reference to his experience of sex, and his discovery that love can be expressed sexually (Devin). Blake’s use of repetition when he describes the weeping sounds he hears from the “rushes dank” enforces the concern felt by the narrator.
Our daily regimen at the park was quite simple. Our day started early. We always awoke to the children on our street riding their bicycles or the sizzling sound of pancakes being made on a griddle. You could hear the excitement of the children’s voices as they tooted their horns or rang their bells. The rich aroma of my father’s coffee filled the campsite. It’s how I always knew he was up before the rest of us. I would wake up to these sounds and smells every morning while there. These sounds and smells were a sure sign that summer was here.
In the last half of the poem (lines 20 to 33), she changes who she is addressing. Instead of telling the mother what she is missing she is now talking to the "child" .When she does this it expresses other emotions. These new emotions are ones of sorrow, love, searching for forgiveness etc. The arrangement of the poem, going from talking to the mother to talking to the aborted child, is appropriate in my opinion. It helps the poem to flow easily and makes it simple to follow. I find most poems hard to picture in my head , but as I read "The Mother" I can imagine the whole situation happening.