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To What Extent Can 'the Violets' Be Seen As A Representative Of The Poetic Qualities And Concerns Of Harwood's Work?

1481 words - 6 pages

To what extent can 'The Violets' be seen as a representative of the poetic qualities and concerns of Harwood's work? Base your discussion on a detailed analysis of this poem and one of the other set poems.Through the collection of Gwen Harwood's works there are evident traits, qualities, concerns and thematic ideas that are brought up distinctively in all of her works. With the quality of her language and techniques which are wildly eloquent and assured she portrays her innermost feelings and beliefs. She uses this trait to depict the recurring concerns and thematic ideas, including symbols and metaphors in her work associated with; water, music, childhood/innocence/naivety, audible sound, the experience of childhood towards adulthood, time, the two landscapes in which she lived (Hobart and Brisbane), nature, spirituality, philosophy, the arts and the list goes on as there are endless interpretations of her works. The poem "The Violets" along with "Alter Ego" actually shows a large collaboration of them all. By doing a detailed analysis on both of these poems all or most of these traits, qualities, concerns and thematic ideas can be addressed.In 'The Violets' Harwood uses nature (violets), light and dark and audible sounds/music as a recurring motif throughout the poem to represent the recollections of her childhood (in Brisbane), the fragility of life, the 'perfect family', a sense of spirituality (Christianity), a child's ignorance and naivety of the concept of time and the contrast to her adulthood (in Hobart). Harwood uses mane language techniques to express her imaginative style and her innermostfeelings. The poem is also set in an almost lyrical style with the structure that makes the transitions evident between the past and the present.The opening stanza reveals the present with referring to Hobart's climate (which is common when Harwood is depicting the difference between Hobart and Brisbane) as dusk, and cold giving the reader the time and season. With its melting west ... striped like an ice-cream, she uses a simile to describe the setting sun and a metaphor to describe its boundless landscape. The motif is first seen; frail melancholy flowers... which already shows Harwood's immense expression in her works, depicting almost a gloomy reflection of how frail life is (using the flowers) and death is not too far away.The next following line in this stanza reveals the widely used motif of music and sensitivity to the audible whilst connecting nature at the same time; While I try whistling a trill (music term), ... our blackbird frets and strops his beak indifferent to Scarlatti's song. The use of both visual and auditory senses in this stanza allow the reader connect with the protagonist/poet in her recollections of her wonderful childhood. Theis stanza ends with Ambiguous light. Ambiguous sky. ; repetition and alliteration which is used to construct a sense of mystery to lead on to Harwood's past.The next stanzas right up to the 4th,...

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