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Sylvia Plath's Mirror And D.H. Lawrence's Piano

1427 words - 6 pages

Poets often use techniques such as tone, imagery, themes, and poem structure to create a more complex view of their stance on the subject. These features can make the poem more interesting to the reader and helps to develop their story. The use of imagery in a poem can take the reader on a journey filled with sensory images that help the reader to connect with the subjects of the poems. The tone of the poem determines the mood and feelings that the reader will experience. The theme of a poem holds the true meaning and point of the poem and is explained using the above literary techniques. While “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath and “Piano” by D.H. Lawrence both contain imagery and tone to convey the poets’ common theme of the longing for the past to revive itself, the poets use different poem structures that further convey their overall message.
Both poems, “Mirror” and “Piano” have subjects that are reflecting and longing for their past to return. This longing and reflecting is considered the theme of the poems. In “Piano”, D.H. Lawrence writes of the man yearning for his past. Despite all of his yearning, he eventually realizes that it will not return. The speaker says, “…I weep like a child for the past” (12). This describes the speaker’s longing for his past to return, despite knowing that this is not possible. Similarly, in “Mirror”, Sylvia Plath the poet reflects her theme of longing for the past by using the woman viewing her aging reflection in the lake waters. The mirror views the woman and says, “In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman” (17). The mirror is showing that the woman’s past of being a young girl has diminished, and what remains is the old woman she now is. Both poems share a common theme of the resentment of their present state and the desire for their youth to return.
To develop their common theme, D.H. Lawrence and Sylvia Plath use the tone of the poem to describe their memories of their past. As Poetry for Dummies explains, “…Tone of voice suggests your attitude. In fact, it suggests two attitudes: one concerning the people youre addressing (your audience) and one concerning the thing you’re talking about (your subject.)” In poetry, the tone explains the writer’s feelings towards their subjects that are writing about. Both poems “Mirror” and “Piano” have a somber tone and the tone changes in both poems as well. For D.H. Lawrence, the tone describes his mix of emotions that he feels as he reflects on his memories. The poem begins with a nostalgic and calm feeling. The first line of the poem begins with “Softly, in the dusk” (1) which proves that the reader is reflecting on peaceful and composed memories of his past. He then reflects on his memory of the piano noises he remembers so clearly, like the “…Boom of the tingling strings” (413) the piano made. As the second half of the poem evolves, the speaker begins to become a bit more negative towards his memories. The speaker feels as if he is going “Down the...

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