Themes: Childhood, Parent/Child, Parental Love, Nostalgia & memories

Type: Rhyming Couplets


  • Written by D. H. Lawrence (wrote over 800 poems)
  • His childhood was dominated by poverty and the friction between his parents these became strong influences on his writing
  • In Piano he describes a woman singing to him at dusk and is transported back to his childhood in memory of sitting under a piano
  • He wants to resist the memory but it is powerful and fills him with longing and nostalgia for this happy time of his childhood
  • Celebrates the importance of music and memory


  • Reference to “softly” and “dusk” in the first line sets the mood of a wistful longing
  • Sense of security and coziness felt when his mother played the piano
  • Written in the present tense to make it vivid
  • Third-person to create a distance between the man he is and the child he was – it also conveys the internal struggle the poet is experiencing
  •  He seems to fight the remembrance as if it was a weakness
  • Onomatopoeia – “tinkling piano”
  • Written in rhyming couplets and has a nursery rhyme simplicity – fitting to childhood theme
  • Regular meter and uniformity – keeping with the sense of security of childhood
  • The tone of the poem is nostalgic – a wistful longing for times past


  • He sits under his mother’s piano and describes how she pressed the pedals suggests that they were close both mentally and physically
  • He clearly admires and loves his mother
  • His memories show mixed emotions
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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