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

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Type: Rhyming Couplets

Background

  • Written by D. H. Lawrence (wrote over 800 poems)
  • His childhood was dominated by poverty and the friction between his parents of these became strong influences in his writing
  • In Piano he describes a woman singing to him at dusk and is transported back to his childhood in a 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

Language

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  • 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 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 if nostalgic – a wistful longing for times past
READ:
D.H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter: Summary & Analysis

Parent/child

  • 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

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