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Piano is a lyric poem written by D.H.Lawrence who was best known as a novelist, short story writer, and a poet. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential writer of 20th century. D.H.Lawrence’s piano is an interesting lyric poem that reflects the thoughts and feelings of the speaker. In the poem the speaker recalls his childhood joyfully that were brought to the poets mind through the music and bridge the gap from adulthood to childhood.
The title of the poem “piano” itself brings a musical feeling in the readers mind as it is a musical instrument. The poem piano is about the internal struggle within poet’s mind regarding his childhood and the present life. The diction and the tone use in this poem reveals clearly the speakers mixed feelings that struggle between his desire to be a man and his desire to go back to his childhood.
In the 1st stanza the speaker listens to the piano and recalls his past. Now as an adult the speaker thinks and listens to the music of the piano that is playing by his mother who is singing to the speaker in the dusk .From this musical experience, he recalls his childhood memories; taking him back down the vista of years. Here the vista of years compares the events of his life to a long road showing how far away memories he is recalling. By using the technique of flash back the poet portrays, how the speaker remembering his mother who is playing the piano happily while singing softly. Here the poet indicates the piano as the symbol of his childhood. The music comes from the piano makes contrasts between strong and weak sounds, like the struggle in the speakers mind.
“and pressing the small ,poised ,feet of a mother who smiles as she sings ”
This implies the sense of touch and closeness of the speaker towards his mother. Moreover the child who is sitting under the piano is the speaker. The songs that are singing softly takes him back to his past childhood memories. This implies the loving bond between a mother and a son; it is one of the homely comfort, warmth atmosphere and love that a child likes most.
In the 2nd stanza the poet moves from happy to bittersweet.
“Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evening at home with winter outside”
here the speaker uses contrasting ides to show the loss of love ,warmth he felt in home setting in old days. And the word betrays suggests how different and how unhappy the present life of the speaker when comparing with the past. The insidious mastery of song shows the power of musical memories that takes him back in to the familiar moments of Sunday evening at home ,with the cold and stormy of winter outside the house, while the mother is singing and playing the piano inside. Here the speaker realizes that he is being sentimentally nostalgic and tries to ignore this nostalgic memory and attempts to focus on the present life as an adult. Furthermore the words In spite of myself shows the lack of self control in speakers mind
In the 3rd stanza if not the last stanza the poet portrays the present situation of the speaker that moves into sadness “glamour of childish days”. Here the glamour suggests the beauty, security of childhood. Now the speaker is overcome from past joyful memories and come to the reality as an adult. “The great black piano appassionato” and the melodically singing of the mother is over now. He realizes that the present memories are not much happy and joyful as past experiences. Because of past memories, the present day singings of the speaker change from soft to noisy. On the other hand he understands that now he is far away from his childhood and at the present he is in the manhood stage. Here the speaker does not want to show his emotional feelings to others but even he is difficult to restrain himself. So he is thinking and crying for his childhood memories and “weep like a child for past “that once he was. This is the climax point of the speaker’s thoughts that shows openness and weep like a child as he is unable to control his emotions and feelings anymore. Here the poet compares the tears to flood while portraying that how much he is emotional towards his past.
The speaker of the poem “piano “is the poet himself .But in the poem the speaker talks about both past and present memories of the speaker at a time. When he listen to the music that comes from the piano the speakers mind runs to the childhood and the poet feels very sad about his past when he memorize his mother ,family , hymns and the piano. In the poem the poet talks about two episodes in his life that is past childhood and present adulthood. The diction and the tone use in this poem reveals clearly the speakers mixed feelings that struggle between his desire to be a man and his desire to go back to his childhood. The mood of the poem piano is the happy and joyful memories of his childhood in his mind. Thus the memory of the speaker touches the heart of the readers. The poet, who is the speaker of the poem, tells his childhood story to the reader while playing the piano with a sad note.
The structure of the poem “piano “by D.H.Lawrence is consists with three equal quatrains with rhyming schemes of aabb throughout the stanzas. The poems structure and rhyme help to show the speakers mixed feelings of past and present. Each of the three stanza in the first two lines the poet describes the present image and the last two lines shows his comfortable past. The poet uses the rhyming patterns to make the poem fell like a song.
There are two settings can be find in the poem piano; the present situation of the speaker where he listening to the music and the remembrance of childhood memories.
In the poem D.H.Lawrence use vivid imageries throughout the poem to bring out his memories of childhood to the reader. The imageries of the poem help the reader to sympathize with the speaker during his journey in to the childhood.
In the 1st line of the 1st stanza the poet brings an image of a woman to introduce the speakers’ mother to the reader who brought joyful memories to his life. And also the poet uses an image of a child sitting under the piano and the mothers smiles to show how the child enjoying the music with his mother when he was small. The love and warmth of the mother implies through the smiles of her. Both visual and auditory imageries are employed throughout the poem to convey the speakers innocent childish days effectively to the reader.
The narration used in the poem piano is first person narration as the poet himself is the narrator the title of the poem itself is symbolic and it is a metaphor that uses to represent the past and present life of the speaker piano is the heart of the poem. At the beginning of the poem the poet uses a dark and symbolic picture. Here the poet uses the technique of onomatopoeia boom of the tingling strings to show the joyful melody of his childhood. To the speaker his mother’s memories are unforgettable and the poet uses the technique of simile smiles as she sings to show the beauty of mother as well as her talent and how the speaker enjoys his past life with joyful memories. In the last stanza poet uses another simile I weep like a child to implies how much the speaker is missing and worrying about his past childhood as achild.in the poem the poet used the technique of alliteration to explicit the harshness and the need to return to the past ;betrays me back ….. and …the great black piano. Lawrence uses two contrasting ideas to portray the difference feelings of the speaker; the 1st scene is a dusky atmosphere while the childhood setting is cosy, tingling and hymnal.
The poem piano brings out the theme; power of memories. Memories are important to all as we are human beings. If there are closer and sweet memories in a life it is difficult for a person to overcome from those memories as each and every moment it comes up like a rubber ball under the water. It is the power of memory that difficult to erase from the mind. And sometimes they are the medicine that has the ability to heal the wounds in present.
When considering the D.H.Lawrence poem piano he creates a picture of the life of the speaker who was walking in between past and present. Moreover the poem can be identified as a successful literary work that is done by the poet. The richness of the expressions techniques and imageries in the poem are high. Furthermore it portrays us the important of memories specially the childhood memories that no one can reach again. So the best thing we can do is spent each and every time in good way then we can memorize those moments happily one day.

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